They say the most dangerous lead to have when you're ahead is when you're up by two.
For Juventus on Saturday night, that was exactly the case. The final scoreline against Atalanta might have been 5-2, but it was a seven-goal match that should have been put away a lot sooner than it actually was.
Three times Juve led by two goals, and on two of those occasions, Atalanta fought back and cut the lead in half. For those who questioned that quality of the Juve defense, they won't go away any time soon.
Despite all of that, the Juve offense was back to firing on all cylinders again after a so-so showing in the Champions League against Maccabi Haifa midweek.
They got going right off the bat. Mauro Camoranesi came close to opening the scoring for the visitors, but Atalanta keeper Andrea Consigli parried it at the backpost. For Camoranesi, it was a sign of things to come in front of goal in the first half.
Atalanta came right back, however, with Simone Tiribocchi almost slipping one in at the near post from just six yards out past the onrushing Gianluigi Buffon.
Juve thought they had taken the lead through a David Trezeguet header with 28 minutes gone by. However, one constant theme would be Bianconeri goals disallowed because of players being offsides, and Trezeguet got the party started after being caught barely ahead of the Atalanta defense.
However, just eight minutes later, the Old Lady bagged one that counted, and it was Camoranesi putting his head on the end of a pinpoint Fabio Grosso cross from the right side of the box.
Juve would double their lead less than 60 seconds later thanks to the Camoranesi and Grosso combination once again. Leandro Talamonti's clearance went right to Camoranesi at the top of the box after Grosso had crossed it. Camoranesi had time to control and then put away a class goal at the backpost leaving Consigli completely fooled.
Atalanta had a chance to cut the lead in half in first half stoppage time but Buffon kept the home side scoreless after beating away a ferocious Tibiero Guarente volley.
If you thought the first half was full of goals, then second 45 minutes were even better.
Just five minutes after the second half got under way Atalanta did indeed cut the lead in half. Instead of Guarante finishing it, he was on the back end of it, sending a incredible ball to Jaime Valdes, who fought off defender Martin Caceres and then slipped a shot through Buffon's legs.
Juve thought they had gone back up by two not once, but twice. In the span of two minutes, both Felipe Melo and Christian Poulsen were called offsides after their headers found the back of the net.
Told you it was a regular occurrence.
But Juve did finally get their two-goal lead back five minutes afer Atalanta had cut it in half. After Talamonti's failed clearance found Melo on top of the box, the Brazilian midfielder thumped a right-footed shot into the top corner of the goal.
Former Juve captain and current Atalanta coach Antonio Conte kept pushing his players forward. His team again cut the Juve lead in half 15 minutes after the Bianconeri went up by two.
Tiribocchi flicked on a cross and found Fabio Ceravolo streaking down the right flank. Ceravolo then cut back seeing Grosso fly right past him and sent a left-footed shot in past Buffon at the back post.
It had all the makings of Juve again throwing away a game like they did against Napoli last weekend.
However, Diego eased the pain in the final five minutes when he put Juve up by two for the third time. Instead of scoring, Camoranesi was on the back end of this one, sending in a cross that was deflected and then found Diego, who controlled it brilliantly and then slipped it past Consigli.
Juve's final goal on the night was a historic one. Giorgio Chiellini pushed forward and sent in a cross that bounced off Paolo De Ceglie and found Trezeguet—who had been basically silent the entire match. The French hitman then thumped the ball past Consigli and at the same time became Juventus' all-time leading foreign scorer along with Argentine Omar Sivori.
It wasn't the last chance of the night as youth product Ciro Immobile came on after the Trezeguet goal and had two chances to score in stoppages—one shot and one on a header from a corner.
The final scoreline read 5-2. It was certainly uncomfortable at times for the Juve faithful, but to see the offense clicking once again is a welcome sight.
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