Despite the best efforts of my Evil Cable Company (and the morons who renegotiated the North American broadcast rights for Serie A matches) to plunge me into despair and ruin my life, when Juventus opened the season at home against Parma, I saw the match. Most of it. Not the part with the first goal. And I saw the first half in English with the Richard Whittle commentary I’m used to, but the second half was in either German or Spanish, depending on which video stream I was toggling. And all of it was tiny and pixelated so it was hard to see jersey numbers.
Oh, and it’s not like I usually have the experience to see the whole play even when the picture is pristine, although sometimes I can. So be warned: This is not where you go when you want serious football analysis. This is where you go when you want Dirtbunny’s interpretation of the game.
So, without further ado…
Here are your starting eleven.
Don’t ask me about the beard. I’m not ready to talk about it. Maybe if I ignore it, it will go away.
With Gigi injured and Chiello on the bench…
…Captain Claudio wore the armband.
It’s a daunting role, to be sure, but Claudio is up for it. Here we see him giving some counseling to Luca Marrone. And he has always been in the middle of the big arguments with the officials anyway.
Marco Storari started in goal and earned good marks from those who engage in serious football analysis.
Stephan Lichtsteiner raged all over the place. I was not a big Lichtsteiner fan (the fangirlz referred to him as the BUM: Big Ugly Monster), but after a year of the BUM on our side, when he gets that deranged and violent look in his eyes, it’s as if all is well in the world.
MUST. NOT. LOOK. AT. THE. BEARD.
★ ★ ★
And now it’s time for the Mirko Vucinic Gallery of Fail™.
Every football match is full of fail. Possession is lost, shots are missed, passes don’t connect, foolish fouls are committed. Strikers are prone to Fail because they take the shots and when they miss, and most of the time they do, it’s kind of obvious. Being featured in the Mirko Vucinic Gallery of Fail is not an indictment — believe me, when I want to indict someone for fail, I will — but Fail makes for some awesome photographs.
First up, Sebastian Giovinco. Aww. You’ll get ‘em next time, Tiger.
Next, Ale Matri, who came on as a sub late in the match and didn’t accomplish much of anything. Come on, baby. You’ve got a whole army of Juventini pulling for you. You can get your form back.
And last, the gallery’s namesake, Mirko Vucinic, who didn’t really have that awful a match as best as I can tell, but he’s fun to pick on. Because when he sucks, he sucks.
★ ★ ★
So. There were three major events in the match, two of which were marked by cheating & corruption, because the Zebes can’t accomplish anything on their own without illicit help, at least according to some people.
First, with Juve storming at the goal, Lichtsteiner got the ball and Mirante freaked out and charged him, sweeping out with his right leg and forcing Stephan to jump to avoid contact. Mr. Romeo pointed to the spot.
Arturo Vidal, the Zebes’ designated penalty-taker, stepped up to the spot and got ready.
Weak sauce, Arturo. You can tell from the flaccid follow-through how sad his attempt was.
Mirante saved it easily.
Yeah, Vidal knows he messed up. And Mirko isn’t happy, because he wanted to take it.
Vidal: I know. I suck. I’m sorry. *sigh*
Was justice served? If Vidal had converted the penalty, there would be even more bitching and whining because Lichtsteiner was offside. Perhaps it’s better this way.
After that, while my stream was broken, Lichtsteiner scored off an Asamoah cross.
Look at those eyes. That boy is not normal.
During the celebration, Leo Bonucci got very excited, as he often does. *nnnggghh*
Carrera may not be Conte, but he knows who to thank. Good man.
And after that, while Parma was milling around all distracted by a substitution, Pirlo scored off a free kick.
Did it or did it not cross the line?
I think Mirante’s face says a lot.
He’s not even trying very hard to sell it.
There were a few seconds of uncertainty while the refs sorted out the call, so Leo got wound up for a tantrum, should it prove necessary.
Meanwhile, the rest of the squad celebrated.
LOL Barzagli: Awwww yeah, baby!
Pirlo kissed the ring, as he does.
And Captain Claudio came over for hugz. No one scores a Juventus goal without getting a hug from Marchisio.
Giovinco hobbled off towards the end of the match with an ankle injury and is expected to be out for about two weeks.
★ ★ ★
Next match is Sunday away to Udinese.
This post was powered by progressive political outrage over climate change and lots of coffee.