A rejuvenated Bernardeschi
Federico Bernardeschi is thriving in Allegri’s current set-up. The 4-4-2 has been ditched in favour of a 4-2-3-1 that facilitates the advancement of full-backs via smart build-up rotations and the presence of multiple creators as reference points between the lines.
The manager alluded to this post-match (via @JuveFC): “In the build-up phase, the three up front have freedom of movement. Maybe Kulusevski is more restricted because Paulo is there. Bernardeschi is growing.”
Damn straight, Max. Growing and some. This is a Bernardeschi renaissance!
The once outcasted Italian is loving life from the left half-space. On Sunday night, his horizontal movement between the lines was too shrewd for Genoa to handle and his positioning was problematic for the visitors all night. Only Paulo Dybala and Dejan Kulusevski, Juve’s other two reference points between the lines, registered more progressive receptions than Bernardeschi (ten).
While his movement was astute to receive possession, the swagger he displayed with the ball was even more eye-catching. We’re seeing a Bernardeschi playing like he’s in Florence again. Ronaldo chops, Cruyff turns, disguised passes; the Italian’s becoming a showman and we love it. He offered so much quality on Sunday night and he eventually earned a deserved assist after Matthijs de Ligt missed a gilt-edged header from a Bernardeschi cross in the first half.
Dybala’s strike, teed up by the Italian, was the former Fiorentina star’s final action of the night as he departed the field to rapturous applause. When has that ever happened before?! To go with his assist, Bernardeschi notched a team-high four key passes and a team-high three completed dribbles.
The 27-year-old has shown signs of life this term. He impressed in the Champions League victories over Chelsea and Zenit, for example. Now, he’s playing a role that’s maximising his talent as it allows him to play with the utmost freedom.