A 4-0 victory for Juventus over Lazio in the 2013 Italian Super Cup final should surprise no one. Although, it was beginning to look like that end result was far from a foregone conclusion leading up the Sunday contest.
The dominant Italian side has had some difficulty returning to top form a summer after their Serie A Championship last season. It took a while, but it appears they are finally back on track and ready to defend the Scudetto for the second year in a row.
A slow start this preseason led to the side turning up some underwhelming performances prior to the win.
Underwhelming is putting it mildly. The Bianconeri were dead last and went winless during the early August International Champions Cup in the United States. That performance included an embarrassing 3-1 loss to the Los Angeles Galaxy.
Manager Antonio Conte urged his club to show more “hunger” following the loss to the American club, per Cronan Yu of Goal.com.
Attitude and commitment, according to Conte, are something his club has lacked all preseason.
"We should not feel good because other people are telling us we are good, but rather to prove it on the field,” the manager said, according to Yu.
Conte then predicted that performance would serve as a wake-up call for his players. It looks like he was right, at least on the surface after his team captured the Super Cup trophy.
Despite the win, complacency reared its ugly head again on Sunday after the side captured an early 1-0 lead over Lazio. It took some time, but eventually the side found the back of the net three more times.
They made it look so easy, too; it’s like they turned on a switch and the goals began to pour in. That’s encouraging for anyone worrying about the side’s commitment to winning.
After two straight Serie A Championships, maintaining that high level of play each and every game is definitely one of the biggest roadblocks to another title.
Luckily for Conte and his crew, these issues have been addressed and seemingly fixed. While more energy and passion may have been nice to see for a full 90 minutes, their performance is reassuring nonetheless.
Preseason fixtures are there for a purpose. Juve have apparently worked through their issues and are quickly getting back in top form as the season start approaches.