It has been a complicated week for Juventus. The almost-crowned champions of Italian football have been up and down an emotional rollercoaster, hitting the headlines for events on and off the pitch. As ever with the biggest club in Serie A, there are claims of wrongdoing on one side and claims of the Old Lady being unfairly targeted on the other. Controversy reigns supreme, but with the season drawing to a close, what sort of position are Juve in?
The Champions League quarterfinal draw took place on Friday in Nyon, Switzerland and has left some very entertaining matchups with the first legs taking place on the 11th-12th of April and the second legs on the 18th-19th of April:
Aside from the 2015 Champions League final, 12 years ago was the last time Barcelona and Juventus played each other, it was also the night Messi showed how good he really was.
We should just post our recap from the first leg between Juventus and Porto, really, because they were basically the same game.
Both teams looked dangerous, with Juventus controlling a bit more of the possession, until Porto did something stupid, Juventus scored and that was that.
This time, it was a Maxi Pereira red card for blocking the ball with an outstretched arm after a shot from Gonzalo Higuain. Paulo Dybala converted the penalty and the tie was over, with Porto's poor finishing helping to put a lid on things.
This week in Serie A, results pretty much panned out how you’d expect. Roma thrashed Palermo. Pescara lost again. Fiorentina overcame a stolid start to snatch a last-gasp, undeserved winner. Juventus won at home. So there’s not much to talk about, right? Not quite.
The appointed heir to Gianluigi Buffon as Italy’s No. 1, could it be possible that AC Milan’s Gianluigi Donnarumma will eventually dwarf the Juventus legend? The 18-year-old goalkeeper was sensational in Milan’s highly controversial defeat to Juventus, recording nine saves and showcasing his strength, agility and tenacity.
The offseason purchases of Mirlalem Pjanic from Roma (€32 million) and Gonzalo Higuain from Napoli (€75.3 million) haven’t debilitated the selling clubs, but they have had the desired effect for Juventus. Higuain has scored 19 goals, tied with Edin Dzeko for the most in the league, and no Juventus player has more assists than Pjanic.
Even more importantly, Napoli, the team that ran them closest last season, will come short of last season’s total of 82 points while Juventus look poised to surpass their own total of 91. There’s no surer gauge of the impact of that transfer.
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