A change in the system appears to be a necessity
Both teams had 11 players on the field, but their approach to conducting the gameplay was completely different on Saturday evening. While Atalanta were full of energy, running, pressing and counter-pressing, Juventus, in comparison to their counterparts, looked lukewarm and confused in possession.
There was no serious pressing from Allegri’s men. Even if there was, it was so vague and individual-based that those efforts never caught our eyes. There was no collective aptitude to penetrate the Atalanta rearguard; it would be fair to say that the Old Lady was looking for a flash of individual brilliance from someone. That individual brilliance never came, with Paulo Dybala coming the closest to scoring an equaliser in the added minutes of the second half.
Atalanta’s custodian, Musso, made only two saves, with the first being from the Dybala’s delicate curler and the second being from a flashy shot from Adrien Rabiot in the second half. If Morata is made a scapegoat for his poor performance, Moise Kean was also there on the pitch for a significant amount of time. He didn’t do anything exquisite, suggesting that there might be a serious problem at Juve that goes beyond the players — right into the systematic level.
It seems as if Allegri has been relying too much on the long balls of Leonardo Bonucci, with the data from FBref showing that the Italian centre-half has attempted almost 18 long balls per match (the most of any Bianconeri players) this season. There were no passing patterns and no fluency. Their performance was hard to watch and describe altogether. We discussed the need for a change in the system a few weeks ago.
Now, it feels as if this is gradually becoming a necessity for Juventus.