Juventus has run rampant over Serie A for the last three seasons. In seemingly the blink of an eye they have gone from a fallen giant to a team few in Italy can match.
They beat every other team in the league at least once in 2013-14. They won all 19 of their home matches. Starting at the end of October they reeled off a run of 12 consecutive league victories and went 22 games without a loss between their lone league defeats against Fiorentina and Napoli.
Unfortunately, all that domestic form has yet to translate to the European stage. After advancing to the quarterfinals of the UEFA Champions League two years ago—losing to eventual champions Bayern Munich—they shockingly failed to advance past the group stage this year, falling in a do-or-die final game against Galatasaray. They then fell short in their attempt to make amends in the Europa League, failing to score in the second leg of the semifinal against Benfica when a 1-0 victory would have done the job.
Controversy surrounded both eliminations. The Galatasaray game had been suspended due to severe winter weather and was then resumed on field conditions not fit for a schoolyard match. Benfica held them at Juventus Stadium in no small part to their own extraordinarily cynical play which referee Mark Clattenburg seemed disinclined to punish.
But regardless of the controversies, both eliminations were chiefly caused by Juve themselves. Had they won either of their first two Champions League matches—both draws in games that were more than winnable—the Galatasaray game would have been meaningless. Had they kept their focus and not allowed Benfica that crucial second goal in the first leg they would have been in the driver's seat in the Europa semifinal.
Juve has several critical weaknesses that have prevented them from truly challenging Europe's elite teams and making a run at Continental trophies. What are they, and how can they be fixed? That, friends, is what we're here to find out.
Let us take a look at what has prevented Juve from taking the next step in Europe—and what might be done to change things.