It just wouldn’t be a proper Derby d’Italia if calls of match-fixing weren’t rife among one set of supporters.
On this occasion, it was Juventus who felt that the officials were conspiring against them as seemingly every big decision went Inter Milan’s way. Lautaro Martinez somehow escaped a second yellow, Denzel Dumfries earned the softest of penalties, and Alessandro Bastoni surely fouled Denis Zakaria inside the box, right?!
It was a poorly officiated game, no doubt, but the idea of corruption is non-sensical – even in Italy! Let’s not forget how Juve were gifted the chance to earn a point in the reverse fixture earlier this season.
Massimiliano Irrati’s mishaps persistently enraged the usually tranquil Max Allegri, who coached as well as he has all season and should’ve overseen a Juventus victory on Sunday night. But, instead, a slender defeat ensued and for such a results-oriented boss, the promise manifested by Juventus will do little to bring about any solace at this stage of the season.
3 takeaways from Juventus’ 1-0 defeat in the Derby d’Italia
Nevertheless, while the defeat stings and Irrati’s performance gives Juventini a scapegoat, there was plenty to admire from the Bianconeri. Here are three takeaways from the Derby d’Italia.
Juve’s work out of possession
The Allianz Stadium was packed to the rafters for the first time in over two years on Sunday and, boy, did the players respond.
The opening 15-20 minutes was some of the boldest and most exciting football we’ve seen Juventus play all season. Their intensity was off the charts. Inter, who are so proficient in the build-up, were completely flummoxed by a stifling Bianconeri press. Allegri sought to engage the visitors high, often in a man-oriented fashion, and very rarely did they drop into their usual 4-4-2 mid-block.
The manager’s plan was superb and, to my surprise, Paulo Dybala did a sound job in disrupting the flow of Inter’s brilliant metronome Marcelo Brozovic. Juve’s work out of possession forced Inter to get more creative with their build-up structure. For example, Brozovic would often drop into the back four to escape Dybala’s clutches and free up a wing-back.
The visitors simply couldn’t cope as a cacophony of sheer raucousness greeted every successful Bianconeri action. The energy which emanated from the stands manifested onto the pitch as Juve produced their most coherent pressing performance of the campaign.
They were able to sustain pressure for large swathes, limiting Inter to counter-attacks in the second half. And while there were periods when the technically adept visitors settled and knocked the ball around with aplomb, such sequences were mere moments of respite for a beleaguered but resolute Nerazzurri.
Continues onto next slide…