Sports Champions League takeaways: Juventus floundering under Pirlo

03:00  29 october  2020
03:00  29 october  2020 Source:   thescore.com

Opinion: No reason to believe Alabama-Georgia II will end differently, nine other takeaways from Week 7

  Opinion: No reason to believe Alabama-Georgia II will end differently, nine other takeaways from Week 7 Alabama's offense chugs on. Georgia's QB situation needs attention. Is Heisman race already decided? And Arkansas' Twitter win among Week 7 takeaways.The more immediate issue was whether Alabama’s offense or Georgia’s defense was going to win the battle within the battle; which unit was going to muster a push at the point in the game where it was all up for grabs.

Andrea Pirlo and His Juventus side would lock horn with Lionel Messi’s led Barcelona as hostility returns at Juventus in the UEFA Champions League . The Spanish left-back must be at alert to avert any dangerous move intended by Dybala in the contest. His talent would be key to Juventus ’

Juventus have made a stuttering start to life under Andrea Pirlo , who is yet to settle on a formation, while Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman needs to There'll be no Cristiano Ronaldo for Juventus as they take on Barcelona. The two heavyweights face off in the Turin in the Champions League tonight.

After every Champions League matchday, theScore highlights the marquee developments from Europe's preeminent club competition.

a man wearing a suit and tie standing in front of a crowd © Daniele Badolato - Juventus FC / Juventus FC / Getty

Next man up for Liverpool

If you've got a pair of boots sitting in the closet, you may have a shot at playing in central defense for Liverpool right now.

Tuesday's win over Midtjylland proved to be something of a Pyrrhic victory for the Reds, who lost Fabinho to a hamstring problem after just 30 minutes of action at Anfield. The versatile Brazilian, filling in at center-back in the wake of Virgil van Dijk's devastating knee injury, had slotted in seamlessly alongside Joe Gomez, temporarily alleviating what could have been a huge headache for Jurgen Klopp. The German bench boss is surely reaching for the Advil now.

Analysis: What is the Juventus dual system?

 Analysis: What is the Juventus dual system? © Supplied by Sports.fr Andrea Pirlo Andrea Pirlo has set up a "hybrid" system, which is transformed between the offensive and defensive phases, with a very specific goal: to press and attack in numbers, even if this is not yet a success. We explain that to you. Frédéric Piquionne, RMC Sport consultant, was amazed at the tactical set-up of the Juventus on the pitch of Dynamo Kiev on Tuesday evening at the opening of the Champions League (0-2).

Dynamo Kyiv - Juventus | Mister Pirlo and his Champions League debut. 19 October 2020. Login to watch Subscribe to watch. The eve of Juventus -Barcelona!

Sportsmail provides you with all the facts and figures from Juventu ' 2-1 win over Atalanta in Serie A with the winning goal coming courtesy of a stunner from the master, Adrea Pirlo .

Fabinho wearing a uniform: MICHAEL REGAN / AFP / Getty © Provided by theScore MICHAEL REGAN / AFP / Getty

Klopp suggested after the match that Fabinho's injury isn't too serious - the severity will be revealed by a scan this week - but with Joel Matip also nursing an undisclosed ailment, the options are dwindling quickly. Amid a season of congested fixtures like no other, the glut of injuries comes at the worst possible time for a club competing on multiple fronts.

Teenage defender Rhys Williams is about to get thrown into the deep end.

What to make of Group B?

Bizarre. Bonkers. Bananas. Group "B" is taking its name to heart thus far.

Real Madrid and Inter Milan entered the competition as heavy favorites to emerge from a quartet that also includes Borussia Monchengladbach and Shakhtar Donetsk; it was viewed as a tricky group for the famed European duo, if not an explicitly difficult one.

