Many teams would have struggled to pass the ball around with their customary zeal when faced with the torrential rain that soaked the Stadio Luigi Ferraris pitch last night, but Antonio Conte’s men continue to prove themselves to be no ordinary side. The Bianconeri controlled 69% of the possession against Sampdoria yesterday, and 87.2% of their 563 passes reached their target.
Bianconeri players abound at the top end of yesterday's pass completion statistics – Andrea Barzagli, Giorgio Chiellini, Leonardo Bonucci, Andrea Pirlo, Stephan Lichtsteiner and Arturo Vidal are all there – with the appearance of all three of the back-line in that list revealing the extent to which every single Juve man is confident on the ball.
Juve had 11 shots, and the composure that they showed in possession was equally true of their attempts on Antonio Da Costa’s goal. They waited for the right moment rather than just letting fly, a levelheadedness which is clear from the fact that seven of those strikes came from inside the Sampdoria penalty area.
Carlos Tevez stood out last night not only because of his goal, but also because of the way he has slotted into the workings of the team. But he could surely not have assimilated himself so smoothly without the able assistance of his strike-partner Mirko Vucinic, author of five supporting flick-ons to the Argentine, not to mention Andrea Pirlo’s nine long balls up towards the front-line for him to chase.
A team effort overall, then, in an excellent opening day of 2013/14 for Juventus.