With how the first 30 minutes passed between Juventus and Crotone on Monday night, there was plenty of time to talk about things that weren’t happening on the pitch. Some of the things would have made you scratch your head too. There was talk that there are 16 teams in Serie A, which is obviously not true. There was talk of how Crotone, despite being ranked 20th, is still able to stay on top because he’s not far from being out of the relegation playoffs, which, as you probably know, isn’t something that happens in the Series. A.
The game announcers also wanted you to know that Cristiano Ronaldo had only scored one goal in his last five games.
Call that putting it on a tee and then kicking it straight out of Allianz Stadium.
As if he had AirPods in his ears listening to the broadcast, Ronaldo unofficially responded to that earlier little statistic by turning a scoreless game into one Juventus were controlling in a matter of minutes. Ronaldo’s pair of headers in the span of eight minutes was the driving force at Juventus avoiding another disastrous result against the worst team in the league and a victory everyone was hoping to get. Add in Weston McKennie’s second-half goal and Juventus cut the Serie A deficit to single digits with their 3-0 win over Crotone.
Go ahead, breathe out now.
Juventus were able to beat the worst team in the league.
This was not a repeat of what happened in mid-October.
Juventus, after two really bad defeats against Napoli and Porto, are winning again.
And they had their protagonist leading the way. Pretty cool when that happens regardless of the opponent, regardless of the context, and regardless of the circumstances.
Juventus needed this victory in the worst possible way knowing how the last week was. Then you tell him how the Milan derby was a little over 24 hours before and beating Crotone was the only option. (Yes, more than before, if anything.) It wasn’t just about going back to the single digits in terms of how many points they are behind Inter, but it was also possible to jump a couple of teams at the same time. and exactly what happened.
Juve entered the game with six points and was about to leave the top six.
After Monday night’s win, Juve are in third place, and don’t look now, but only four points away from second place, and again in a position where we can start to remind everyone that they still have a game to play. . (Yes, even if it’s against a team that just beat Juventus, whatever).
This could have been a tricky game for the simple fact that it is after a disappointing Champions League result and with many players injured. This team is far from healthy, far from fresh and has basically been trying to break through for the past two months with one game every three or four days. This was a refreshing win for the simple fact that it was quite comfortable after a couple of Ronaldo headers found the back of the net. (And let’s be honest, Juve could have led by more than two goals at halftime based on the opportunities they created.)
And when you have Ronaldo doing Ronaldo things on the air like he did on Monday night, that usually results in good things for the team that signs their paychecks.
RANDOM THOUGHTS AND RANDOM OBSERVATIONS
- Gianluigi Buffon combining two different goalkeeper kits into one was certainly a sight to see even before kick-off came. I can’t say that I would have thought the salmon t-shirt and gray shorts / socks would have made a match, but Buffon is God and he can do whatever he wants.
- Alex Sandro put a ball that was on the back of Ronaldo’s first goal right into the money. He did it essentially while standing. It looked almost like he was about to fall backwards when he made contact. Sure, Sandro might not be the player he was four or five years ago, but he still has the ability to throw an incredible cross, even while standing still.
- Speaking of assists on Ronaldo’s goals in this game, we stand by Aaron Ramsey, who had a relatively solid game and could have easily scored a goal or two, for continuing his career after Ronaldo’s opening shot to be in position to shoot the ball. center. Pretty good from a low angle too.
- Did you get the feeling that the Crotone defense had no idea where Ronaldo was in the area for his second goal? If there’s one guy I ALWAYS keep track of, it’s the guy with the number 7. Bold strategy, Cotton.
- Crotone finished with 15 shots, although the two actually went on target and never bothered Buffon.
- Ronaldo, alone, tried 11 shots and made more shots on target.
- I will never tire of seeing Federico Chiesa’s facial reactions to things that happen, be they good or bad.
- It took Álvaro Morata about two minutes after going offside. Hey, man has a reputation and he sticks to it, so you have to give him support for that. (Also, hair looks nice and gelled again, buddy. Keep up the good work and hope you feel better soon.)
- Weston McKennie, whom Andrea Pirlo said was not getting 100 percent into the game and is basically clenching his teeth to play right now, came out and scored a really good goal to put Crotone away for good and logged 90 minutes despite of lack of health. . Dude must have quite a tolerance for pain, which, knowing the type of play style and attitude on the field that he has, may not come as a big surprise to some.
- WhoScored says that Matthijs de Ligt recorded all of a tackle and that is very hard to believe.
- The 3D defense of de Ligt, Merih Demiral and Danilo seems to have found a good rhythm together. There are still some shaky moments, but we’ve seen in years past where there is a massive drop between first-choice defenders and those who replace them. Not so much this season.
- Nico Fagioli!
- Alessandro Di Pardo!
- Gianluca Frabotta!
- Sure, injuries suck and they never seem to end, but at least this was the kind of game where if Juve had a comfortable lead, Pirlo could go the kids to rest some regulars. And, you know, seeing Pirlo go with the kids in the second half is a nice thing to watch.
- Gianluigi Buffon had more touches than Dejan Kulusevski.
- This is not to say that Kulusevski played badly because he didn’t. He was quite lively in the first half and had been able to stretch those long legs on the counter more than a couple of times. Though perhaps small, this was a step on the right for makeshift striker Dejan Kulusevski.
- I personally enjoyed Juventus without losing points to Crotone again. After all, it wasn’t a bad Monday.