Diego 4, Candreva 65
This game could’ve been the banana skin match for Juventus, as Bologna had a five game unbeaten run coming into this and their confidence was high after they held Milan to a goalless draw.
Bologna came out all guns blazing when at three minutes a free- kick went teasingly close to open the scoring. The Old Lady immediately reacted at the other end when Diego’s persistence and alertness found the back of the net and Juve were in the lead, however this didn’t stop the Rossoblu from hitting back and showing Juve that they are not pushover. After persistent pressure from Bologna they got their much deserved equalizer. At 48 minutes Antonio Buscè got on the end of an Andrea Raggi free- kick and knocked it (and himself) into the back of the net.
Juventus wasn’t going to end this game with a draw and the wonderful play by Diego and Alessandro Del Piero made that sure. Diego was popping up everywhere and seemed to have found his role in the game. At 22 minutes he could have made it 2-0 before the break: he had gotten at the end of a shot from Claudio Marchisio but the angle was too tight and hit the post.
Alberto Zaccheroni obviously understands that if he wants to get the best out of the Brazilian, he has to make sure the player gets the proper support- something his predecessor didn’t understand. Another improvement, since Zaccheroni took the helm, has been the inclusion of Del Piero: the Little Magician may not have the pace but he has a wealth of experience, which can be viewed as sheer brilliance. Del Piero is Juve equivalent to Ronaldinho and Alexandre Pato for Milan- he has the skills and vision, Diego has the pace. But the down side to this is that Del Piero will succumb to more knocks by attacking players attempting to slow him down.
On the half hour mark Diego was taken off and replaced by Antonio Candreva. At first glance this seemed strange because Diego was such an influential player for the game- but then on 65 minutes Candreva scored his first Serie A goal.
The officiating of this game showed that the referee can get it right and common sense plays a role. After a week of demonising the officials, Luca Banti did well to keep control of the match. Banti only had to flash his card three times throughout the entire match and they all came in the second half, where it was visible that frustration and lazy tackles had taken over. Daniele Portanova and Marchisio were shown yellow while Raggi was shown a straight red for a foul on Felipe Melo.
This result has boosted the Bianconeri up to fourth spot and breathes new life into its European ambitions. With Inter drawing against Sampdoria their lead at the top has been reduced to five points- still 14 point over the Old Lady but the league is far from over.