Juventus’ last-gasp Coppa Italia winner against Fiorentina not only gave them a vital away goal heading into the second leg of the semi-final but meant yet another hard-fought, no-nonsense victory for the Bianconeri as they continue to grind out results.
A 91st- minute own-goal from Lorenzo Venuti recorded a rather fortuitous win for Massimiliano Allegri’s men after being under pressure for large parts of the game against La Viola, although they are unlikely to care about that considering the streak they are on, pretty or not.
The win signified that Juventus have now gone 10 games unbeaten in all competitions – albeit in unremarkable fashion – and have only lost two of their last 20. Allegri’s team last tasted defeat in their 2-1 Supercoppa Italiana loss to Inter on January 12, and before that it was in Serie A against Atalanta at the end of November 2021.
Not only that, but it gives them the upper hand heading into the second leg considering that the away goals rule is still very much in play in the Coppa Italia, unlike in the Champions League, although a 1-1 draw away at Villareal also puts the Bianconeri in a favourable position to qualify for the quarter-finals of Europe’s top club competition, too.
The performance itself left much to be desired and although they are low-scoring in all competitions, Juventus are also generally solid at the back, having only conceded 25 goals in Serie A, with only Inter and Napoli managing a better shut-out rate.
Juventus’ fans then, will be buoyed by the fact that they now have one of the best, young strikers in the world to turn draws into wins, as they had longed for up until January. If they manage to keep them out at the back then they’d certainly take 1-o wins for the rest of the season, wouldn’t they?
Vlahovic can make the difference for Juventus
Dusan Vlahovic is the man in question and his late-January arrival – to the tune of €75 million – will probably turn out to make the world of difference for a team that had, up until his arrival, struggled to fill the gap left behind by a certain Cristiano Ronaldo.
Four goals in seven games for Juventus has been the Serbian’s answer so far, including a goal 13 minutes into his full debut against Hellas Verona in Serie A, and more impressively still a Champions League debut goal after a mere 33 seconds in the clash with Villareal – a goal which could yet be worth the transfer fee alone if all goes according to fairy tale.
The 22-year-old forward was one of Europe’s hottest properties – and with good reason – after 21 Serie A goals with Fiorentina last season, but he’s already set himself up to smash that number this season. Thus far, the Capocannoniere leader is one behind on 20 – 17 of which came for La Viola up until January – so it’s likely that he will eclipse last term’s numbers in the 11 games that remain in Serie A.
Vlahovic and co. have what could be put down as two winnable fixtures in Serie A to come, with a home tie against rock-bottom Salernitana followed by a trip to Genoa to face Sampdoria, before the Allianz Stadium then plays host to the all-important Champions League second leg against their La Liga opponents, Villareal.
With that match in mind, and the fact that the Bianconeri are lying seven points off top-of-the-table Napoli in the league it’s not too late, or too foolish, to rule Italy’s most successful club out of picking up yet more silverware this season, is it?