Motta 4 (og)
Juventus’ need to find a suitable first-choice right-back at the end of the season if not in January was amplified as Marco Motta’s sheer incompetency saw them go a goal down in the first few minutes. First, the ex-Roma defender committed a needless foul outside the box. Next, he managed to head Juan Manuel Vargas’ powerful shot into his own net. Vargas has been having a very poor season so far and yet he was dominating on Juve’s left flank. Motta’s positioning was not as much to be blamed as his inability to deal with Vargas’ steaming runs forward. When the Peruvian winger bombed forward in what could be his best game this season, all Motta could do is watch the ball and let Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci clean up the mess. In the first half, his poor attempt to win a ball in the air saw him clashing heads with Alberto Gilardino. The Fiorentina hitman needed to be patched up before he could continue. If he weren’t offside in the first place, a red card to Motta – even if very harsh – would not have been entirely impossible.
The cold in Turin seemed to affect Juventus more as they seemed rusty in the first twenty minutes of the game. When they did get into the game, it was not due to Alberto Aquilani. The ex-Roma midfield director was very quiet in the first half as the pace of the game was far greater for his liking. Also he was not seeing a lot of ball at his feet, the passes being fed to the wings. Furthermore, he was man-marked from time to time, demonstrating that Fiorentina Coach Siniša Mihajlović knew what exactly makes Juventus tick.
Milos Krasić did not put in the level of performance desired of him nowadays. Gigi Delneri wanted him to help defending and could be seen shouting to him from the sidelines. He was also marked excellently with two more Fiorentina players surrounding him. Gilardino was sometimes seen tracking back to mark the Serbian winger. The mazy runs through opponent players were absent but he did try and send a few useful crosses into the box.
The second half belonged to Juventus completely as the Viola decided to sit on their lead. The Bianconeri pushed forward in search of the equalizer which came eventually from Simone Pepe who had been brought on in place of Aquilani. Juventus came with such force that even the central defenders pushed forward. Artur Boruc kept the Viola in the game with excellent late saves from Chiellini and Vincenzo Iaquinta. Iaquinta has never been a deadly in front of the goal and today he spurned two good chances to give Juventus all three points.
Credit must be given to Fiorentina who stuck to their game plan and did not concede more than one goal even after Juve laid siege to their goal in the second half. For Juventus, this game is another confirmation that they desperately need a target man and a quality right-back to start gunning for titles.
2 Motta – 19 Bonucci- 3 Chiellini- 6 Grosso
27 Krasic – 4 Felipe Melo – 14 Aquilani – 8 Marchisio
18 Quagliarella – 10 Del Piero
58′ – 9 Iaquinta on for 10 Del Piero
58′ – 23 Pepe on for 14 Aquilani
82′ – 20 Lanzafame on for 2 Motta