Juventus – Valencia: Juve bein’ Juve, as one goal sees them through to the Champions League knockout phase (1-0)
Breaking into Valencia’s defense is not an easy task, but once Juventus got an opening goal, the match never seemed out of control for them. Thanks to their controlled possession and great defensive organization, Juventus saw the match out with minimal effort as they cruised towards Champions League knockout phase qualification.
Tactical analysis and match report by Erik Elias.
Going into this match, Juventus had gathered nine points from four games and needed just a single point to qualify for the knockout phase of this season’s Champions League. So far this season, Juventus are in great form; the only match they lost was against Manchester United, who claimed a stolen victory at Juventus’ Allianz Stadium.
For Valencia, this match was the last chance to make anything from their Champions League campaign. Sitting on five points from four games, a win against Juventus was needed to keep up with Manchester United.
As always, Valencia were set up in a 4-4-2 shape, with Dani Parejo and Geoffrey Kondogbia as central midfielders, combative Francis Coquelin as right midfielder and the explosive Gonçalo Guedes on the left. Nominal right back Cristiano Piccini has been injured for a couple of weeks now; Danish midfielder Daniel Wass has been filling in for him as a makeshift defender.
Juventus’ formation of choice has been 4-3-3 for most of this season. In absence of the injured Emre Can and Sami Khedira, Rodrigo Bentancur has quietly settled in midfield, being deployed alongside the undisputed deep playmaker Miralem Pjanić and Blaise Matuidi in most games. Up front, Allegri’s crop of . . .