In the opening few minutes, both sides had a few chances each but arguably Juventus had the better of the initial exchanges.
Lazio were sitting back and hitting the champions on the break, because they were starved of possession. It was the sort of start we were expecting, the Eagles couldn’t get a grip on the game hence they were penned into their own half.
It was no surprise that it was the home side who took the lead through Vidal. It was a great team goal that started from the back, and ended with a neat diagonal ball from Pogba to find Vidal who from close range poked it to the near post.
Lazio showed a bit of fight after the goal with a corner or two, as well as an offside decision that was wrongly against them. Hernanes was at the heart of the early attacks for the Coppa Italia winners, but there was no real threat to test the central defenders. Candreva had a shot from distance which did keep Buffon on his toes by diving to his right, but nothing more
For the Zebras, it was Pogba, Pirlo and Asamoah who were at the centre of the attacking intentions. There were plenty of balls through by the three of them for Vucinic and Tevez, who did plenty of running to add that threat out wide.
However, the next goal was just a long ball over the top from Bonucci which found Vidal. He took a touch to control the ball, and he just rolled it past the Italian number two. It was a poor goal to concede from a Lazio point of view because the defence was nowhere and although Hernanes was good at creating chances, but his defending leaves a lot to be desired. He didn’t track the run of the goalscorer at all, he was looking for the offside flag.
Within a couple minutes of the restart, the underdogs were back in the game. Hernanes had a shot from 20 yards out which Buffon kept out, but the ball found Klose who simply couldn’t miss. The Italian legend certainly didn’t have his best game of his career.
The away side were having a few shots from distance because although they couldn’t get in behind the defence, they were looking to exploit their opponents’ weakness. Ever since the goal, Buffon didn’t look comfortable, he had the confidence drained out of him.
Towards the end of the first half, Bonucci lost his temper after a free kick was given for a challenge he made. From the initial view it was a clean tackle, and from the replay it was a clean tackle as well. I don’t know why the free kick was given because he got the ball before the man, but the yellow card was probably for his reaction. He ran up to the ref and started saying god knows what.
Lazio were growing in confidence after their goal and had more and more opportunities to grab the leveller. They looked out of the game after the second goal, but at the break they were on the verge of scoring again.
The white and blues continued to be on the front foot, with their new lease of life and energy. However, the potential comeback was short lived because the home side retired their two goal cushion.
Bonucci had another assist with yet another long ball forward for, this time, Vucinic to latch onto. The Montenegro international calmly dispatched it into the far corner from a fairly tough angle. It was so simple for the white- blacks, the goal shifted the momentum back in their favour. Bonucci was taking Pirlo’s place as the play maker for the time being.
It was some good forward play from the new number 10 because he took away a defender with his run back. That left his strike partner with only half the work to do, and that was what played a big part in the goal.
The game was well an truly over with just over an hour on the clock when arguably Lazio’s best player was sent off. Hernanes received his second booking for a deliberate handball in the opposition’s area. It was unbelievable, it was so clear that he was almost as ling to get sent off.
Once Juventus had the extra man, they relaxed more and played for fun. They used a lot more fancy passes and passed around the back four when Lazio pressed. It was a case of how many the champions would score.
Tevez nearly got the goal he deserved with 72 minutes on the clock after he smashed the woodwork. It was a neat one-two with Vidal and from outside the box he came within inches of scoring.
The former City man did get his goal in Turin with ten minutes to go. The number nine stepped over the ball to allow the Argentine to shift the ball onto his stronger right foot and curl the ball beyond Marchetti.
The contest was over which made Conte make changes to use his squad. This allowed one or two chances for Lazio to give Buffon a difficult time, but nothing came of it.
Arturo Vidal could have had a hat-trick late on when he had a pop from outside the box, but it was never going to go in unless Marchetti made a huge error. It was inches wide, but that was the end of a thrilling game.
Juventus played next extremely well and at times, they weren’t challenged. They were superior and continued their 100% record for the season. Vidal showed he loved to play Lazio because he has now scored five times against them this calendar year.
The midfield was key to their play and for me Pogba was the stand out man. He was creative on the attack, but he also got stuck in with the defending. Some his passes were similar to the likes of Xavi and Iniesta. He looks the complete player and has the potential to win it all with whatever club he is at, it was a massive mistake by Sir Alex and Manchester United to not only let him leave but for absolutely nothing.
Another mistake by a Manchester club was City allowing Carlos Tevez to leave for only £10m plus add ons. He worked his socks off and fully deserved his goal, he is already a hot in Turin despite the pressure and controversy of wearing the famous number ten shirt.
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