Juventus beats Shamrock Rovers 1–0 in return leg

by Niccolo Conte on August 6, 2010 · 4 comments

Juventus have passed their first test, they've qualified for the next round of the Europa League defeating Shamrock Rovers 2-0 away from home and 1-0 in the return leg at home. Now Juventus will play a play-off against Austrian side Sturm Graz, and if they win that playoff, then they will play in the Europa League group stages.

The return leg was a nasty affair, heavy rain slowed down the pace of the game and reduced the field to a barely playable condition, but the stats show that Juve was dominant throughout the match. Juventus had 7 shots on goal, while Shamrock Rovers had one, and the bianconeri were able to keep 67% of the possession leaving the Irish team with 33%. But the match wasn't an easy affair, Juve needed Del Piero to break the deadlock in the 74th minute with a magnificent free kick from 35 yards out, which Ale tucked into the top left hand corner, scraping the bottom of the bar.

A moment of genius which Delneri orchestrated by replacing a disappointing Diego for Del Piero at the beginning of the second half. Juventus started with a 4-4-2 or a 4-4-1-1 with Storari in goal and a back-line (from right to left) of Motta, Bonucci, Chiellini, and De Ceglie; a midfield (from right to left) of Pepe, Sissoko, Marchisio and Lanzafame; and in attack Delneri stuck with Diego and Amauri. But this time only half of the attacking duo was effective, Amauri used his physicality to fight for high balls and battle with the Irish defense, but Diego was ineffective, unable to tame the ball with the extremely watered field.

But as for the rest of the team, players sacrificed themselves to play a disciplined 4-4-2, Sissoko and Marchisio didn't play the ball well, but they held the midfield. Motta at right-back was among the best, along with Bonucci and Chiellini in defense and Amauri and Del Piero in attack, who were both constant threats to the Irish defense.

But now Del Piero has made Delneri's job a lot harder, a wonderful goal and a great performance which eclipses the Brazilian Diego. Who will Delneri put in his starting 11 now? It will be interesting to see what will happen in the future, whether Diego remains a starter, or whether Del Piero is just too good to stay out. Be sure to share your thoughts below by commenting!

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4 comments… read them below or add one

1 Rami S. August 6, 2010 at 3:39 pm

Hi Niccolo,

The Del Piero discussion you bring up is very important. I think we all know it will be a sad day for Juve fans when Alex has to retire because he’s shown great commitment, worked very hard and tried his best for the Bianconeri.

One thing comes to my mind is back in the late 1990s when he had that serious injury after he got tackled by an Udinese player. Juve would go on to have one of their worst seasons in 98-99 and finished 6th. What happened last season with Juve again struggling took place with Del Piero missing 15 Serie A games and playing through various injuries as well as having a limited role in some matches.

It’s a fact that sooner than later he will retire due to his age but Juve have to replace such a legend or even come close to finding a player who is half as good. Unfortunately for the tifosi, Juve have yet to replace another legend: Pavel Nedved.

It’s hard to replace great players but Juve succeeded in replacing Zidane with Nedved (though they have different styles) but they have yet to replace Nedved.

I think Del Piero will be playing once a week or perhaps all the matches but as a substitute.


2 Niccolo Conte August 7, 2010 at 8:22 am

Yep, I agree with you Rami, Del Piero is a player that should be playing week in week out. And Juventus are missing “big” names for me, players which are among the world’s best, like Inter Milan has.


3 Rami S. August 7, 2010 at 3:43 pm

Hi Niccolo,

Inter have at least 3 players who can be considered as some of the best on their national team:

Maicon for Brazil
Eto’o for Cameroon
Sneijder for Netherlands

and of course have plenty of big names such as J. Zanetti, Cambiasso, Julio Cesar, D. Milito…


4 Mikkel August 27, 2010 at 3:08 am

Another sad thing is that Diego was sold!


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