Juventus returns to breathe the atmosphere of the final phases of the Champions League. Starts another competition. In or out in two games, is not a League Season that is played on 38 games or a NBA Finals series. In two games, it’s enough a day of grace of one player to go out. Knows it very well the Borussia Dortmund team that just two years ago came in the final by eliminating Mourinho’s Real thanks to an amazing Lewandowski.
The waiting for the match in Turin was unnerving. Juve lives a particular and very odd relationship with the Champions League. The desire to win, to get out of your garden, that although it may be prettier than the next doesn’t have the same charm, proving to be a Top team outside Italy is combined in a mix that can be lethal. The wait becomes anxiety, adrenaline in panic. When players come into the field they bring in all this. Allegri continues to ask for tranquility, but fear runs out only when you realize that you don’t have to have it. A bit like when you’re terrified of swimming and don’t push beyond the area where you touch the ground. Then comes the father, or friend, convinces you to try it, that if you shake you will drown , which is then better not lose peace and move just a little the arms and legs, and by magic you remain afloat. However, the public, is an environment that does not have your same desire to swim, they shake you. The BVB does not have these fears. In the Champions League are more experienced of the bianconeri, knows how to win, they know their value. Have the peace of mind that in Germany are recovering only now. About Klopp’s team you know everything, but the surprises never fail. And arrive at the reading of formation: immobile is playing. If not now, when? If you do not play in the match that feels its yours you won’t put him more in. Use his extra motivation and hope they can make a difference. And then there’s Mxit’ aryan, preferred to the more vertical Kagawa. Allegri, instead, gives certainty: no experiment, type formation. With Morata-which has now conquered the holder Jersey-, with Tevez in attack. The teams enter in the field , the anthem echoes at the stadium, now you’re ready. The game begins.
Not even after a minute of the game comes the first shot of Immobile. It is the action that you expect from the BVB. Everything stems from a forcing of Pirlo, the ball recovered high by Mxit ‘ aryan, quick combination of more players in to free the striker from outside the box. The signal sent to Juventus is immediately clear: we are ready.
The tactical setup of the race by Klopp is clear and does not deviate from his philosophy. Pressing up, attempting to retrieve the ball immediately by attacking the Juventus defenders more insecure technically: Lichtsteiner and Chiellini. If central defenders are left free to set up, the attention of the BVB is all on midfielders to prevent Juventus to easily pass out the ball.
Allegri involves a lot the midfielders, called to offer a substantial contribution in construction phase. The output grows more centrally and then open the field once broken the first line of pressure. They play a few taps, speeds up the action, aware that leading the ball does fall into the trap of Dortmund.
At the end of the early skirmishes, Klopp’s team takes possession of the ball. Leave the ball control is what the Bvb team doesn’t want . Not because it is not able to develop worthy offensive maneuvers -although it is much more dangerous when facing non-deployed defenses- but for the fact that the control itself is not acceptable.
Juventus monitors instead the spaces: closes up, calls on Dortmund to get out of their defense for hitting them behind. Fails in these minutes to retrieve the ball high. The BVB maneuver involves the two central couples: defenders and midfielders. The fullbacks are raised, one median widens on the wing and the other remains central. Juve presses with three offensive players (the playmaker and the two strikers) and is therefore in inferiority.
The amplitude is guaranteed by full-backs. Above if Morata exits on the ball carrier leaves free Sahin. Under the floating position of Vidal: online or offline?
Klopp attacks the space behind Pirlo, search for Reus cutting between the lines to be dangerous, but the Bianconeri’s defense is careful.
From a long pass of Bonucci was born the first goal. And is the result of technical and tactical ability of two players: Morata and Tevez. The Spanish first tames the ball with a light touch to pass it to the Argentinian, one-two in speed, Sprint of Spanish that has the great ability to slow down, pointing Papastathopoulos, take the ball on the left, shooting low, low shot repelled by Weidenfeller pounced on Tevez. Defensive boundaries of the BVB are obvious: in a situation of three against two, the Juventus players are lost. Particularly lazy Hummels, poorly positioned for the occasion.
We are on the 13th minute and Juventus is already ahead. The tension dissolved, fear a little shake, but the game is very long and the formation of Klopp is aware that it happened virtually nothing.
A fortiori if Fortune watches on your side. The slip of Chiellini is the essence of a episodic, but Reus is incredibly responsive in seize the opportunity, take advantage of the bandwagon fallacy and realize the goals of the draw. The Juventus defender has not been attacked at random: Klopp gave the attackers to put pressure to the less technically-skilled two defenders. Being pressed every time takes away confidence: it is not easy to play knowing that you can’t go make a mistake, but Chiellini was good at recovering, helped at the time of difficulty by a uproarious Bonucci.
Juventusis now increasingly convinced that some curse is enjoying itself to put unexpected obstacles on the Champions League road. The negative karma, the anxiety that comes back, the fear of not making it, are all back. For abundant twenty minutes the guests control the game. And it seems to play on neutral ground: the public wants a team that restarts immediately in search of the second goal, panic spreads, the grunts for a tactical game becomes collective. At this time Juve shows mental and defensive strength. If the percentage of passes completed breaks down (stood at an average of 73%) demonstrating a lucidity that decreases-, however, does not yield the dam and the BVB has a single shot. They have possession, but are not dangerous, despite the inertia. Lacks the ability to cause the final blow. It is the limit of Klopp’s team, a formation that has in its DNA the transition but not the maneuvered attack,the counter-attack not the game in possesion.
