Milan have Ronaldinho, Inter have Mourinho, Roma have squat (for now at least), and Juve have pre-season form. That and Amauri, the tall & skilled Brazilian (soon-to-be Italian, hopefully) some Juventini did not even want back in May. I hope JuveAlessio is eating his words now, because the ex-Palermo striker has been absolutely on fire in July pre-season matches. In fact, I’ll even dare say he’s the best money Alessio Secco ever spent, since he took over at Juve. That and Momo Sissoko’s (and hopefully soon, Christian Poulsen).
Not only that, but competition for a spot seems to be doing great things for La Vecchia Signora: Vincenzo Iaquinta (another player thought to be on the verge of leaving) also keeps scoring, while his partnership with Amauri grows better by the minute. Del Piero and Trezeguet ought to watch out, but Juventus supporters should refrain from getting too excited however. Remember what everyone was saying about Ibrahimovic-Suazo last year? And we all know what happened to Suazo…
(From Gazzetta): DORTMUND (Germany), 27 July 2008 – It’s a shame this was only a friendly and not the UEFA Champions League, because Juventus showed in Dortmund today they are in great form and playing well. Extremely well. The 3-1 win over their hosts, Borussia Dortmund, was truly convincing: a victory which displayed a good overall performance and above all the strength of the attack. Amauri (who is fitting in well) opened the scoring, while Iaquinta’s double sealed the win after the break, leaving Juve manager Claudio Ranieri with a squad-selection problem for future matches: between Amauri, Del Piero, Iaquinta and Trezeguet, who’s going to be left out?
In front of the 50,000 supporters of Westfalenstadion, Juve were particularly strong in the first half. Though still far from optimal fitness compared to their opponents (and despite the heat), the bianconeri started well and conceded very few chances. Ranieri had selected Buffon in goal, behind Grygera, Mellberg, Chiellini and Molinaro, with Camoranesi, Sissoko, C.Zanetti and Nedved in midfield behind Amauri and Trezeguet up front. As early as the 4th minute Juve were showing the right approach, with a great left-footed shot from Pavel Nedved, turned behind for a corner by Dortmund keeper Roman Weidenfeller. Amauri’s goal came just a minute later: a great creative move from Camoranesi, who passed to the right for Grygera who immediately put in a low cross to the unmarked striker for an easy tap-in. 1-0 Juventus.
Dortmund reacted immediately with a fierce shot by Kuba in minute 9 (well saved by Gigi Buffon), and some defensive uncertainties by Molinaro left the Juve defense a bit open on the left-wing, but overall Momo Sissoko and Cristiano Zanetti were being real rocks in the center of midfield, controlling the play and giving the home side real problems. After 14 minutes Juve nearly doubled their lead thanks to a killer volley by David Trezeguet (provided by a Molinaro cross), but the ball finished just wide. In minute 22, it was Dortmund’s turn to get a chance to equalise but Florian Kringe was guilty of a shocking miss from a great position. From then on the match seemed to reach a stalling period, as Mellberg and Chiellini closed down everything at the back, while counterattacks from Nedved, Amauri and Trezeguet began to fade.
After the break there were changes on both sides, most notably Vincenzo Iaquinta and Alessandro Del Piero on for Amauri and Trezeguet. Dortmund ran into problems straight away: after a precision assist from Nedved, Iaquinta beat the keeper with a great chip, but saw his effort scrambled off the line by defenders. Juve’s second however came 6 minutes after the restart, stemming from yet another Nedved cross for Iaquinta, who scored with a comfortable header from the centre of the area. 2-0 Juventus. The German defence was partly at fault but the Bianconeri’s movements at this point were excellent. Dortmund could respond only with long range shots from Buckley which demanded relatively straightforward saves from Buffon.
By then, Juve were in control, closing down all openings (with good performances from Salihamidzic and Legrottaglie) but never giving up on the attack, seizing every chance as it presented itself. Such as in minute 62, when Del Piero found Iaquinta unmarked in front of the keeper, who however managed the save. Or on minute 75, when Christian Poulsen (yes, you have read that correctly!) executed a perfectly weighted aerial pass for Vincenzo Iaquinta, right in the front of the box. The Calabria-born striker instantly controlled the ball and chipped it over the keeper for a spectacular third goal. 3-0 Juventus. A minute later Dortmund won a penalty after a confused move in the Juventus area (Knezevic foul on Santana), which lead to Kruska’s 3-1. Claudio Ranieri and the Bianconeri fans should however be delighted with the team’s hard work: Juventus is on the right track for their return to the UEFA Champions League.
|GOALSCORERS: 5’ Amauri (J), 51’, 75’ Iaquinta (J), 78’ pen. Kruska (D)|
|DORTMUND (4-4-2) Weidenfeller – Santana, Subotic, Kovac, Dede (46’ Schmelzer) – Kuba (46’ Klimowicz), Kruska, Hajnal (56’ Gordon), Kringe (46’ Buckley) – Federico (66’ Hillenbrand), Petric (46’ Valdez).Coach: Jürgen Klopp.|
|JUVENTUS (4-4-2) Buffon (70’ Chimenti) – Grygera (46’ Knezevic), Mellberg (46’ Legrottaglie), Chiellini (46’ Zebina), Molinaro (62’ F.Rossi) – Camoranesi (46’ Marchionni), Sissoko (70’ Poulsen), C.Zanetti (46’ Ekdal), Nedved (62’ Salihamidzic) – Trezeguet (46’ Del Piero), Amauri (46’ Iaquinta).Coach: Claudio Ranieri.|