We are having yet another snow day here in
the center of the universe Our Nation’s Capital, so no work and I got to sleep late, which is a good thing because that match was fucking AWESOME! Action-packed, tension, drama, dirty fouls, bad calls, penalties that should have been called but weren’t, goals that should have counted that didn’t, heinous substitutions that made Dirtbunny cry, and the biggest finish since Milos Krasic scored the extra time goal against Lazio in 2010. I tried to fact-check to verify it and failed, so who knows what my memory is grasping for and can’t quite reach. Let’s pretend it was Lazio until someone pitches in to bail me out. Anyway, good thing I could sleep late, because that match was exhausting.
Genoa 0:1 Juventus
Let’s start at the beginning. Whew. So Alberto Gilardino was the Genoa captain and he came out swinging, by which I mean he did an awful lot of running and getting shut down by guys like this:
By 5 minutes in, he was so frustrated that he was committing obvious fouls on the offensive end. And getting away with it. By 20 minutes in, he looked like he had been hosed down. He started out with tripping people and using his arms to try to haul people down and then he graduated to throwing an elbow into Leonardo Bonucci’s nose. “ONOZ,” I screamed. “DINGBAT!” He was on the floor and I worried for a while, but then he got up and made faces to pull his face muscles back into position and I could see that he was more angry than hurt, and Gila ended up with a yellow card, joining three of his teammates in the book inside the first thirty minutes.
After that, the match remained veeeery chippy, but not quite so violent. I was certain the game would finish with fewer than 22 men on the pitch. It didn’t, if you count Mauricio Isla and Simone Padoin as one man each, and since I don’t, I guess that means Juve finished the match with two half-men short.
Giuseppe Sculli was a big part of the chippiness. The up side to having shit going down all the damn time is LeoDingbat getting argumentative. I love watching him bark and correct and instruct and persuade.
Like this, from a few years ago. That blurry blob in the background is my boyfriend. Armband, chin, see?
Dani Osvaldo started up top with Fernando Llorente and not Sebastian Giovinco, because my telekinetic messages do work sometimes. Carlos Tevez was unavailable for some reason. I didn’t see him on the suspension list, but there it was. Dani was a hard-workin’ man, especially in the first half. He got a nice goal, chipping the ball over the positively delicious Mattia Perin, one of Dirtbunny’s special boys.
It was called back for offside. Probably the right thing to do. *sigh* Then he got another one after Paul Pogba did an amazing bit of turning, which I think looked like this:
….but it was called offside AGAIN.
This time, Mazzoleni was wrong. I feel ya, Dani. *pats him*
Pogba? I adore Claudio Marchisio. I really do. It would take a lot for me to be OK with Marchisio losing his starting slot. If giving up Marchisio means starting Pogba, I can live with that. Just give Claudio enough playing time so he doesn’t leave us.
I suppose that brings us up to the double heart-attack moment.
Arturo Vidal committed a handball in the box and conceded a penalty. This photo is not it, but do we really need to see it again?
Sometimes in football, players get punished for having been born with arms. They get in the way of the ball sometimes, and when it happens in the box, you have to calculate whether he had time to avoid it, was he moving his arm toward the ball, intentional or unintentional, hand to ball or ball to hand, and my favorite: Was his arm in an unnatural position? The ref has to decide in a moment, and the calls are all over the place. For me, the penalty call was justified.
Emanuele Calaiò stepped up to the spot and went for the lower corner but Gigi Buffon guessed right.
After the match, when Gigi was getting all misty about reaching 476 games in bianconeri (just like Dino Zoff, who was before my time but who is known around here as “The Finest Human Being Who Ever Lived” based on something Tony Meola said once) he said he was glad Gila didn’t take the penalty because it’s hard to guess where Gila is going to go.
The penalty-taker has a huge advantage over the keeper. Even the greatest keepers don’t save a whole lot of penalties. Even Gigi. But he saved this one. See LeoDingbat charging in? Gigi deflected the ball but it was still in play until Leo booted it out before any griffins could get there.
RAWR! He. Is. Made. Of. Win. My commentator remarked that Gigi didn’t celebrate. Of course he did. He gave a mighty manly warrior roar and shared a might manly warrior fist-bump with the Dingbat.
Il mister was pleased. But it wasn’t happening. Genoa played hard and Juve couldn’t get the ball in the net. Fabio Quagliarella came in for Osvaldo in the 79th. He took a pretty hard hit and went down like a rock. I panicked, thinking “PARMA!” but he was OK.
By about minute 82, I was resigned to a null-null draw. A point’s pretty good. Genoa at Genoa is a tough match this year. The Zebes have a pretty big lead over Roma in the s-word race. It’s been an exciting match. Then, in the 85th, Conte deployed his secret weapon, Simone Padoin, who-shockingly-did not save the day. Arturo took a seat, which was probably a good idea because he was tired. Mauricio Isla came on for Stephan Lichtsteiner, who was not happy to take a seat. And it was the 89th minute and I thought, oh well. Mr. D’s teams won this week so asking for Dirtbunny’s teams to win also is too much. Stefano Sturaro (who?) committed a foul and Andrea Pirlo stepped up to take a free kick from a pretty good position. Several glasses of wine in, I looked over at Mr. D and said “Thish would be a g–, a pretty good time for, um, him, Pirlo, to, um, to, um, do, um, that thing he, um, does.”
And he DID! From this angle, the ball looks like it’s headed for dead center, doesn’t it?
Nopes. It curled gorgeously to the left and hit the corner and wha?
He did not!
Wow. He did! Woot! WOOT!WOOT!WOOT!WOOT!WOOT!WOOT!WOOT!WOOT!WOOT!WOOT!
We all think we love our zebras, but sometimes I suspect that Marco Storari is Juve’s biggest fan. Juve scores a goal and he is deliriously happy. Every time. Sometimes to the point of injuring people. oops
It wasn’t just Storari. They ALL were happy.
Antonio Conte channeled his joy into strangling Angelo Alessio….
…and then he ran out onto the pitch to join the scrum which, technically, he’s not supposed to. He wears it well, don’t you think? Can you even imagine Rafael Benitez joining the scrum? Yeah, no.
Gigi celebrated alone, looking resplendent in his glorious sapphire kit. And I collapsed, hoarse and happy. I bet you did too.
Next match is a midweek Europa League match against Fiorentina, on Thursday in Florence. Oh shit.