Football is full of bizarre coincidences, and the case of fixture-list déjà vu facing Juventus over the next few days is one of the most extraordinary of recent years.
In a remarkable episode of history repeating itself, Friday’s Serie A clash away at Bologna will be swiftly followed by the Bianconeri’s final Champions League group stage game against Galatasaray, just as it was back in 1998.
The final whistle on 29 November that year consigned Juventus to their last away defeat against the Rossoblu, but three days later Marcello Lippi’s men managed to secure a 1-1 draw at Galatasaray; the same feat which would mean last 16 qualification for the Juve side currently managed by Antonio Conte, who was on the field against both Bologna and the Turks.
It finished 3-0 against Bologna in 1998, a defeat sealed within the first 30 minutes by goals from Michele Paramatti (a future Juventus player), Giuseppe Signori and Davide Fontolan.
But the black and white stripes have fared much better at the Dall’Ara since, securing last minute triumphs on several occasions.
With the 2000 edition deadlocked at 0-0 after normal time, the final result turned out to be 2-0 as Darko Kovacevic and a Massimo Paganin own-goal sealed a dramatic late win.
It was a similar story in 2003, when the determination that saw the team win the Scudetto was clear to see in Gianluca Zambrotta and Mauro Camoranesi’s last-gasp goals to avoid what had seemed like certain defeat.
Finally, it was also the case in 2004/05. A Pavel Nedved rocket from a free-kick guaranteed Fabio Capello’s Juve victory in the dying embers of that encounter.