Juventus 2-0 Livorno: 6 Things We Learned

Jack Alexandros Rathborn@@jackrathbornContributor IIIApril 9, 2014

Juventus 2-0 Livorno: 6 Things We Learned

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    Juventus picked up a crucial victory at home to Livorno to extend their lead over Roma to eight points with only six games remaining.

    The Bianconeri kept alive their hopes of shattering the points record in the league, which stands at 97 points by Inter Milan.

    Five wins from the remaining games will be enough, so the match against Roma may not be so pivotal to the Old Lady, unless they are determined to reach 100 points.

    In that event, a draw at the Stadio Olimpico would therefore be enough, so despite the fact that the Scudetto is almost secured, the extra motivation to reach those points targets mean that Juve will not focus purely on the Europa League now.

    Here are six things we learned from the victory on Monday.

Llorente Deserves to Partner Tevez for the Big Games

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    Fernando Llorente has gone off the boil in recent weeks, but he returned against Livorno with two well-taken goals.

    The Lion King, as he is affectionately known by the Juventini, is selfless with his build-up play, often weaving the midfield and attack together.

    Dani Osvaldo's arrival seemed to tread on the former Athletic Bilbao striker's toes, while Mirko Vucinic and Sebastian Giovinco still have a role to play, with Antonio Conte holding some affection for the pair.

    The competition is fierce, but Llorente has enjoyed a great season, with 13 league goals, sitting seventh in the goalscoring charts for the Capocannoniere title.

    Considering Tevez has 18 goals, that is a fine achievement, and their partnership is blossoming all the time.

    Giovinco and Vucinic may see their futures lie elsewhere from this summer, and Osvaldo needs to step it up a lot to factor into this discussion, so Llorente should be the option for the remainder of the season if Conte wants to start with two up front.

Bonucci Is in Imperious Form, Enters Conversation of Best in Europe

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    It has often been difficult to split Juve's three starting centre-backs, with Giorgio Chiellini and Andrea Barzagli both superb defenders in their own right.

    But Leonardo Bonucci has started to pull clear in the race to be recognised as the side's defensive stalwart.

    Bonucci is excellent in possession and his distribution is a joy to witness, striking comparisons perhaps with Thiago Silva in that regard.

    His recovery speed and anticipation make him the complete package and the main reason as to why the Bianconeri have kept five clean sheets in the last seven matches.

    Cesare Prandelli will also be encouraged, given Bonucci is so adaptable to a back-three or a back-four.

Livorno Were Right to Rest Paulinho

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    Livorno had a tough decision to make before the Juventus game.

    Their star striker Paulinho was on the verge of a suspension, with one more yellow card enough to trigger a one-game ban.

    The Brazilian was not risked against Juventus given that the game he would potentially miss would be Chievo at home.

    That is a crucial match that will have a huge bearing on who will be relegated and even though it is disappointing that Livorno felt it was very unlikely they could get something from the Juventus Stadium, it was ultimately the right decision.

    A fresh Paulinho could make the difference versus the Flying Donkeys and three points there will be priceless.

Emeghara's Pace in Behind Will Be Key in the Run-in

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    Innocent Emeghara could prove to be a real weapon for Livorno in the run-in.

    The Swiss player showed his worth against Inter, with his pace proving to be devastating when fed in behind.

    There were signs that he could have some success against Juve, too, but ultimately there were too many obstacles to overcome against the Old Lady's fierce back line.

    With Paulinho also on the pitch at the same time, the dual-threat could prove to be highly successful for Livorno.

    If Domenico Di Carlo is brave enough to go for wins and not just draws, Emeghara can have a role to play.

    Not to mention Ishak Belfodil off the bench, too, Livorno have some decent attacking options.

Emerson's Injury Will Hurt Livorno

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    Emerson's absence was a costly one for Livorno.

    The Brazilian centre-back's ankle injury will potentially have a critical effect on Livorno's fight against relegation.

    His replacement, Andrea Coda, was somewhat shaky, and he is clearly a significant downgrade on Emerson.

    His presence at the back was sorely missed at set-pieces, as Livorno struggled to cope with Juve's movement, often losing their markers.

    Di Carlo will be praying that Emerson is back sooner, rather than later, in order to provide some fight at the back that will enable their lively attack to have a platform to go and win games from.

Conte Will Now Have to Decide Whether to Prioritise Udinese

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    Antonio Conte will be pleased to secure a comfortable win over Livorno, even if it gives him the tough decision as to whether Juve should focus on Monday's clash with Udinese, as opposed to the Europa League clash on Thursday with Lyon.

    With a 1-0 lead, Juve should be fine, especially with the second leg at home.

    Udinese away may pose a tougher challenge, especially as Conte craves the win in Friuli to take a step closer to securing the title, as well as reaching points milestones.

    The likes of Mauricio Isla, Dani Osvaldo, Sebastian Giovinco, Mirko Vucinic and Angelo Ogbonna will come back into reckoning, as well as the returning Arturo Vidal, who has served his suspensions.

    The team selection on Thursday will now be eagerly anticipated, and it will tell us whether Conte is concerned by fatigue as we approach the end of the campaign.