Pirlo to revive one of its stars

 Pirlo to revive one of its stars Juventus coach Andrea Pirlo has indicated that Paulo Dybala will be in the starting lineup on Sunday against Hellas Verona. © Panoramic Paulo Dybala Juventus Juventus of Turin welcomes Héllas Verona on Sunday evening for the 5th round of Serie A. During this part, the Piedmontese should still be deprived of their star, Cristiano Ronaldo. On the other hand, Paulo Dybala should be present. Bianconero coach Andrea Pirlo has announced that La Joya will start in this meeting.

Andrea Pirlo scored a free-kick in his 100th Champions League game. Alberto Botia and Delvin N'Dinga had twice given Olympiacos the lead. Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba (right) slots home his side's winner against Olympiacos in the 66th minute. The French midfielder celebrates after netting

Juventus ' Álvaro Morata scored the first goal of the new Champions League season. Watch that strike now as well as other opening goals of seasons gone by. Watch Álvaro Morata's double in Ukraine as Juventus won their first Champions League game under Andrea Pirlo .

After two matches, though, the script has been flipped on its head. Madrid sit bottom of the group on one point and are lucky to even have that after a furious late comeback - two goals in the waning minutes - to salvage a draw in Germany on Tuesday. Antonio Conte, meanwhile, continues to find ways not to win in Europe, with Inter managing just a pair of draws to begin their continental campaign.

Shakhtar and Gladbach, on four and two points, respectively, aren't out of the woods just yet. But with Madrid and Inter meeting each other in their next two group games, it's very likely at least one of them will be out of contention for the knockout stage by the time we hit December.

Atalanta, Ajax set to fight it out

Isn't it just wonderful when a match lives up to expectations?

Atalanta welcomed Ajax to Bergamo on Tuesday in a match that pitted Italy's top scorers in the last two seasons against a side coming into the contest on the back of a 13-0 win in the Eredivisie. It promised fireworks, and it delivered.

Before Barça, Juve concedes a draw at home / Serie A (J5)

 Before Barça, Juve concedes a draw at home / Serie A (J5) Juventus of Andrea Pirlo conceded another indigent draw at home against Hellas Verona at home (1-1) on Sunday. © Supplied by Football 365 Alvaro Morata Juventus Hellas Verone 25102020 Before challenging FC Barcelona in the Champions League, most likely without his star Cristiano Ronaldo still positive for Covid_19 at the latest news, Juventus received the modest training of Hellas Verona on behalf of the 5th day of Serie A this Sunday.

Andrea Pirlo says Champions League triumph would be perfect farewell. Juventus midfielder has been instrumental in his side's domestic success. The Italian international's contract expires in 2016, but with speculation linking him with a move away this summer, Juventus ' presence at the European

Juventus came from behind in their Champions League clash against Olympiakos to secure much needed three points on Tuesday night. The hosts took the lead in the first half after veteran midfielder Andrea Pirlo , who made his 100th appearance, produced yet another masterpiece from a freekick

The Dutch side, in classic Ajax fashion, didn't back down. Erik ten Hag's exuberant team stayed true to its style and grabbed a deserved 2-0 lead in the opening half. Yes, the goals came about through defensive howlers from Robin Gosens and goalkeeper Marco Sportiello, but Ajax's young guns were full value for their advantage and could have extended it after the interval.

Duvan Zapata et al. playing football on a field: Xinhua News Agency / Xinhua News Agency / Getty © Provided by theScore Xinhua News Agency / Xinhua News Agency / Getty

That they didn't will be a source of frustration for Ten Hag, who watched on as Atalanta roared back after the break and ultimately earned a draw thanks to an excellent brace from star striker Duvan Zapata.

Matches billed as potential barnburners often flatter to deceive, so it was nice to see one deliver on the excitement it promised, even if there were only four goals on the day.

Welcome to the Joao Felix show

Don't look know, but Joao Felix appears to be much more comfortable at Atletico Madrid in his second season since joining the club from Benfica.

