This edition of Derby d’Italia was much anticipated since Juventus are a revamped side from last year whereas Inter are nearly unchanged. The Bianconeri battled well at the Giuseppe Meazza and held Inter to a scoreless draw.
Luigi Delneri decided to start Claudio Marchisio in a left-midfield role, where he has been deployed in the past in Juventus as well as Italy. Granted that the role is not new to him, but the Turin-born midfielder is nowhere near his best on the wing. As a result, he was not nearly as effective in the game. He rarely battled Maicon giving the Brazilian license to maraud forward in his usual style. However, Marchisio was involved in a critical moment of the game where his delightful through ball sent Fabio Quagliarella on through to goal. In spite of being one on one against Julio Cesar, he couldn’t score because of pressure from behind by Lucio.
Alberto Aquilani started in center midfield and put in an excellent performance, especially early in the game. Most of the Juve attacks were channeled through him as he played the role of a regista to perfection. His vision and passing skills were evident on the pitch and those are the precise reasons Juve loaned him in the first place. Aquilani seemed to run out of gas in the second half as he was substituted for Momo Sissoko as Delneri might have thought of playing for a draw. The Juve Coach should also be given credit for rejuvenating Felipe Melo. The Brazilian put in another powerful performance tonight and is slowly, but surely justifying his price tag.
Vincenzo Iaquinta did not have a good outing. He worked hard and drew several fouls, but could manage only one shot – it ended into back of the net but was correctly flagged outside. His substitute Alessandro Del Piero played for about an hour and tested Julio Cesar thrice in the process. Considering that he played full 90 minutes just three days ago, the level of fitness displayed by the Capitano is admirable.
Miloš Krasić did not look one bit intimidated by the high-pressure Derby as once again, he was absolutely joy to watch. He was a constant attacking threat down the right side as he made Christian Chivu’s life miserable and forced Julio Cesar into two saves. Krasić also tracked back a lot to help out the Juve defenders and covered a lot of ground in the process.
One of the most talked points prior to the match was how Juventus’ miserable full-backs were going to cope up with the speed of Inter wingers. Zdeněk Grygera had a pretty good game, first marking Jonathan Biabiany and Samuel Eto’o and then dominating Philippe Coutinho in the second half. Eto’o did terrify the Juve backline by skipping past defenders as if they weren’t there, but the end product was missing. Furthermore, the Old Lady was lucky as Diego Milito is horribly out of form and missed two very good chances.
Paolo De Ceglie and Marco Motta looked shaky at times, but did not make any catastrophic errors. Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci were defensively strong as usual. Marco Storari was a solid presence in goal as he made one important save from Maicon, thereby keeping a clean sheet.
21 Grygera – 19 Bonucci- 3 Chiellini- 29 De Ceglie
27 Krasic – 4 Felipe Melo – 14 Aquilani – 8 Marchisio
9 Iaquinta – 18 Quagliarella
45– 2 Motta on for 29 De Ceglie
64 – 18 Del Piero on for 9 Iaquinta
5 – Sissoko on for 14 Aquilani