Plenty of endeavour but lack of precision in the final third was the fundamental story of last night’s Champions League goalless stalemate against Borussia Monchengladbach, who picked up their first point of this year’s campaign after opening with defeats to Sevilla and Manchester City.
While a second consecutive clean sheet in all competitions and extension of Juventus’ unbeaten home run in Europe’s premier club tournament (now 11 matches) provide undoubted positives, Massimiliano Allegri will have his eyes firmly fixed on the offensive stats as he aims to improve his men’s efficiency in attacking areas.
Twenty-two Juventus shots were fired in on goal across the 90 minutes, 12 of which in the first half, but only two drew saves from Yann Sommer in the Gladbach goal, prompting criticism from the boss in his post-match interview.
Leading the charge for that ultimately elusive breakthrough was Paul Pogba, who tried his luck on no less than 10 occasions, while also creating four chances, performing three lay-offs and making 10 recoveries.
While Pogba aimed to lock down the middle of the park, Alex Sandro, making his first start for the Bianconeri in the Champions League, saw plenty of the ball on the left-hand side, enjoying the most touches of any player on the field (94).
One statistic, however, stood head and shoulders above the rest and it belonged to Gigi Buffon, whose quiet night between the posts was enriched when he overtook Alessandro Del Piero to enter the club’s record books as the man to have played the most minutes for Juventus.