How was it for you? Did you get into the last 20 minutes and wonder if anyone was going to try any substitutions? Hm? Did you think to yourself: “Hey Carrera/Conte! Giovinco and Vucinic aren’t getting it done today. Maybe we should try something different?” And then did you think “Quags? Really? OK… I guess there’s no one better on the bench”
But then he scored, and you were all like “Quags! Sweet, sweet Quaggie! I knew you had it in you!
You know you did.
And then I bet you were all like “Get over here and let me…” [CENSORED - Ed.]
No? Just me then? That’s all right. I’m not ashamed. We all show our love in different ways.
So here’s the long view of the pre-match ceremony. At the time, we saw it from the point of view of Mr. Camera-Guy there (filming close-ups of Asamoah & Lichtsteiner).
Our boys! ♥♥♥ They all looked so very fierce and serious and a little nervous! (By the way, there are several photos of this moment, and I chose the one that does not have the banner of our odious opponent in the foreground. You’re welcome.)
Also? Our stadium is better.
Juve’s Starting Eleven. Ready to KICK. YOUR. ASS.…Except Lichtsteiner, who is kind of smiling a tiny bit. But that’s just how he draws you in. He’s still going to kick your ass, though someone should tell Asa that it’s safe to touch him. He’s not going to hurt a teammate (it’s Storari you have to worry about).
Oh hell. Let’s just get it out of the way so we can get to the good part. So The-Blue-of-Satan have this baby striker from Brazil, whose name is Oscar or something, and decided that this was the time to unleash it. He could have given it a shot last weekend against QPR, but no, he saved it for us. God he looks young. How old is he anyway? *looks it up* EGADS! I have shoes older than he is.
So the team I hate even more than Inter went up on us two to nothing and after that, it was all a matter of whether the Zebes had it in them to come back. No, not quite: they definitely had it in them. It was a matter of whether they would draw on that, or deprive their tifosi of the joy of squashing Satan’s Minions.
Agnelli & Pavel: worry worry worry
Fabio Paratici seems like he’s looking in a different direction…
My goodness Gigi. You are a winter, aren’t you? Wear your fuchsia kit with pride, baby. Iker Casillas wouldn’t dare.
Andrea Barzagli: My hero. I’ve already forgotten the moment you tried to start our play from the back and bonked a pass off Pirlo like he was a telephone pole. You figured it out eventually and even made some lovely clearances, but then, you always do. ♥♥♥♥
Nando Torres came ready to play with freshly-done highlights and sweet little freckles, but it was to no avail. Several times I completely forgot he was on the pitch. Credit for not giving up after a slump so long and so deep it’s become a joke, but this is what you get for dumping Liverpool. You still have some suffering to do, and I am happy that Giorgio Chiellini gets to help with that.
Sic ‘im, Giorgione.
Say hello to my big powerful friend, Leonardo Bonucci. Like Barza, Leo started the match with a few long passes that bounced off Chelsea shins, but he got it together. I know what they said about you and that first goal, my dear, but I didn’t see it in real time. I could go and watch a replay or something, but I’m not in the mood to have my illusions shattered so I’ll just stick with the memories of all those plays you disrupted.
TANGENT: You know what I just realized? I was so
distracted by Twitter engrossed in the football that I forgot to look for evidence of junk. Why do I bring that up in connection with Bonucci? Um, no reason. *whistles innocently*
[I have to warn you Laura: we replaced the Dirtbunny Alarm with something fierce... you're gonna hear it all the way to D.C. -- Ed.]
Oh, Giorgio, hee hee. (That’s what we say when he commits a rough tackle that would provoke outrage if committed by an opponent against one of ours.)
Ah, Stephan Lichtsteiner, spending the whole match making clean, precise tackles. You were very very good today.
Stephan even kept his temper in this match. He’s earned a heart for the first time ever: ♥ . Here he is having a reasonable discussion with the referee Mr. Proença, while Nando and The-Footballer-I-Despise Most-In-The-World look on.