The precocious Portuguese forward scored twice in Atleti's 3-2 win over Red Bull Salzburg on Tuesday, and he could have been celebrating a hat-trick if not for a spectacular bicycle kick crashing against the crossbar. The 20-year-old already has three goals in all competitions after recording just nine tallies in his debut campaign last year. Sometimes, all you need is time.

At least Koeman has Messi: Ronaldo absence another blow for Juventus boss Pirlo

  At least Koeman has Messi: Ronaldo absence another blow for Juventus boss Pirlo The Portuguese tested positive again for Covid-19 on Tuesday, ruling him out of the Bianconeri's Champions League showdown with Barcelona in TurinThe Blaugrana's entire board resigned on Tuesday evening. The club is finally rid of Josep Maria Bartomeu, the worst president's in Barcelona's history, but he has left Camp Nou engulfed in chaos and controversy.

Classic Juventus Champions League goals. 17 hours ago. Watch Álvaro Morata's double in Ukraine as Juventus won their first Champions League game under Andrea Pirlo . Now playing.

Juventus ' Álvaro Morata scored the first goal of the new Champions League season. Watch that strike now as well as other opening goals of seasons gone by. Watch Álvaro Morata's double in Ukraine as Juventus won their first Champions League game under Andrea Pirlo .

Players - particularly young ones - struggle for a variety of reasons after a big-money transfer. The weight of the world was placed on Felix's shoulders after Atletico Madrid paid €126 million to sign him, while injuries, life in a new country, and playing up front for a notoriously defensive team all conspired to hamper his debut campaign.

With Luis Suarez helping take some of the burden off Felix, the former Golden Boy award winner should be free to soar in 2020-21.

Manchester City near rhythmic best

You would be forgiven for thinking Marseille could've surprised Manchester City in Tuesday's fixture. Pep Guardiola's side was flat for much of Saturday's 1-1 draw at West Ham United, as a congested fixture list, coronavirus setbacks, and various tweaks and pulls were clearly taking a toll on his squad.

"The teams who have seven, eight days to prepare game by game, they have a huge advantage," Guardiola said before the West Ham trip. "On the other side, the teams who compete to win titles and be on top, it is the way we have to live.

"If we cannot adjust or accept or handle this situation, you cannot be the manager or play in these teams."

Kevin De Bruyne standing in front of a crowd: Matt McNulty - Manchester City / Manchester City FC / Getty © Provided by theScore Matt McNulty - Manchester City / Manchester City FC / Getty

But City cruised to a 3-0 win over Marseille in their finest performance of the season thus far. In Sergio Aguero's absence, Ferran Torres operated as the central forward, opened the scoring, and looked gassed when his impressive shift ended in the 77th minute. The work of Ilkay Gundogan, Kyle Walker, Phil Foden, and, of course, Kevin De Bruyne was also critical for establishing a quicker tempo and crisper passing.

Ronaldo not in the Juve squad for the Barcelona game

 Ronaldo not in the Juve squad for the Barcelona game Superstar Cristiano Ronaldo is not in the squad of Juventus Turin in the home game of the Champions League against FC Barcelona after his coronavirus infection. © Marco Alpozzi / Lapresse via ZUMA Press / dpa is missing from the squad of Juventus Turin against FC Barcelona: Cristiano Ronaldo. The Italian soccer champions published their line-up a few hours before the game (9 p.m.), including via Twitter.

It was a spectacle that drew more resemblance to 2017-18 or 2018-19 City than some of this term's listless performances. And, with a full complement of points from the opening two group games, Guardiola should be afforded the luxury of resting players during the second half of this stage.

Solskjaer gets it right

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is still a work in progress as a coach, but sometimes he gets things absolutely right.

Though the majority of their five goals came late, Manchester United showed the world how to stop RB Leipzig's up-tempo, high-pressing football. Solskjaer set up United in a diamond formation that kept Leipzig at bay while limiting the usefulness of their possession.

The sideline boss has used different formations in each of the last four games, showing an encouraging willingness to adjust to the opposition. He's also reading the game on the fly.

