Juventus 0-0 Torino: No Real Winner in Turin, Except the Refereeing (For Once) (Serie A Matchday 25)

Juventus vs. Torino (Serie A)

Serie AWell, for once in the past month (and I do choose my words carefully), a matchday in Serie A took place without refereeing incidents. Granted there was only one match programmed for Tuesday, but one of a very delicate nature. Derbies are never easy to officiate (especially when they bear the name ‘Derby della Mole’) and coming from a week-end of Dondarini-filled horrors in Reggina-Juventus, the spotlight on the ‘man in black’ was shining twice as brightly for this one. However, I’m glad to report that referee Nicola Rizzoli performed very decently tonight. As for the game itself, it was a hard-fought battle, higher in physical highlights than technical ones: in the end, seeing Juventus and Torino share the points tonight seems like a fair result.

Serie A Matchday 25 - Juventus 0-0 Torino

Tactically, both managers were dealing with some roster problems before this game. Claudio Ranieri had to deal with David Trezeguet‘s unavailability, coupled with Cristiano Zanetti‘s suspension. As a result, Raffaele Palladino got the head start over Nocerino in midfield, causing Mauro Camoranesi‘s shift towards the middle (partnering Momo Sissoko). Up front, Alessandro Del Piero paired up with the returning Vincenzo Iaquinta. As for Walter Novellino, the Torino coach hesitated until the last minute, on which strikers to use for this important match. In the end, he surprisingly picked Alvaro Recoba to start over both Rosina and Di Michele: the Uruguayan playmaker was indeed starting the match with Roberto Stellone.

Marco Di Loreto attempts to challenge Alessandro Del PieroThe first period was rather enjoyable to watch in terms of intensity, albeit not so much in terms of scoring chances. Recoba and Camoranesi were trying their best to fulfill the playmaking role for their respective teams, alternating bits of brilliance with some dodgy passing. To find the first real shot on net of the game, we had to wait until minute 27: a Camoranesi free-kick from the right wing found the header of Iaquinta, and forced Matteo Sereni to spring to an athletic save over the bar. Before and after the header, Del Piero had a few shooting attempts (wide) from his favorite spot: 4-5 yards outside the box, free-kick position.

Torino was trying hard too, attempting to avoid the uncomfortable role of underdog. Gianluca Comotto was playing marathon-man on the right wing, pushing up to provide offensive help then running back to cover his back-line, and the fact the Bianconeri defense was playing very high up the field, considerably helped Torino’s efforts in trying to find space. Simone Barone challenged by Mohamed SissokoHowever, an impeccable Giorgio Chiellini was always there to neutralize the Granata efforts, and thus inevitably the half ended on a scoreless draw.

In the second period, little changed to the way tonight’s game was developing: Juventus dominating the ball possession, and Torino trying to hit back on counters. The appearance of their nº10 Alessandro Rosina (on for Aimo Diana) gave the Granata a much-needed creative boost, and they immediately obtained a few shooting opportunities (through Recoba, Stellone, and Paolo Zanetti). On the other end, the productivity of Camoranesi as a central midfielder was dropping somewhat (his buddy Sissoko wasn’t helping much either, missing an increasingly frustrating number of passes), so Del Piero stepped up to the plate, delivering accurate crosses and nearly lethal shots from set-pieces (his 68th minute free-kick towards the top-left corner was brilliantly parried away by Sereni).

Speaking of free-kicks, Torino nearly took the lead in minute 74, when a great delivery by Rosina found the Juventus crossbar and was then cleared out of danger (Buffon not even hinting a move). Pavel Nedved sent offAside from that huge highlight however, the Bianconeri were the ones who were trying harder: Palladino found the back of the net in minute 62 but saw the goal called off for offside, while a Camoranesi diving header 6 minutes from the end, tested Sereni’s reflexes yet again (Iaquinta and Chiellini missing the open-net tap-in by a hairbreadth).

In the final minutes, frustration got the upper hand in the Bianconeri ranks: sparks started to fly between Pavel Nedved and Gianluca Comotto, with the latter theatrically falling to the ground after getting his hair pulled by the Czech midfielder. Inevitable red card for the Juventus player, who will now miss (along with Chiellini, receiving a yellow) the important match vs. Fiorentina next week-end. With the loss vs. Reggina, this has been a week Bianconeri fans will want to forget very rapidly. 0-0 the final scoreline.


Juventus F.C.
[Match Highlights]
Torino F.C.
JUVENTUS (4-4-2): Buffon – Zebina, Legrottaglie, Chiellini, Molinaro – Palladino (63’ Nocerino), Camoranesi, Sissoko, Nedved – Iaquinta, Del Piero. (bench: Belardi, Birindelli, Grygera, Stendardo, Salihamidzic, Tiago). Coach: Ranieri.
TORINO (4-4-2): Sereni – Comotto, Natali (27′ Dellafiore), Di Loreto, Pisano – Diana (48’ Rosina), Grella, Barone, Zanetti – Stellone, Recoba (81’ Lanna). (bench: Gomis, Corini, Di Michele, Ventola). Coach: Novellino.



Posted in Juventus, Serie A, Torino |

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  • 5 Responses to “Juventus 0-0 Torino: No Real Winner in Turin, Except the Refereeing (For Once) (Serie A Matchday 25)”

    1. [...] A derby which promised a lot but ended in a disappointing 0-0 draw as Juventus and Torino fought it out. [...]

    2. chris says:

      “Well, for once in the past month (and I do choose my words carefully), a matchday in Serie A took place without refereeing incidents.”

      Well duh, they saved it all for Wednesday. :)

      (And yes, I’m blaming you for this.)

    3. Ah… I presume you’re alluding to the Mexès incident, yes? :P Game report comin’ up…

    4. chris says:

      Actually, I was referring to nearly everything Rosetti did in the second half. He gave Roma possession when it should have been Inter’s, called fouls which weren’t fouls, missed at least 2-3 “second yellows” for Burdisso and gave a free kick to Inter when Zanetti – already on a yellow – elbowed Cassetti in the head and knocked him out of the game and for a few weeks. Needless to say, he had an abysmal game. Sad commentary when he’s one of the better refs the peninsula has to offer.

      (Oh, and Mexes’ second yellow didn’t help matters either.)

    5. Well call me crazy, but I didn’t find the refereeing on Wednesday to be scandalously mediocre… at least not compared to the horrors we have seen so far this season. Perhaps I wasn’t paying too much attention to it, and was more focused on enjoying the game.

      FYI, La Gazzetta pretty much agreed with all yellows handed out by Rosetti. As we all know they’re Milan/Inter-biased, but I don’t recall players protesting the decisions more than the usual… with the exception of the Giallorossi on the Mexès incident. I’ll refer you to my match report for what I think of the whole thing.