Krasic 13, 34, 70, Bonucci 57
Milos Krasic became the first Juventus player to score a hat-trick in over two years as the Bianconeri defeated Cagliari 4-2 at Turin with relative ease, albeit marred by further defensive lapses. Krasic netted with a terrific volley, a close-range flick and a deflected effort from inside the area to orchestrate a fine win.
Early on it was Vincenzo Iaquinta in the spotlight. While the striker is a fans favourite for his work ethic, he still wastes too many chances. As early as fifth minute, his headed effort from six yards failed to test Cagliari keeper Michael Agazzi. Then towards the end of the half, he found himself one-on-one against Agazzi but fired straight at the ‘keeper.
Amauri held up the ball well up front and his efforts directly led to the second goal, but apart from that, the Brazilian-born striker gave away the ball needlessly too often. He ended the game on a stretcher with a suspected ankle strain after falling awkwardly.
The star of the show was obviously Krasic. Comparisons with Pavel Nedvěd are not going to end anytime soon as the Serbian’s first goal, a super volley from just outside the area, was reminiscent of Juve’s recently retired Czech hero. His second was almost a poacher’s goal as he sneaked past the static Allesandro Agostini to net from Simone Pepe’s left-wing cross. The third goal might be considered somewhat lucky but Krasic showed incredible hunger to gather the ball and run into the penalty area. The ease with which he has adapted to Serie A and won the Bianconeri hearts is really admirable.
Pepe had a fine game throughout, while Felipe Melo continued his excellent form as a vital barrier in front of the back four. However, his midfield partner Alberto Aquilani did not impress on his first Juventus start, committing needless fouls and failing to provide any constructive passes.
Most worryingly, Juventus’ defensive problems continue after two more soft goals were conceded. Leandro Rinaudo was simply not comfortable at right-back and had a miserable game. He was caught ball-watching as Andrea Lazzari crossed for Alessandro Matri to stab home for Cagliari’s equaliser. Granted Rinaudo was brought in as back-up, but Juve need to start looking for better defensive options as soon as possible.
Equally at fault for the first goal were Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini. Either they simply switched off, allowing Matri to slip between them, or it was a botched attempt at the offside trap. The communication between them must improve drastically, otherwise Luigi Del Neri needs to bring in a sweeper-like defender with better positional awareness.
Nicola Legrottalie’s introduction did not help matters as he allowed Matri in behind to complete his brace. Chiellini showed he hasn’t forgotten how to play the left-back position as he was high up the pitch for the last fifteen minutes or so, while Zdenek Grygera had a quiet but effective game, performing his defensive duties solidly.
Nit-picking should end there, however, as the evening belonged to the imperious Krasic. The Old Lady will be hoping he can continue working his magic when Juve face Manchester City in the Europa League on Thursday.
26 Rinaudo – 19 Bonucci – 3 Chiellini – 21 Grygera
27 Krasic – 4 Felipe Melo – 14 Aquilani – 27 Krasic
9 Iaquinta – 11 Amauri
75 – 33 Legrottaglie on for 26 Rinaudo
78 – 5 Sissoko on for 14 Aquilani
10 Del Piero on for 9 Iaquinta
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