Year 3 in the Juventus revival project, and everything is working quite nicely. There’s no team in the Serie A that comes close to them in terms of players quality or their technical superiority which begins with Antonio Conte but also having players like Paul Pogba, Arturo Vidal and Giorgio Chiellini, brushing aside the empty threat that turned out to be Roma.
Only 10-15 minutes was the small window of opportunity given to Roma early on to try and make this one a fair match. Francesco Totti was able to get away from the marking of Andrea Pirlo quite often which helped create chances from outside the box, but nothing more. Juventus defended very deep to try and disable the Roma counter attack, fearing the speed of Gervinho. It worked quite well, as the Ivorian had no room for breaking into the box with plenty of space for him to run through.
So after giving Roma the brief notion that they’re actually controlling the match, Juventus started pressing higher, eliminating the danger of Pjanic and Strootman, and completely taking over. Their goals came from set pieces – the first from a throw in, the second from an Andrea Pirlo free kick that reached Leonardo Bonucci and the third from a penalty kick. Their counter attacks were usually handled well, and so were their usual attempts at 30-40 meter crosses for Llorente and Tevez to handle, but they kept Roma busy and unable to enter lethal counter attacking form.
Soon things began to fell apart for the visitors. Roma tried making changes in the second half, bringing on Destro for Pjanic, but their defending and passing became sloppy, giving Pirlo plenty of space to navigate and operate Juventus from a safe distance, making it quite easy for Juventus to dominate possession without giving up too much open space behind the backline. Having Destro and later Florenzi on the pitch didn’t make Roma more organized or efficient. The red cards to De Rossi and Castan ended any hope of making Juventus sweat in the final minutes.
It was interesting to see if Roma could be the team that shakes the Juventus machine, now picking up 10 consecutive wins. Eight points ahead of Roma, and about the same from Napoli, depending on their next result. The championship is still up for grabs, but it feels as if Juventus already have on firm hand on their third consecutive Scudetto, and it seems almost impossible denying it from them.