Eager to forget the misery of last season Juventus visited the Stadio San Nicola to face a speedy Bari side that was last season’s surprise package. However a new Coach, a new formation and six new players in the starting lineup couldn’t avoid a 0-1 defeat for the ‘Bianconeri’ as Massimo Donati’s strike gave Bari all three points.
Luigi Del Neri employed the expected 4-4-2 system with Simone Pepe and Milos Krasic on the wings with Alessandro Del Piero and Fabio Quagliarella spearheading the attack.
Juventus actually started quite well as they kept more of the ball and launched several attacks on Bari’s goal. Seeing their side keep possession and stringing together passes in the buildup to an attack is somewhat of a luxury for Bianconeri fans.
Bari were trying to counterattack and on one such break, Abdelkader Ghezzal found himself with a one-on-one situation against Marco Storari. The newly acquired keeper made a brave save and suffered an injury to the head in process.
Bari took a deserved lead just before half time as substitute Donati turned past Claudio Marchisio to unleash a powerful shot that found the top corner.
The second half belong to Bari as Juventus could barely create any clear chances but somehow survived Bari’s pace to keep the scoreline respectable.
Edgar Alvarez was the showman for the hosts as his pace tortured the Juventus backline throughout the evening. Especially Paolo De Ceglie who was roasted time and again by the speedster. He criminally allowed Alvarez acres of space to operate and his positioning was extremely poor. Marco Motta was also completely unsettled in defence, but contributed in going forward.
Giorgio Chiellini was the best player for Juventus as was assured in defence and very nearly scored an equalizer in injury time. Marchisio had an extremely poor game as he was at fault for the goal and was absolutely destroyed in midfield by Sergio Almiron who came back to haunt his old club. Del Piero was invisible for large portions of the game, Quagliarella was involved throughout but without any positive effect.
The substitutions made by Del Neri were questionable. In the first half Krasic started brightly whereas Pepe was disastrous throughout as his crosses were atrocious. Even then Del Neri substituted Krasic at half time and brought on Jorge Martinez who had got involved quickly into the game but faded away even faster. Bringing on Davide Lanzafame for Pepe changed nothing.
The most puzzling decision was to bring off Felipe Melo on the hour mark. Melo was coming off a run of decent games and he was performing well in Sunday’s tussle as well. He broke Bari attacks by committing niggling fouls and drove forward on several occasions. His substitute Momo Sissoko contributed nothing. If Del Neri wanted to shore up the midfield, he should have taken off Marchisio instead.
It is still too early to judge Del Neri and perhaps the team needs time to gel together, however Juve face an even tougher task two weeks from now when they play host’s to Sampdoria.