Juventus pressure fails to weaken the possesion of Dortmund. Players should move in relation to the position of the ball and of the teammate, but they are attracted by the opponent.a pressing like that, in addition to running more, is often ineffective and allows the formation of gaps between departments and within the same line.
At 37′ goes out through injury Andrea Pirlo and in comes Pereyra. Marchisio is the defensive play-maker, Vidal the inside midfielder, the attacking playmaker Il Tucumano. Juve gains in coverage and depth, attack loses the best setter.
When the thought seems to be “we bring home the one-one for the first half” of both teams, comes as a Flash the decisive goal of Morata. The launch of Bonucci for Tevez to skip the pressing of Dortmund. The Argentine is controlling the ball, is completely and shamefully allowed to turn by Papastathopoulos, resists the attack of Gundogan and passes for Pogba. French without thinking twice immediately delivers a low cross up to the penalty spot where the striker is incredibly alone. For the former Madrid is easy to finish it and bring the team ahead.
The recovery pops up immediately with a change. Out Papastathopoulos, in Kirch. The tactical setup does not change . And how could it? Juventus a fortiori continues to leave Borussia the task of controlling the ball. Wants the spaces, must try to recover better and higher the ball. Klopp’s team can only increase the pace, exert pressure based on man against man. It does only in the first few minutes, then over time the attitude is more wary, less extreme pressure.
The Juventus defensive transition is effective, however, the re-activity and dynamism offered by four midfielders to shorten the field immediately denying the Dortmund the chance to hit.
Less good, the black-and-whites, in the offensive. Juve holds a series of open opportunities that remain unfinished. Wrong readings, movements without changes of direction, cuts to take advantage of the clear difficulties of the BVB defenders.
To Klopp’s team are missing markings and preventive coverage, attackers are free to point the opponent’s goal, the outputs are often abrupt and powerful. Players will leave point not paying proper attention to the defense. To their fortune, Juventus wasted them and two conclusions end slightly to the side.
The Bianconeri’s defence is excellent. Bonucci led the Department with safety, the diagonals of the fullbacks close and timely : the Department was aggressive, each player had the right coverages. Were often stressed and have responded. In Output phase to set the maneuver the two fullbacks weren’t involved, careful not to raise at the same time.
The game ends with the scoring chance of Pereyra. The Argentine has created numerous break taking advantage of his main weapon: dribbling (has done 3 ). A solution to be found more in the second leg: point the opponent into open field, trying to overcome it and attack the goal.
Juventus wanted answers from the match against Borussia. Comes out of the first leg with some certainty in addition. Can pass the round: it is one thing to know that potentially you can embarrass your opponent, another is prove it on the field. Are certainties that come in the heart and minds of the players. The slide of Chiellini has silenced the Stadium breaking the magical atmosphere created after the goal of Tevez. At that time, Juventus has lived the moment of greatest difficulty undergoing the hit, unsteadily but without collapsing. Granted, little knew how to hit with Morata. There were two other bugbears: the racing and gegen-pressing. Juventus grounded kilometers, running more than Dortmund. Ran to fill the spaces, because the BVB had control of the ball, raced to attack the depth, but ran as a demonstration of a fact: there is an Athletic Fund, serves greater brilliance. The pressing of Dortmund is an exam with a discreet vote. Juventus still wasting too many balls because of trivial errors, failed simple passes . Overconfidence, too much fear, great haste are the causes of these effects. The lucidity and the tranquility in the management of the ball will be essential in the second leg, when the pace will be even higher. Tip: leave the exits in grand style in the attic, abandon the squiggles in Turin, look for a defensive ball circulation less horizontal .
How to hurt Borussia. Vertical pass of Defender to Striker, deflect on the midfielder, the central Midfielder attacking the depth. The rearguard of Klopp is crumbling, broken.
Allegri will reflect on certain aspects: it makes sense to have Pirlo in offshore? Should not be protected by the playmaker to his side? Why cover the breadth of the field by the two interior of midfield? Pogba and Marchisio are called to a physically demanding job losing lucidity and energy, with the ball between their feet. Is it not better to align with a midfield of 4 in line?
What we shouldn’t do. Exit on the opponent, abandoning the position. Marchisio is attracted by the ball carrier. The midfield diagonal should be then overturned: two central midfielders to protect the Defense without creating that highlighted hole.
And then the counterattacks. Some are general characteristics of players unwilling to read situations, but often Juventus players end up to cover the same area of the field helping the opposing defense. Too many situations of superiority or numerical parity that are wasted.
Allegri won the first confruntation with Klopp. Has set the game the way we wanted to play, if he had been a little luckier would go in Germany with a better scoreline. The glide of Chiellini can be lethal. These are challenges that are decided by episodes. If it was a series finale Juventus would be the big favorite for the win, but it isn’t. We will go in Germany with more certainty and awareness definitely understand that the game of Champions is relative distant from Serie a. In Europe you do not handle the game, the transitions are everything, the attack is decisive, duels in open field the essence. And having this Morata allows some more smiles.
adapted an article of Davide Terruzzi from juventibus.com