Were you impressed by how smartly Juventus opened last night, pressing Barcelona into conceding a corner? It was an ambitious opening. In the days after we beat Barcelona in 2012 one journalist took all sorts of abuse online for recoiling against the suggestion Celtic put on a ‘brave’ performance.
He conceded Celtic’s was a brilliant performance, but defending your 18 yard line was more sensible than brave. What Juventus did last night, pressing Barcelona, leaving space at the back, was brave. It was foolish too.
Juventus are a remarkable team and have just completed one of the best seasons in their history. They had a right to think they could have a go at Barcelona. They came close too, for a while after they equalised Barca were penned back, but the game turned when Lionel Messi found 50 yards of space ahead of him. You can’t leave Messi with that sort of freedom.
Three minutes into the game Juventus fans would have been encouraged, they had already forced Barca back and made an attempt at goal but the cost of all this expansionism was space in their own box. Even this great Juventus team should have gone into yesterday’s game knowing their limitations.
If they played within them, were they good enough to sneak a win against Barcelona? Quite possibly.