Juventus have been preparing for their Europa League qualifier which will be played against Shamrock Rovers with friendlies against Hamburg (0-0) and Lyon (2-1 for Juventus). Juventus will play the Irish club over two legs, and the team with the best results over the two legs will go through. The first leg will be played July 29th in Ireland at the Tallaght Stadium, and the return leg will be played at the Braglia stadium of Modena. But first here’s what happened against Lyon, what went wrong, and what went right.
Juventus played with a 4-4-1-1 starting with Storari in goal, and a backline (right to left) of Motta, Legrottaglie, Chiellini, and De Ceglie. In front of the back line there was Martinez on the right wing, Lanzafame on the left wing, and Sissoko and Marchisio in the middle of the midfield. Delneri decided to start with Del Piero behind Amauri instead of Diego and Trezeguet who replaced the Italian attacking duo at the beginning of the second half.
Lyon went in front in the 22nd minute thanks to Chiellini fouling Ishak in the penalty area, giving the French club a penalty for Storari to face. Ederson had little trouble with the penalty as he scored to put Lyon in front. But Lyon’s fortune took a change for the worse in the 26th minute, Martinez was giving Cissokho trouble down Lyon’s left side, and Cissokho went in hard with the ball far away from the tackle. This resulted in Cissokho’s expulsion with a direct red card, leaving Lyon in 10 men ahead by a goal.
After the goal Juventus attacked more, Lanzafame pushed forward on the left wing, and he was able to filter through a pass for Amauri, and in the penalty box there was contact between the Brazilian/Italian and Lovren, earning Juventus a penalty. Del Piero took the penalty, scoring the equalizer for Juventus in the 38th minute of the first half.
In the second half Juventus was solid, Motta was a wall on the right side as he also provided Martinez with support on the wing. The defense was compact and organized, and the midfield also began to click with Pepe and Diego combining for the winning goal. It was a triangle outside the box closed by Diego’s chip which is finished off by Pepe who scores the final goal of the 2-1 scoreline.
Diego was a dangerous presence for the Lyon defense, and the Brazilian’s creativity and technical skill are beginning to show as he gains more confidence with his team-mates. And as Diego and Trezeguet’s attacking partnership grows, Del Piero and Amauri’s doesn’t shine as brightly. It seems like Delneri has already chosen that it will be Diego and Trezeguet who will start against Shamrock Rovers, but Delneri would like more from the Brazilian. Here’s what the Juventus coach said regarding Diego’s performance,
“He’s doing very well, from him I expect performances like this, even if I would like more consistency. I’d definitely say that I’m very satisfied with everybody.”
Now there are no friendlies left before Juventus plays Shamrock Rovers on the 29th of July, while Juve will be favored, they shouldn’t underestimate the Irish champions. It will be interesting to see whether Juventus will be able to defeat Shamrock Rovers, or whether they’ll have trouble in their first seasonal competition. What do you think? Share your thoughts below by commenting!