Juventus vs Inter: Juve Loss Is Bad for the Bianconeri, Good for Serie a
Juventus went 49 games without a loss, but it had to end sometime.
Tonight's loss will leave a very bitter taste in the mouths of the Bianconeri, not in the least because it came at the hands of Inter Milan, the team's most hated rivals.
I hate being that guy, but I've been saying for weeks that this would happen. Juventus have been allowing teams to fight their way back into games all season, and tonight it came back to haunt them. After a blistering start that saw the team go up within the first 20 seconds of the game (with yet another offside goal), Juventus settled down and started giving the Inter wingers space.
Juventus could have been up by two or three goals within the first 10 minutes, but Samir Handanovic had an answer for consecutive strikes from Claudio Marchisio. He was soundly beaten by Arturo Vidal though, who couldn't miss after a beautiful pass from Kwadwo Asamoah, who timed his run wrong but was allowed to proceed by the assistant referee.
But as been the case so often this season, Inter showed great fighting spirit and clawed its way back into the game.
Credit Andrea Stramaccioni for the character that this Inter team shows week in and week out. It was no different today.
Antonio Cassano was unlucky not to see his curving shot find the back of the net, and Rodrigo Palacio saw his goal flagged down for offside.
The second half saw Inter take control of the game, with Juventus seemingly reluctant to attempt anything to widen the lead. And as so often happens, the attacking team was rewarded for its persistence.
Italian media will debate whether or not Inter was gifted a penalty all week, but given Asamoah's offside position that led to the Bianconeri goal, it doesn't matter. Diego Milito didn't fail from the spot.
Inter now smelled blood, and 15 minutes before the final whistle, Fredy Guarin unleashed a thunderous shot that was parried by Gianluigi Buffon, only to see Milito slot home the rebound.
Juventus pushed for a late equaliser and came close on attempts from Fabio Quagliarella and Andrea Pirlo, but it was Palacio who would put the final score on the board in favour of Inter.
As painful as this loss might be for the Bianconeri, it was needed. Juventus have missed that killer instinct to put away opponents all season, and tonight was another prime example. While the team put in a fine performance in the first half (Arturo Vidal, Andrea Pirlo, Kwadwo Asamoah and Giorgio Chiellini deserve a mention), they failed yet again to keep up their pace for the full 90 minutes.
Maybe a loss to the rivals from Milan will be a wake up call.
The rest of Italy can rejoice. In the past few months, Juventus had started to resemble some sort of evil empire, with coaches and fans turning on the Bianconeri and their success that they sometimes deemed as not earned. Tonight's result showed the weaknesses this team has, and has made the Serie A a little more exciting again.
The streak is over, and Inter is now the hottest team in Italy. For the sake of Italian football, that's a good thing.
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