Yes, The Most. Even more than Van Bommel, who may have been a dirty diver and a dirty tackler and a mouthy a**hole, but who at least had skills sort of commensurate with his press coverage. (Don’t tell Mr. Dirtbunny I said that. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve shouted him down when he dared to defend MVB as a dirty player not completely lacking in redeeming qualities. I always contended that the dirty outweighed any purported skill.)
John Terry is everything that MVB is, only he’s not nearly as good as the English press says he is. Or as attractive as they say for that matter. Not to mention his personal peccadillos. We do not mess with our friends’ women.
This does not apply to ADP and his woman. Him and me, we have an arrangement. And have you seen his wedding photos? That is is the ugliest suit I’ve seen since Deion Sanders from his Redskins days. What the fu** was he thinking? How is it possible that this creep is an icon of anything? What kind of world is this?
*pant pant* There. I’ve already given him more attention than he deserves. Let’s put him in the past and move on to happy things.
Aaahhh. Sweet, sweet Kwadwo Asamoah. Our man on the left.
It sure didn’t take Asa long to become one of us, did it? A few sessions on the training pitch and BOOM he looks like he was born a Zebra. Some players coffcoffBORRIELLOcoff never do fit in.
The photographers were not in love with Claudio Marchisio. They managed to catch him missing on this shot, but not much else.
★ ★ ★
Pre-Game PRACTICE Session
Surprisingly, Andrea Pirlo got no love from the photographers either.
We can’t just do without him, can we? So here he is, training in the Pit of Acheron.
Antonio Conte, the poor man, takes hell with him wherever he goes. Stay strong, dude.
Luca Marrone and Martín Cáceres, fooling around.
Bendtner. Yes. Well.
Here’s Giorgione to help you forget about the, um, the Bendtner. *shudders*
Has anyone else noticed that Arturo Vidal always seems to be clowning around during training?
[He's a *happy* WARRIOR, and that's why we love him - Ed.]
Whatever he does on the training pitch, it’s working.
★ ★ ★
Sebastian Giovinco looked small and not very strong for the whole match. Sad but true. It might have helped it he wasn’t completely effing alone up there.
Which brings us to the man who picked an unfortunate time to remind us why we call it the Mirko Vucinic Gallery of Fail™.
Mirko, you were fabulous on Sunday, but where were you against Chelsea? You used to be known for showing up for the big games. Sort of the opposite of Zlatan but with less douchebaggery and fewer dodgy tattoos. This isn’t like last year, mkay? This is a Champions League year. You need to bring the consistency.
Whatever happened to Mirko, it ended up not mattering too much because…
…VIDAL GOT A GOAL! It wasn’t enough that he ate Lampard’s lunch ten times over and relentlessly disrupted the offense. He had to go and get a goal too.
Tell you what, Arturo. If Conte’s fine with you being a goof during training (at least when the cameras are around) then so am I. It’s supposed to be fun, after all.
★ ★ ★
And so. Fabio Quagliarella. I’ve already previewed it, so let’s get down to business.
1) Quags takes one of those awkward-looking strikes he’s known for. Cech puts on his work face and drops for the block. You Know Who, grossly out of position, looks on, terrified, from quite a distance. Or so I choose to believe.
3) There it goes, into the net.
4) Cech and Ivanovic look appropriately dejected. David Luiz, on the other hand, looks as clueless as always. Wait. Am I tempting fate? Who do Chelsea have next? *looks it up* Stoke. Never mind, then.
Oh crap. Here comes 185 lbs of excitement.
GLOMP! Ha! Claudio is actually wincing!
Yeah, well, someone had to put it in the net, Mirko. hmph
And then, my favorite part. The shirts come off and everyone runs to the curva to say howdy to the tifosi:
C’mon guys. Maybe a little more enthusiasm is in order.
I know. There’s another match in three days. Time to get in the whirlpool/put joints in the ice bucket (as applicable).
Yes, Giorgione, I see you. Good job today. Don’t tell the others, but you’re still my favorite. I made soup and there’s still some plum cake left. Hurry back.
Next match is Saturday at home against the — oh no — it’s the Chievo donkeys. They were pitiful against Lazio, but they always seem to show up for Juventus. Dang it.
This post was powered by fresh September air, Houses of the Holy, and Giorgio’s… [Nuh uh! Don't go there! - Ed.].