Juventus vs. Hellas Verona, final score 2-1: One half was enough, really

Valerio Pennicino

Verona took a surprising lead in Turin, but Juventus were back in front before the start of the second half. The match could've ended then, as we really learned nothing from the second 45 minutes.

It took awhile for things to get rolling in the first half. Juventus had the majority of the possession and a ridiculous amount of shots, but it took until almost the break for one to land in the back of the net. In fact, it took an opening goal from Verona to convince the visitors that they needed to simmer down and send their shots on target.

Hellas scored in the 36th minute, catching Juventus napping. The corner kick was whipped into the area, Vangelis Moras got his head on it, knocking it on to Fabrizio Cacciatore, who, for some unfathomable reason, was lurking unmarked by the post. It took a simple tap to knock the ball past Marco Storari.

Juve almost instantly responded, but a brilliant goalline clearance from Verona kept out Paul Pogba's shot. But the equalizer came almost immediately, through a lovely goal from Carlos Tévez. The forward latched on to a through ball from Leonardo Bonucci, took the ball away from goal, turned, and launched his shot into the top of the net. Rafael had no chance.

The goalkeeper was still reeling from the goal when Tévez tried again. This time, the ball hit the inside of the post, ricocheted off, hit the other post, and fell into Rafael's arms. The Verona keeper curled into the fetal position, hugging the ball and whimpering.

His relief was palpable, but wiped away just before the halftime whistle. The go-ahead goal came from Fernando Llorente, scoring his first in a bianconeri kit. The cross came in from Arturo Vidal, Llorente headed it on, and Juventus went into the break feeling pretty good about themselves.

While Juventus continued to threaten throughout the second half, Verona did little to make things challenging for the Old Lady. It was as though the fight had gone out of the home side with Llorente's goal, and they were content to sit back and simply keep the scoreline respectable. Andrea Mandorlini tried to liven things up with the introduction of on-loan attacker Juan Iturbe, but the little guy failed to make a big impression.

The might be a team tapped to impress in Europe, but Juventus failed to impress against Copenhagen midweek, and a lack of a clinical approach in the second half shows this team still has some kinks to iron out. But the bianconeri came away with all three points, so any questions will likely be put on hold.

Juventus: Storari; Barzagli, Bonucci, Ogbonna; Isla, Vidal, Pirlo (Marchisio 66), Pogba, Asamoah; Tevez (Giovinco 80), Llorente (Vucinic 69)

Hellas Verona: Rafael; Gonzalez, Moras, Bianchetti; Cacciatore, Romulo, Donati (Juanito 58), Hallfredsson (Donadel 77), Agostini (Iturbe 67); Jorginho; Cacia

Goals: Cacciatore 36 (V),  Tévez 40 (J), Llorente 45 (J)

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