Juventus vs. Carpi: Winners and Losers from Serie A

Adam Digby@@Adz77Featured ColumnistMay 1, 2016

Juventus vs. Carpi: Winners and Losers from Serie A

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    Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

    With a fifth consecutive Serie A title secured, Juventus welcomed Carpi to Juventus Stadium on Sunday with the visitors in the midst of a tough relegation battle. The home side were merely fulfilling their obligations, as they had no need for the points on offer.

    What followed was a mediocre performance that simply underlined the fact the Bianconeri had already accomplished their aims, although they did enough, emerging as winners once again courtesy of a 2-0 scoreline that added to their opponent’s relegation fears.

    It was a match that, on paper, Juventus had little motivation for, with their next meaningful fixture being the Coppa Italia final later in May. Yet speaking to reporters ahead of the game, coach Massimiliano Allegri made it clear that he expected his players to maintain their focus every time they take to the field.

    “We can’t afford to let our intensity drop at all,” the Juve boss said at his post-match press conference after the recent victory over Fiorentina. “We’ve got a crucial cup final on the horizon and we want to be in the best possible shape for that.”

    Doing so proved to be difficult in the early going, but Allegri’s men soon showed his words were no empty gesture, turning up the pressure on their overmatched opponents and taking yet another victory in what has been a remarkable run of form.

    Having won 25 of their last 26 matches, the Bianconeri are on course to amass more than 90 points this term. What follows is a look at the best and worst performances in this encounter, highlighting those names who decided this fixture.

Winner: Hernanes (Juventus)

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    Alessandro Di Marco/Associated Press

    Having made 19 appearances since his move from Inter Milan last summer, Brazil international Hernanes has been a major disappointment for Juventus. It seemed that would continue against Carpi until some excellent work from Paul Pogba and Kwadwo Asamoah picked out the midfielder at the edge of the box.

    Hernanes made no mistake, rifling a first-time shot beyond goalkeeper Vid Belec for his first goal for the Bianconeri before wheeling away to showcase his traditional somersault celebration.

Loser: Stefano Sabelli (Carpi)

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    Maurizio Lagana/Getty Images

    While the visitors found themselves outmatched all across the pitch, no player arguably suffered more than right wing-back Stefano Sabelli.

    Repeatedly beaten by Alex Sandro on the Juve left flank, the 23-year-old Carpi defender continually gave the ball away in a torrid performance he will quickly hope to forget.

Winner: Massimiliano Allegri (Juventus)

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    Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images

    Having masterminded Juve's impressive run of form to deliver the title, Massimiliano Allegri will have been pleased his players did enough to collect three more points here.

    The coach will have also have been happy to see supporters in the Curva Sud honour him, with a banner displayed by Juventus ultras—seen in this tweet—declaring him a “true leader.”

Loser: Simone Verdi (Carpi)

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    Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

    If Carpi were ever going to gain a foothold in this encounter, they needed attacking midfielder Simone Verdi to create something when they gained possession.

    However, the 23-year-old, on loan from AC Milan, did little to help them do so before being taken off after 84 disappointing minutes.

Winner: Simone Zaza (Juventus)

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    Massimo Pinca/Associated Press

    Despite once again finding himself on the bench, Simone Zaza added to his impressive goals-to-minutes ratio, bagging a late goal shortly after being introduced as a substitute.

    Prior to kick-off, the former Sassuolo striker had scored seven times in just 542 minutes and added Juve’s second despite seeing only 45 minutes of action here.