claudio marchisio juventus

Juventus 3-1 Napoli 23rd May 2015

By tdf, May 24, 2015

laurentis, napoli

Laurentis, the devil of Naples…

I have never liked Napoli as a football club. Surely would be of a different opinion had I seen them  when Maradona was there as to not support Diego would have been to not support the game, as he was a god of the art. Yet that is not the Napoli I know. Their players, fans and especially their chairman are bothersome and garrulous. I have visited the city and remember such a time fondly and with excitement. For it was a city with a very loud heartbeat. In fact the time in between each beat of that heart seemed like a fuse. Yet the city is not the club. As is probably the same case for Juve in Turin, in a different sense.

Due to a lack of love between the sides and also the steady flurry of rabid comments emanating from the san paolo, I always find extra eagerness to beat them. Added to my usual displeasure of their existence presently is Rafa Benitez, by far my most despised manager. A bothersome puff toad with the mistaken ego of a Titan liable to lash out in a puerile manner when pushed into a corner by his own errors. The character of a coach often translates to the players and the conduct of Napoli yesterday was a prime example.

roberto peryera scores for juventus against napoli

Pereyra took his goal brilliantly and looks worthy of the shirt.

Napoli started fairly well, yet once they took a few moments to catch breath we grew in stature. I was marvelling at Marchisio, just before he found Coman with a fine pass from deep, the 18 year old – who showed wonderful promise and searing pace throughout – dinked a perfect through ball to Pereyra who smashed the ball home for 1-0.

After which the juve players truly began to enjoy the occasion, performing without a care in the world, several players displaying exhibition football, with Napoli beginning to anger and whine and feign injury and show spite.

Before the half time whistle the crowd unveiled a tasteful and well choreographed commemoration of the 39 Juve fans who died during the Heysel disaster. Which was heartwarming and classy.

We came out the for the second period still confident, in control without stepping up to the higher gears. However, a very poor decision by the ref stunted our rhythm when giving a penalty for a ball which hit Asamoah’s chest then clipped his hand which he was trying to hold close to his body to avoid the damn ball. Clearly the touch was unintentional and it did not prevent a goal scoring chance. Still, it was great to see Gigi save the spot-kick yet that fiend Lopez smashed in the rebound for 1-1. Now Napoli had momentum, and pushed players forward in great numbers. Creating during this period two great chances, yet unable to pass Santo Buffon whose save from a thumping Lopez volley destined for the net was world class.

kingsley coman juventus v napoli

Kingsley Coman was outstanding against Napoli, a constant menace.

It was a matter of time before chances would come for us on the break. Coman was proving electric and should have done better on a couple of occasions when passing his man with flair and lightning acceleration. A moment of magic from another youngster, Stefano Sturaro regained the lead. Turning beautifully into the box he despatched the ball into the corner for 2-1. A delightful moment for the Italy U21 star, his first for the club.

With Napoli resorting to ever worsening fouls and cynical behaviour it came as little surprise to see a penalty awarded late on when Britos head butted Morata for no good reason at all. His violent, unsporting behaviour and Morata’s reaction summed up the sides in many ways. The spaniard didn’t go down, make a meal of what was a vicious, and likely painful attack. He just got on with the game. Whereas the Napoli players argued with the officials. Scum.

Other incidents throughout the game pressed home this idea of one team of talent and class, the other a bunch of nasty pricks, with some talent, but bad spirit and ill disciplined. Unfortunately for Napoli, we don’t rise to such provocation, whilst been able to match any team for physicality, with the likes of Sturaro, Pogba, Marchisio and the whole defensive five never fearing a challenge or a fight. Although, I suspect that Bonucci and Chiellini will be eager to face Britos in the future…hohoho!

The finale couldn’t have been sweeter, for Pepe stepped up to score for the first time in three years, likely signally the end of his Juve career as his contract ends in June and I see no reason to retain his services. It was a gentleman’s touch for Allegri to give him a run-out in front of his own beloved fans for one final hurrah.

Pepe bowed out with a goal.

Victory tastes sweeter against scum than it does against respectable opposition. I have not seen one side behave in such a nasty manner when facing us all season. Only Higuain comes out with any credit, as he seems a decent chap and ill suited to the pack of bandits around him. I hope he leaves and finds a club with honour.

Player Ratings

Buffon – 8

Confident, superb reflexes, made one mistake on a cross which nearly led to a goal, other than which was impeccable.

