Juventus unstoppable as they pick up Derby d'Italia win

Posted by Mina Rzouki

When it comes to the Derby d'Italia, tension envelopes the surrounding environment highlighting the tense relationship between the two rivals. Two sides with two sets of passionate fans vociferously hating one another, a victory is of the utmost importance in this match of all matches. For Juventus, a win was all they could envisage and victory was exactly what they managed when they defeated their foes 3-1 to demonstrate domestic invincibility.

- Gladwell: Derby romp underlines gulf
- Report: Juventus 3-1 Inter Milan

Fluid, composed and rehearsed, the Old Lady quickly demonstrated why she's the best there is in Italy. With the wing-backs pushing forward to offer alternatives and Andrea Pirlo boasting impeccable vision, the home side needed only 15 minutes before a perfect Stephan Lichtsteiner header opened the scoring.

Always looking for that perfect penetrative pass and using their strength to hold up the ball to bring in the others, Juventus displayed teamwork and efficiency, making their time on the ball count. Inter, meanwhile, despite possessing the ball quite often, struggled to create opportunities.

The problem with Walter Mazzarri's sides is that they often prioritise defence over attack. Sacrificing devastating attacking play to focus on defence isn't a problem per se, but it becomes one when the side in question is susceptible to shoddy defending. The only way one can forgive a cautious approach is if the side can keep the clean sheet, can hold off the opponent or can demonstrate strength and understanding at the back -- Inter failed on all occasions.

Sides should concentrate on their defence, but balance is the key and asking attacking players to sacrifice their talent going forward to focus on their weaknesses creates problems. Mateo Kovacic, for one, is not made to play so deep and it was obvious on Juve's first goal that he’s not the best when it comes to defending. What he does provide is ingenuity and intelligence going forward -- two qualities Inter lacked for much of the night. Rather than playing him further up the pitch and allowing him the freedom to express himself, Mazzarri opted to highlight the player's weaknesses instead.

Inter lacked the necessary ideas to go forward. In the first half especially, when the Nerazzurri were in possession and pushing forward, Juventus closed down the spaces well leaving them often opting to pass laterally or backwards. That vertical pass required was never quite found.

Meanwhile, Rodrigo Palacio might as well have given the audience a perfect rendition of "all by myself". With his attacking teammates asked to play deep, there was little help afforded to the player when his side pushed forward, forcing him to do it all alone. Defensive errors seemed to be the only way for Inter to find a way through.

In the second half it looked like the away team attempted to remedy the situation by playing their attackers further forward but before they could even settle in, Juventus doubled their lead via a corner. Paul Pogba's ability to use his strength and hold up the ball allowed Giorgio Chiellini to strike and manage Juve's second with his right foot.

With Arturo Vidal managing the third, the Bianconeri demonstrated one key thing -- their desire to be the one who scored. Whether it be Chiellini's initial attempts and then his goal or Vidal striking from the knock down, there was real determination shown by the home side.

However, Inter managed a consolation goal and that goal in some way changed the dynamic of the game. For one thing, they felt more confident when attacking, throwing more men forward while Juventus lost Andrea Barzagli, and with him the composure the centre-back offers the side.

Juventus started to feel anxious and did not seem assured at the back. Allowing the Nerazzurri opportunities from set pieces, there were several occasions when the Bianconeri seemed to nod off for a few moments, losing concentration.

However, making the necessary changes, Mirko Vucinic came on and nearly made it four to show that regardless of what happened in the transfer market, he is always ready when called upon. Again, Inter were lucky defensively but it goes without saying, Juventus are simply on another level.

Scoring 25 goals in their last eight games, this is Juve's Scudetto to lose. Inter not only need to invest but more importantly, play a game that highlights the strengths rather than the weaknesses of their side.


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