In short, Juventus’ performance at the Artemio Franchi was a disaster.
In long, Juventus’ performance at the Artemio Franchi was an absolutely, unequivocal, start to question everything you ever thought was true, disaster.
Yet, somehow, they managed to draw 0-0 with a rather impressive Fiorentina outfit led by Franck Ribery and Dalbert (yes, the crap Dalbert).
Things didn’t get off to the best of starts for Juventus, as birthday boy – and in-form boy at that – Douglas Costa pulled up with a suspected hamstring injury inside the opening ten minutes.
Douglas Costa pulled up, stretching…..mmmm
— Juvefc.com (@juvefcdotcom) September 14, 2019
Is swear to god that Douglas Costa is such an unlucky player. Our only player who breaks down defensive schemes due to his electricity.
— Edivaldo Thiago7¡! (@thiaguinhoron) September 14, 2019
And things so nearly got worse when the usually great (no, seriously Arsenal fans, he’s great – much better than Bernd Leno) W
Szczesny and Juventus defense are drunk, I stan
— Alberto Scevola (@AlbertoScevola) September 14, 2019
The poor clearance from Szczesny was symptomatic of an explicit problem for Juventus in the first half. With the Juve backline struggling to get to grips with Sarri-ball, Fiorentina were able to put pressure on Szczesny and co. and (as you can see from above ^^) force them into errors in and around their own penalty box.
Oh, and completely dominate the first half.
Should be 3-0 Fiorentina and I already can sense Juve will get their standard 1-0 win despite a lack lustre performance.
— adrianO (@adrianoOo19) September 14, 2019
Formation switch to 352 has done well for Montella and Fiorentina. Numbers in the midfield have stymied Juve, provide width and have created some quality chances going forward.
— Matthew Santangelo (@Matt_Santangelo) September 14, 2019
While Fiorentina’s players were busy dominating proceedings, creating chance after chance after chance (they were really great), Juventus’ were busy, well, getting injured.
In the 43rd minute, yet another Juve player – this time Miralem Pjanic – was forced off with an apparent muscle strain.
It’s hard to feel too sorry for La Vecchia Signora though, considering the fact that that they were able to replace Costa and Pjanic with Federico Bernardeschi and Rodrigo Bentancur.
Pjanic injured, subbed off for Bentancur…..Costa and Mire both out within the space of 45 mins….
— Juvefc.com (@juvefcdotcom) September 14, 2019
It was a fitting end to a rather disastrous first half for Maurizio Sarri’s side.
Holy Jesus, Juventus were bloody awful in that first half.
— Jack Gallagher (@calciolovesjack) September 14, 2019
The early stages of the second half proved to be much of the same.
No, there wasn’t another injury in the Juventus. rather, Fiorentina had continued to dominate; mainly through the offensive prowess of Dalbert…of all people.
The amount of room Dalbert has to work on the right because Danilo’s awareness is at about -2
— BWRAO (@JuventusNation) September 14, 2019
A much, much, much more talented, and much, much, much more familiar footballer was also incredibly impressive for Fiorentina.
Rolling back the years Simply Red style and earning ‘icon’ status, Franck Ribery was tireless in pursuit of the opening goal for La Viola, and tireless in his pursuit of old foe Cristiano Ronaldo during a quick Juventus break.
3 injuries, 3 subs, Ribery chasing down Ronaldo. All within an hour.
Juventus in trouble. #FIOJUV
— Adriano Del Monte (@adriandelmonte) September 14, 2019
“In trouble” was the nice way of putting it, Adriano.
For all intents and purposes, Juventus looked absolutely f**ked.
Unfortunately for Fiorentina though, come the 68th minute, Ribery looked f**ked too, as the French veteran hobbled off after over-stretching when flying into a tackle.
Ribery deservedly reserved a heroes reception from the Curva and Twitter.
Ribery was immense today, a superb performance that shows the young #Fiorentina players exactly what it takes to succeed. Superb to see
— Adam Digby (@Adz77) September 14, 2019
After Ribery was subbed off, the home side didn’t carry the same level of offensive potency, but despite this, they did continue to dominate.
A mix their tireless pressing and Juventus’ absolutely hopelessly untechnical midfield, allowed them to wholly control proceedings.
While Juve struggled, their fans sat in their living rooms around the world, slouched in their sofas and crying into Peroni pint glasses thinking:
WHY IS PAULO DYBALA NOT PLAYING?!!!!!!!!!
90 mins, Juve need a goal and Dybala is just sitting there on the bench. They don’t care
— Psalmy (@7salmy) September 14, 2019
Will he feature in Wednesday’s Champions League meeting with Atletico Madrid?
Well, he better.