by Petar Todorovski
Juventus earned late victory against last placed Bari in the lataest Serie A fixture and did it much harder than fans expected. It was unclear until the end if they’ll win the game, and had to work really hard to secure it. Now Bianconeri are fifth with 34 points, but this time only seven behind leaders after Milan’s dropping points in Lecce.
Juve tried to impose their own pace and managed to do it, but the result was nothing. The compact defensive line of Bari rejected all the attempts that Milos Krasic made, so Bianconeri, as many times before, struggled to find a position to shoot, not to mention scoring.
Although suffered some pressure, the Galletti were those who created the first real scoring opportunity. However, the effort of Jaime Romero wasn’t successful.
Then, just before the break, Alessandro Del Piero opened the result. He scored a wonderful free kick goal from 20 yards that gave Juve the lead. Nevertheless, they couldn’t be pleased by their own way of playing, having in mind that the best chance came from outside the box.
They aware of that and tried harder in the second half. But instead of materializing the domination with chances and goals, they conceded. Bari newest signing Gergely Rudolf scored, just like he promised before the match, and Juve was to try much more to regain the lead.
However, Galletti were dangerous as well, but without any success. Simone Pepe had opportunity to score right after, but his attempt didn’t finish into the net, too.
After the very few missed chances, it seemed that the game will finish as draw. No one looked like to be very interested in attacking. Then, Alberto Aquilani scored and brought his team the very important three points. He waited for the ball on the edge of the area and volleyed after a poor clearance by Massimo Donati. There were no real chances till the end, so Bianconeri kept the points at Stadio Olimpico.
Despite the unimpressive performance by his team, Juventus coach Luigi Del Neri was pleased. As usual, only the result was important to him. “We put in a quality performance this afternoon,” he stated for the game with low number of created chances, and continued with praising the talisman Alessandro Del Piero. “Players such as Del Piero proved that quality is often the difference between sides and we settled the result with two quality strikes. He knows how valuable he is to this side and I hope he will continue to prove influential for us during the course of the season. Obviously in my position I have to make choices and depending on the opposition I’m sometimes forced to opt for a more physical forward line,” he said, letting us know that he was aware that the veteran brings him a lot of points.
Giampiero Ventura, the coach of Bari, was very unhappy following the late defeat in the game where he saw a lot of scoring chances for his team. “This defeat really hurts. We played a great game this afternoon creating numerous chances to score. Unfortunately in football when things don’t go your way there is little you can do to turn things around,” he finished.
Now Bari is still on the bottom, while Juventus shrunk the advantage of Milan for two points, as it was mentioned already.
Juventus have a great opportunity to get back on track in Serie A this weekend, when the last placed Bari travel to Turin. Bianconeri are in shaky form lately, suffering tough defeats against Parma and Napoli in Serie A, but beating Catania in Coppa Italia few days after.
It is becoming clear that Juventus is just a fourth place tailored. They are very unpredictable, which is not something that characterizes champions. Sitting on the sixth place of the table with 8-7-4 score is not what most of football lovers expected by them before the beginning of the season. They have the best attack in the league, but also the weakest defense of the top seven teams. That’s enough to be nine points away from leaders Milan.
Bianconeri suffered two heavy defeats in Seria A in last two games, making a run of three matches without a win. First they were smashed in Parma, in a game that questioned the transfer politics of the club. Former Juve players Giovinco and Palladino scored three of the total of four goals that Juve conceded. One week later Edinson Cavane had a one man show on San Paolo in Napoli, letting them know that Scudetto dreams are over.
However, they improve their confidence with 2-0 home win in Coppa Italia against Catania. But the most important moment of the match was the return of the legendary goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, which is a confidence boosting circumstance for the squad.
Now they have good opportunity to improve the record in Serie A, as they wait for the visit of Bari, a team that sits the last place for the whole season so far. It is very probable that they will play the next season in Serie B. They are buried on the bottom with miserable 14 points of 19 games, losing eleven matches so far. To give you the better picture about their recent form – they lost ten of the last fourteen games.
For this match Juve will miss suspended Felipe Melo and injured Quagliarella, Iaquinta, Luca Toni, Rinaudo, Martinez and De Ceglie. Bari will have to cope with them without the services of four first team players: Salvatore Masiello, Ghezzal, Almiron and Barreto.
Galletti added new signing few days ago. It’s Hungarian striker Gergely Rudolf, who is expected to start the match. He was very optimistic: “I am ready to play and to score against Juventus,” he said. “I like his ideas and tactics. We can all save Bari from relegation.”
Juventus winger Simone Pepe spoke about what means the return of Buffon. “For us his return is very important seeing that we are talking about the best goalkeeper in the world. To have players like Buffon and Del Piero in the squad is an added motivation for everyone, because you know that from one moment to the next they can leave their mark on a game,” he said, confirming that the confidence of the squad is growing.
Whether to confident or not, the Old Lady have to beat Bari. They need the points to keep themselves in the race for Chamions League spots. The Galletti are just to weak to stop them and everything but Juve victory will be huge surprise.