May 25, 2024

Max Allegri attempted to alert everyone. He attempted to alert you to the fact that Lecce would face significant challenges at home, regardless of their overall standing in the league standings. The seasoned Juventus boss stated that they demonstrated their abilities in the first half of the 2023–24 campaign and that they would not alter this time around.

And that warning was felt strongly over the first forty-five minutes on Sunday night.

However, as of the start of the 2024 calendar year, Juventus have simply felt inevitable.

That was concurrent with another period of success in Puglia: Dusan Vlahovic’s scorching goal-scoring spree that lasted from the holidays into the new year.

With his second brace in less than a week, Vlahovic lifted Juventus out of its first-half slump and into a second-half display that bore a striking resemblance to their prolific 2024 campaign. Final score: 3-0, with a Bremer-themed cherry on top. With Inter out this weekend and in Saudi Arabia for the Supercoppa, Juventus moved up to the top of the Serie A table with three points. In addition, it continued Juventus’ phenomenally successful start to the year.

primarily because they hadn’t been winning games like this very frequently over the first half of the season. They are currently pressing for a second and third goal in games with the kind of ferocity so many fans have been longing for, having scored 18 goals in their past five games.

In addition to taking the lead, Juventus’ victory moves them up to a stunning 19 games ahead of fifth-place Atalanta, even though the latter still has a game in hand.

Knowing how much of the season is still to be played makes that absurd to consider.

It demonstrates how erratic things have been going from third place to ninth or tenth, as well as the plain truth that Allegri consistently wins the most of the time despite occasionally not looking spectacular.

At this point, Juventus has won five straight games across all competitions and five straight league games. They’ve won a minimum of five games for the second time this season; the first one started a few weeks after they dropped their only game of the year in late September.

But the positive energy wasn’t quite as strong as it had been in the first four games of 2024 following a first half in which Juve truly appeared disoriented and struggled to do much of anything – the two teams combined for just two shots on goal. It appeared as though a narrow triumph was on the horizon or that they would be losing to a team in the lower half of the standings. A 3-0 triumph? Nah, it didn’t seem like that situation was going to happen, not even with as many goals Juventus have been scoring lately.

Still, though…

Once Vlahovic got things going, he opened the score with a volley that was similar to what Angel Di Maria did a season earlier in that it wasn’t hit all that well, but it was tremendously effective. Less than ten minutes later, the lead was increased, but Weston McKennie will undoubtedly argue over who truly deserved the goal. (And I hope he brings it up to Vlahovic!)

Vlahovic scored his fifth and sixth goals in his previous five Serie A games with the pair of strikes in the second half.

In addition to Juve’s offensive awakening, Vlahovic has also awoken, coinciding with those who were beginning to question his continued place in the team’s future.

These appear to be related items. It’s funny the way that turns out.

Beyond the obvious fact that Juventus has held the top spot for longer than a few hours, the most important lesson to learn from this evening is how they won. This was not one of their recent victories where they battled for the first ten or fifteen minutes before blowing the opposition out of the water.

Even though Juventus was clearly inferior for the whole first half, they were able to recover at the interval and resume their form as the 2024 Juventus immediately after the break. And for that reason, they left.

Only Napoli and Torino had triumphed at the Via del Mare this season, so Allegri was aware of the risks associated with playing at Lecce, their home field. His team’s response only served to further solidify their status as contenders for the Scudetto. After all, as we approach the last weekend of January, they are leading the pack.

INDIVIDUAL IDEAS AND PERCEPTIONS

In Serie A, this was Allegri’s 300th victory. The score was 3-0 in the end. A defender’s winner in the 88th minute of corto muso would have been the only thing more fitting.

It’s encouraging to see Max incorporate lungo muso into his repertoire of stunts, though.

And that warning was felt strongly over the first forty-five minutes on Sunday night.

However, as of the start of the 2024 calendar year, Juventus have simply felt inevitable.

That was concurrent with another period of success in Puglia: Dusan Vlahovic’s scorching goal-scoring spree that lasted from the holidays into the new year.

With his second brace in less than a week, Vlahovic lifted Juventus out of its first-half slump and into a second-half display that bore a striking resemblance to their prolific 2024 campaign. With a Bremer-themed cherry on top, the game ended in a 3-0 victory and three points, moving Juventus to the top of the Serie A standings with Inter.

I’m having trouble figuring out what Weston McKennie needs to accomplish this season at this moment. Not only did Vlahovic miss a header to the back post on this particular night, but he also had a header cleared off the line in the first half. It’s surprising that McKennie has scored a goal with all of the opportunities he’s had, given the season has been so much about the club as a whole contributing to the goal total rather than just one guy netting 40% of the team’s total. It will happen eventually, but Wes is the one who most certainly deserves to win.

Give credit where credit is due: on Vlahovic’s second goal, Filip Kostic’s pass to McKennie was a perfect right wing play. How do we encourage him to give us more of that?

And speaking about excellent help: Samuel Iling-Junior’s free kick that led to Bremer’s goal was also quite good. The same is true of Andrea Cambiaso, who played Juventus’ opening goal by putting the ball across the goal line.

In essence, I’m attempting to convey that Juventus’s crossing of the predetermined goals on this particular day were all really excellent.

Another incredibly good thing was the counterattack that followed Juventus’s opening goal. It took a lot of skill for Kenan Yildiz to break that quickly, create the first shot with the ball, and for Cambiaso to immediately get the rebound. Everything was really excellent, and the Lecce defense was greatly strained.

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