Barzagli – 8

Great to see the big man getting minutes and regaining match sharpness. Never under any threat and his positional sense and passing was superb. Everything he does, he does with class.

Ogbonna – 7

Caught on the ball on a couple of occasions, though recovered well enough. Showed superb physicality, dominant in the air, even attempted to channel Bonucci by taking the ball out of defence. Still unsure if to sell him is the right move, yet perhaps he seeks more regular playing time.

Padoin – 7

Mr dependable as always. Offered very little going forward but went about his business with determination and kept it simple and safe.

Asamoah – 7

His first full game for so many months, it was simply great to see him back. Lacking the cunning of Evra, he has the muscle and pace. We won’t see the best of him until next season but a solid return nonetheless.

Pogba – 7

Still working his way back to sharpness, but was a monster nonetheless. His languid style would have others in all sorts of trouble, but his mesmerising ability on the ball and towering strength makes it extremely hard to nip the ball away from him. A fair few moments of dazzling skill, made up the numbers where needed and treated the game like a training match.

claudio marchisio juventus

Claudio Marchisio. My player of the season.

Marchisio – 9

A captain’s performance. He has proven beyond all doubt that he can not just fill in for, but comfortably replace Pirlo as our regista. His reading of the game, intelligence, distribution and zeal were prominent throughout. He is a different kind of player to Vidal and Pogba, and whilst the Chilean has been slowly regaining his sharpness in mind after body, Pogba has enjoyed a sterling season, hence his status as transfer target number one for most elite clubs. However, for me Marchisio has been by far our most brilliantly consistent midfielder, arguably player of the season, although Bonucci and Tevez can also stake solid claims for that accolade. Claudio was always very good, yet this season he has matured under Allegri, taken on more responsibility and become a better player. One of the finest in the world.

Sturaro – 9

What a find this lad is proving to be. When we signed him I had little idea of his talents, yet clearly Paratici and Beppe did. He is brutally combative, ambitious and capable on the ball. He also has a marvellous engine.  And will only get better with time around the other stars of the squad. He took his goal very well indeed, other than which, was ubiquitous. Diving into every challenge like his life depended on it. Linking the play with a maturity which belies his tender age and always making himself open for a pass. Extremely promising.

Pereyra – 8

Full of smart running as always and took his chance with aplomb. Since his move from the wingback role to an attacking midfielder able to roam across the field, he has been not quite a revelation, but certainly a worthy addition to the offensive unit. If he can work on his shooting and add some aggression to his game, he may well be worth the 15m fee.

The Kid Coman – 8

One of the finest 18 year olds I have ever seen play. Caused problems for the opposition throughout with directness, trickery and awe inspiring turn of pace. Made the wrong choice on a few chances yet he kept at it, created a goal and could have made more. Was afforded little protection from the officials, and after been scythed down and staying down, with Napoli showing their usual sportsmanship and going on the attack, the little frenchman threw himself into a foul out of frustration. Pleasing to see he has some bite as well as major talent.

Morata- 7

Took his headbutt like a true professional. Was well marshalled by the Napoli rearguard and with Coman and Pereyra roaming at large he was forced to remain more central up top than usual. Useful, yet perhaps, like with others, had one eye on Berlin.

It is a mark of the club’s success as a whole that we could afford to put out a line-up absent of Tevez, Vidal, Pirlo, Lichsteiner, Bonucci, Chiellini and still come out deserved winners against one of the better teams of Serie A. Whilst some of those who began may have been eager to avoid injury and to play below their maximum, this was balanced out by the second string players eager to impress, who were absent of any such concerns. Outstanding management by Allegri as has been the case all season. His achievements cannot be understated. Coming into a terrible situation, with a squad largely depressed and wondering what the future might hold, the fans almost completely against him, the Mister is our true star of this magnificent campaign. And must be congratulated for his work.

max allegri juventus

Max Allegri has performed outstandingly in his first year at Juve.

Napoli played the pantomime villains brilliantly. Which thankfully did not overshadow the occasion of both celebrating the double and commemorating the Heysel tragedy.

We picked up no new injuries (as long as Barzagli is fine tomorrow), displayed some delightful skill, beat the 4th place team with a second string starting XI and our young talent looks amazingly promising.

To Verona and then Berlin.

Forza Juve

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