United beat Paris Saint-Germain only after Solskjaer changed formations, and the Norwegian's substitutions came at the right time again on Wednesday. The Red Devils were laboring with a one-goal lead until Marcus Rashford was introduced off the bench, and he promptly scored three times to cement the victory.

Lights out for Leipzig in Manchester

The intensity that defined RB Leipzig's run to the 2019-20 Champions League semifinals was lacking at Old Trafford.

Their unbeaten start to the Bundesliga season was a distant memory, with Julian Nagelsmann's side low on inventiveness, and, surprisingly, its trademark boundless energy during prolonged periods of Wednesday's 5-0 humbling at Manchester United.

Juventus needs to find a way to win without Ronaldo

  Juventus needs to find a way to win without Ronaldo MILAN — Cristiano Ronaldo's status remains unclear going into this weekend's Serie A games, which means Juventus may have to finally find a way to win without him. Ronaldo has yet to be cleared to return after testing positive for the coronavirus more than two weeks ago, and his absence has been keenly felt by a young Juventus side which is going through a transition under new coach Andrea Pirlo. The nine-time defending Serie A champion has drawn its last two league matches without Ronaldo — against last-place Crotone and Hellas Verona — and was outclassed by Barcelona in a 2-0 loss in the Champions League on Wednesday.

a group of football players on a field: Nick Potts - PA Images / PA Images / Getty © Provided by theScore Nick Potts - PA Images / PA Images / Getty

Yussuf Poulsen was the attacking focal point once more, but he couldn't muster a shot while embroiled in a physical battle with Harry Maguire. Angelino's powerful - and, at times, hopeful - deliveries from the left flank missed the mark. And Dani Olmo, the most promising creative outlet for Leipzig, only managed a single key pass.

Given the score, the post-mortem will predominantly focus on Leipzig's defending after Dayot Upamecano & Co. were susceptible in Stretford. But the team's toothlessness was worrisome.

Juventus continue to stall under Pirlo

It's been eight games, and Juventus are trending downward under Andrea Pirlo. Yes, offside calls led to three disallowed goals from Alvaro Morata Wednesday against Barcelona, but Pirlo's team lacked the punch to pose a threat. Chances were few and far between, and if Barcelona was more cunning in front of the goal, the result could've been far worse.

Lionel Messi completed more take-ons (six) than anyone else on the pitch, and he certainly outplayed his compatriot, Paulo Dybala. Pirlo clearly set out to attack Barcelona, and yet Juventus finished without a shot on target. It's easy to say Morata was unlucky, but maybe his positioning is flawed, along with Juventus' overall approach.

Pirlo has to get Federico Chiesa more involved. He has the pace to beat defenders on the flank, and a defender like Leonardo Bonucci possesses the ball-playing skills to release his new teammate into the channels.

The club's midfield needs to bear some responsibility, too. Where's the creativity from Rodrigo Bentancur and Adrien Rabiot? Neither created anything of note. Maybe it's time to ditch the 3-5-2 formation, which is obviously not getting the best out of Pirlo's players.

Whatever the solution, Juventus can't continue to play at the same sluggish pace. If they do, the side can say goodbye to the Champions League for another season.

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Forget Suárez and Džeko, Morata is a bargain for Juventus .
ROME — Four goals in three Champions League games. Six in seven matches overall. Not bad for a player who was Juventus’ fourth option in the transfer market. Signed on loan from Atletico Madrid for 10 million euros ($12 million), Álvaro Morata is turning into a bargain buy. The Bianconeri turned to him in September only after failing to sign Luis Suárez, Edin Džeko and Arkadiusz Milik. And when Paulo Dybala lacked condition and Cristiano Ronaldo caught the coronavirus, Juventus thrust Morata into action. After scoring the opening two goals in Juventus’ 4-1 win at Ferencvaros on Wednesday, Morata said, “I’ve got the motivation that every player needs.

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