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Juventus FC
Posted by Sumeet Paul on 02/16/2012

There is an old adage that stipulates a title winning campaign is largely based upon finding a way of winning games without necessarily playing great football. Back-to-back goalless draws have seen Juventus fall a point behind title rivals Milan, with a game in hand away at Bologna yet to be played. Despite dominating for large periods at the Tardini on Wednesday night, the Bianconeri were unable to convert chances into goals, thus giving Coach Antonio Conte the foundations on which to deliver a furious post-match rant. Is the pressure building?

The heated tirade was based on the notion that the Old Lady’s luck has deserted her. While dismissing a penalty shout for Sebastian Giovinco as nonsensical, Conte revealed a deep rage over the performance of referees involved in games concerning his side thus far.

“I think at this stage referees are afraid of giving a penalty to Juventus. We’ve only received one spot-kick this season. This situation is really getting on my nerves and I cannot accept that Juventus are unfairly treated. At the moment they won’t give us a penalty even if we get killed.”

While his synopsis may be borderline irrational in terms of not earning a penalty even if we ‘get killed’, it is a view shared by Beppe Marotta who had previously questioned the standard of refereeing and demanded fairness. Similarly, this opinion was echoed by players both past and present. Pavel Nedved called for referees to 'have more courage', while Andrea Pirlo, who was at the centre of a penalty shout, claims 'we're not playing the victims and we don't want presents from anyone, but equality is what we're after'. While it is both acceptable to suggest and debatable as to whether the Bianconeri have wrongly been denied numerous penalty claims, Emanuele Giaccherini appeared to have a legitimate claim last night, it provides a distraction from a deeper lying problem, goals.

Matri & Co unable to break Parma defence ©Getty Images

Of the top eight sides in Serie A, along with Palermo, Juve have scored the least goals so far this season, 33 in 22 games compared to Milan’s 45. While they may well boast the tightest defence in the league, it fails to address the issue of a lack of clinical edge. From Giorgio Chiellini’s effort against the post, to Andrea Pirlo’s free-kick which whistled past Nicola Pavarini’s woodwork, until there is a distinct improvement in front of goal, these draws will not be turned into victories (a penalty or two would help). Juve have scored more than two goals in a game on just three occasions this season, which ultimately paves the way for heart-wrenching moments in avoiding conceding late goals to scupper victory, to gasps of desperation when in search of a game-winning goal.

With the pessimistic outlook succinctly covered, numerous positives remain. The Bianconeri are still unbeaten, 12 wins and 10 draws attesting to that. Should they win their game in hand, they have an opportunity to open up a two point gap at the top with the upcoming trip to San Siro on February 25. While a grievance can have the undesired effect of frustration, it’s perhaps important to remain calm as we enter a crucial part of the season. While the Rossoneri appear to be regaining form with a win away at Udinese and their mid-week thrashing of Arsenal, it is more important than ever for Conte and Co. to concentrate on the task in hand, and hope lady luck returns before the end of the season.

Angry with some of the refereeing decisions in recent weeks and feel Juve are being hard done by?! Or is it all just a distraction from the real issue, the lack of goals?

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Posted by Abdul Azim on 02/16/2012

.... I agree that we (Juve) are being denied penalties and we haven't got a true clinical striker in front of goal like the mercenaries we've had in the past!! Forza Juve!

Posted by Baneling on 02/16/2012

Very painful to see juve being denied to top the table.No matter what we will still win the scudetto

Posted by Toto on 02/16/2012

I believe we need to start to switch it up in front of goal. Juve is underutalizing Krasic, Elia and Boriello. Get them into games even if it is not in their natural positions, and get them decent chances. Vucinic is not consistent enough and Matri is not a clinical finisher.

Posted by Daniel Duncan on 02/16/2012

I've been saying it all season long,the strikers are not good or potent enough, i fell more confident if the play Del Pero than the likes of some we have at present(Matri,Vucinic,Quag) are all ordinary players nothing extraordinary about them. Then the brought in Borrellio which is more of the same. The defense is not the problem, maybe the midfield lacks some creativity but they have been doing there job so far but the strikers haven't being successful in front of goal. We need 2 young(-25) potent, killer, goal scoring strikers with a record running for like 2 season of 20+ goal now cuz the luck that Matri(9),Vucinic(3)and midfielders(15+), defence(5+) has had is slowly ruining out. In the transfer window just concluded we needed another young creative midfielder,a superb striker,an outstanding defender we got one in Caceres and 2 ordinary players in Padoin&Borrellio which we did not need cuz it has Morrone,Pazenea,Elia, and Krasic. I luv Juve but u hurt meh man, do the rite thing.

Posted by CoachIvan on 02/16/2012

If you truly follow Italian football, you would know that teams are tactically gifted in not allowing many goals. They were very unlucky to not win the game, it's not really a lack of scoring especially when you have a roster of players still learning to play with eachother but Conte has Juve playing extremely well! Just look at the transformation of Chiellini's solid distribution from last year.

Posted by Tim on 02/16/2012

I play every game online for fifa 12 with Juve and I play with Krasic and Elia up top in a 4-4-2. This works better than using Quags and Matri. So how does this relate to the real world: Matri and Quags are slow and ineffective, Krasic and Elia have pace and provide a contrasting style, which is effective.

Posted by Anonymous on 02/17/2012

It is very hard to break down the provinciale in serie a who are usually well drilled tactically and every game against Juve is the cup final. Even Milan struggles and penalty or two would help if deserved. Milan only beat Siena 1-0 thanks to a penalty from a huge dive from Boateng but we never get the calls.

Also the media is completely against us, when Krasic dived last year against Bologna he was crucified in the media and has not been the same since... where is the equal treatment of Ibra or Boateng when they do the same?

Posted by Juventini on 02/19/2012

I love italian football and agree with you CoachIvan. But for juve is different. Why? Coz they don't have a great quality striker. Quaq, Matri, Borrielo, and Vucinic are odinary. And none of them is a deadly striker like trezeguet. Only Delpiero the best striker we had. And ironically, Ale is rarely used this season. I hope to see a lot of goal from Ale.
Forza Juventus.. !!

Posted by Chris on 02/19/2012

I agree, they should give Krasic and Elia a couple of starts together. They need to add some width to their play, they are too reliant on Pirlo to start the offense from the deep midfield. We are stuck with the forwards we have for the rest of this season. Hopefully we can win the league, or least get into the Champions League. Then we can strengthen the attack with strikers who want to play in the CL.
Forza Juve.

Posted by Juvintino on 02/25/2012

I like both teams, But Milan might win this one, remember without Calciopoli they are the best in Lega...

Posted by Arceli on 06/17/2012

Arsenal do not need to sell walcot, they need to sell Chamark and bring in aotnher striker like Podolski or someone better than him so they will have options and dept to finish well this season and build for better squad for upcoming seasons. Not collecting millions and refusing to buy quality to make fans happy.

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David Young After watching his first Serie A game as a youngster, Sumeet Paul has been an avid fan of Italian football ever since. Offering in-depth and opinionated views, coupled with a humourous element, he has a strong desire to become involved in sports writing. Pairing up his life's two greatest loves; football and talking, he would appreciate any feedback and general football conversation, you can email him at or you can follow him on twitter @italiafooty

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