RED BULL SALZBURG 1
An uninspired performance in the first half was compensated by the in-form Milos Krasić so that the Bianconeri could earn a draw in front of the boisterous Austrian crowd.
Jorge Martínez returned from his injury to start on the right wing whereas Felipe Melo was rested as Momo Sissoko was handed a start. Juventus maintained their 4-4-2 whereas Salzburg fielded a 4-5-1 formation that looked like 4-3-3 as their wingers bombed forward.
The Bulls got off to a good start as they kept most of the possession and moved the ball around comfortably in Juve’s half, creating half-chances. Juve seemed to be content to attack on the counter, especially through captain Alessandro Del Piero. However, almost all the counters were botched either by Sissoko or Simone Pepe. The Malian misplaced many passes and those which were completed were very slow. Pepe did not appear to be in his usual workhorse mode as he ran less and crossed poorly. Del Piero was getting frustrated as early as the 17th minute which was definitely not a positive sign for the Bianconeri.
It looked like Zdeněk Grygera was going to have a hard time against the tricky Dušan Švento. Indeed, the Salzburg winger schooled Grygera before unleashing a low shot on the far side that gave Alex Manninger no chance. However, apart from this singular incident, Grygera was very solid throughout the game. He contributed almost nothing in attack, but prevented Švento from causing further damage. Unfortunately for Juventus, Grygera suffered a distorted knee injury towards the end of the game and preliminary reports suggest he might be out for a month. His opposite wing number, Paolo De Ceglie was quite comfortable in his position. When not threatened, he bombed forward, and eventually provided the assist for Juve’s equalizer.
Sissoko and Leonardo Bonucci should shoulder most of the blame for Salzburg’s goal. Both of them together could not stop David Mendes Da Silva in midfield as the Dutch midfielder provided the assist for Švento. Sissoko and Bonucci had poor games in general. The Italian international struggled time and again but was bailed out by a rock-solid Giorgio Chiellini. Sissoko misplaced many passes and slowed down any counterattack Juventus were hoping for. On the defensive side, he did not impose himself in midfield and was run ragged by Salzburg attackers. This along with Claudio Marchisio’s anonymity compounded Juventus’ problems in midfield.
Martínez had a few lively moments in the first half but was anonymous otherwise. Pepe did not even have any moments of note. The completely disastrous midfield left Del Piero dropping deep in midfield, trying to create something out of nothing. He was not helped by an absolutely abysmal Amauri.
Once again, the hero of the day was Milos Krasić. Within minutes of coming on to pitch, he scored a goal. On another occasion he was one on one with keeper and should have scored to give Juve the lead. The overall team looked far more threatening with just him on the pitch. The over-reliance on Krasić is becoming quite obvious.
With this result, Juventus have now earned three draws in as many games and still lie in the third position.
21 Grygera – 19 Bonucci- 3 Chiellini- 29 De Ceglie
25 Martínez – 5 Sissoko – 8 Marchisio – 23 Pepe
11 Amauri – 10 Del Piero
46 – 27 Krasić on for 23 Pepe
64 – 4 Melo on for 25 Martínez
79 – 2 Motta on for 21 Grygera