“Mission Champions League” is almost completed for Juventus. The Bianconeri, victorious 3-0 in the catch-up match vs. Parma today, have now a lead of 12 points over 5th-ranked Milan & Sampdoria and with 5 matches to go in the Serie A, the deal is pretty much sealed for La Vecchia Signora.
Now, whether the game opener occurred after a doubly irregular play (Camoranesi foul on Zenoni, Trezeguet in offside position) is not too important (although Parma probably won’t see it that way): Juventus will take the 3 points and start planning for next season’s future. One that likely includes the UEFA Champions League and (also likely) Amauri Carvalho de Oliveira…
Today’s match was a Juve affair right from the first minute: Claudio Ranieri‘s boys had more energy, more ideas, more determination, whereas Parma constantly seemed to be out of breath and really struggled to get anything going. Hector Cuper had fielded a 4-4-1-1 formation with Bernardo Corradi as the lone striker supported by Reginaldo. Juventus on the other hand stuck to their classic 4-4-2, keeping Iaquinta, Legrottaglie & Sissoko at home and Nedved & Tiago on the bench, but fielding Mauro Camoranesi in central midfield to inspire the productive Del Piero-Trezeguet duo. As a result, the Bianconeri domination progressively increased as Juventus continued to maintain possession, create overlaps and scoring chances.
The aforementioned 1-0 tally by David Trezeguet came in minute 16, following a corner-kick by Alex Del Piero and from then on, Juve just kept on going. 15 minutes later, it was vice-Nedved man Raffaele Palladino getting back to action (the player’s been kept on the bench lately for Juve’s past few games) and reminding everyone why he’s Bianconeri material: executing a headed anticipation on Damiano Zenoni to control the ball inside the box, ‘Palladinho’ followed with a one-timer howitzer, directly into the far corner of the goal! Top stuff from the U-21 international, and 2-0 Juventus at the break.
In the second period things went from bad to worse for Parma, because Hector Cuper was forced to take off Bernardo Corradi very early in the half due to an injury, and replace him with Andrea Gasbarroni. ‘Quality substitute’ you might say and you’d be right, but the Gialloblu midfielder’s been sorta keeping in the shadows lately, kinda like the rest of his teammates: Reginaldo was nowhere to be seen today, and the only one trying to find some way to keep this game interesting, was Kenyan midfielder McDonald Mariga. Unfortunately for Parma, his appeals for a penalty-kick call after a suspicious contact with Chiellini were denied by referee Luca Banti.
On the other end, Ranieri brought in ‘reinforcements’ by sending Tiago and Pavel Nedved into the mix, and the Czech winger picked up things right where he had left off before his injury: top form displays of technique and class, culminating in minute 72′s narrowly wide sho (after a lightning-fast one-two passing exchange with Trezeguet). Probably the play of the night, even though the goal of the night (and I’m being sarcastic) was yet to come. About 15 minutes from the end, Tiago’s attempted aerial pass towards Trezeguet was intercepted by Stefano Morrone: the Gialloblu midfielder’s header was so good in fact, that the ball took an incredible looping trajectory and ended up lobbing Parma keeper Luca Bucci.
Freak goal for the 3-0 Juventus tally, but the Bianconeri will take it. Champions League qualification will soon be a certainty in Turin…
|GOALSCORERS: 16’ Trezeguet (J), 30’ Palladino (J), 77’ own goal Morrone (J)|
|JUVENTUS (4-4-2): Buffon – Grygera, Stendardo, Chiellini, Molinaro – Salihamidzic, Camoranesi (65’ Tiago), Nocerino, Palladino (80’ Marchionni) – Del Piero (65’ Nedved), Trezeguet. (bench: Belardi, Birindelli, Ariaudo, Essabr). Coach: Ranieri.|
|PARMA (4-4-1-1): Bucci – D.Zenoni, Falcone (75’ M.Rossi), Couto, Castellini – Dessena (87’ Cigarini), Morrone, Mariga, Antonelli – Reginaldo – Corradi (47’ Gasbarroni). (bench: Pavarini, Martinez, Parravicini, Morfeo). Coach: Cuper.|