These are some tough times for us Juventus supporters.
Whilst the point of this article is to escape from the never-ending Super League debate and focus on some actual football, what happened on the pitch yesterday against Atalanta was yet another forgettable display.
After a mediocre performance, Ruslan Malinovskiy’s deflected effort was enough to seal a late winner for the home side, as the Bianconeri’s objective in reaching next season’s Champions League in now under a serious threat.
So here are three lessons that we were forced to learn whilst watching Juve’s latest defeat.
Reminder of Ronaldo’s importance
Whether we want to admit it or not, Juventus still need Cristiano Ronaldo on the pitch.
Even when the Portuguese isn’t at his best shape, his presence on the pitch acts as a morale boost for his teammates – especially in the attacking department.
On the contrast, most of the times when CR7 is missing a match, we end up seeing a complacent and unmotivated side, like the one witnessed in Bergamo.
Is Sandro finished?
Between 2015 and 2018, Alex Sandro was among the best left-backs in Europe – although he was mostly overlooked.
But in the recent years, his performances have been slowly but surely deteriorating, as he now looks more like a mere shadow of his former self.
The Brazilian used to be seen constantly running up and down the flank, but these days he remains deep inside his own area for almost the entirety of the match.
Whether it’s a sign of fatigue or perhaps a tactical ploy from his manager, the former Porto man’s best days could be well behind him.
Pirlo must take the blame
…Well, at least for this one.
As our colleague Martin rightfully pointed out in his own post-match opinion article, Andrea Pirlo’s excessive positivity following negative results in only a mask to hide his team’s large problems.
Although he shouldn’t be held accountable for every single defeat, but this one in particular was largely his own fault.
From his inability to motivate the players in Ronaldo’s absence, to his cautious substitutions (like Danilo for Chiesa), Juventus lacked character on Sunday as they only created on or two major chances throughout the match.
Time is running out for the young manager, and he is yet to prove that he is the right man at the right place