Juventus
    Juventus
      09.01.2016 20:00 - in: Serie A S

      The story of mid-season

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      As the Bianconeri get ready to play the final match of the first part of the season against Sampdoria, Juventus.com looks at how they’ve fared at the halfway stage of previous Serie A campaigns
      Paul Pogba scored the opener in last year's Matchday 19.

      Since the introduction of three points being awarded for a win, Juventus have made a habit out of hitting the halfway stage of the season in triumphant fashion. Indeed, their record in this fixture in Serie A reads 10 victories, five draws and as many defeats.

      What is more, if the last two years are anything to go by, Massimiliano Allegri’s men can head to the Marassi with a certain degree of optimism, after registering four goals in each of their last Matchday 19 outings.

      The most recent of these encounters saw them see off last Wednesday’s opponents Verona courtesy of Carlos Tevez’s brace and strikes from Paul Pogba and Roberto Pereyra.

      It was a similar story in the previous campaign, with Fernando Llorente’s double helping the Bianconeri to a comprehensive success against Cagliari, who, however, managed to find the target themselves through Mauricio Pinilla. Claudio Marchisio and Stephan Lichtsteiner also got themselves on the scoresheet that day.

      Sardinia has been the most common destination for these mid-season clashes. On the first occasion in 1995, the Rossoblu triumphed 3-0, while in 2005 the honours were shared at the Stadio Sant’Elia, as Gianfranco Zola cancelled out Emerson’s maiden league goal since switching Rome for Turin the previous summer.

      The history books point to Bergamo as the second most popular venue on Matchday 19. There, the Old Lady have fared marginally better on average thanks to a 2-0 win in 2012, banishing memories of a 2-1 reverse at the Stadio Atleti Azzurri d’Italia in 2001. As against Cagliari, the Swiss Express also netted in the more recent of these clashes before Emanuele Giaccherini made sure of the points.

      In 1998, the Nerazzurri were also on the opposing side in a 3-1 home success for a Marcello Lippi-led outfit. Zinedine Zidane was the hero that day, scoring twice late on after Antonio Conte’s opener.

      The third club that features most regularly in this fixture is Sampdoria in what makes less enjoyable reading for those of a Bianconeri persuasion. Following 2008’s goalless stalemate, Mauro Icardi, now of Inter, inspired the Blucerchiati to a 2-1 triumph at Juventus Stadium in 2013.

      The other two reverses for Juve came in back-to-back seasons against notable names Milan (2010) and Napoli (2011).

      However, as mentioned earlier, maximum points have been in the offing precisely 50 per cent of the time and, quite often, in spectacular fashion, as the victories recorded between 2002 and 2004 against Udinese (3-0), Chievo (4-1) and Siena (4-2) testify.

      In the last of these matches, Alessandro Del Piero celebrated a famous hat-trick and David Trezeguet joined in on the act at a snow-laden Stadio Delle Alpi.

      2003 was the turn of Chievo to feel the full force of Juve’s brilliant attacking duo, but this time it would be Trezeguet to put three past the keeper, Del Piero making no mistake from the spot.

      The year before, it was a case of goals coming from all corners thanks to key contributions from Gianluca Zambrotta, Pavel Nedved and Edgar Davids almost exactly four months prior to clinching the title against the same opponents, Udinese, in a thoroughly dramatic finale to the 2001/02 season.

      Although 1999/2000 may not have concluded in quite such happy circumstances, the Bianconeri did manage to take the spoils halfway through the campaign, with strikes by Del Piero, Zidane and Darko Kovacevic downing Perugia.

      Lazio and Reggina are the other two remaining teams to have been on the wrong end of midwinter reverses inflicted by Juventus. Michele Padovano plundered the capital with a memorable brace in 1997. Against the Calabrians, meanwhile, Del Piero sealed the spoils with his 186th goal in the black and white stripes after some silky interplay with Trezeguet. The win took Fabio Capello’s to a remarkable 52 points with the whole of the second part of the 2005/06 season left to play.

      Draws have been less frequent, but, nonetheless, not without incident as, besides the previously mentioned tie at Cagliari and 0-0 with Sampdoria, Fabrizio Ravanelli, Daniel Fonseca, and Olof Mellberg all popped up with equalisers in three 1-1 scorelines recorded against Bari (1996), Venezia (1999) and Lazio (2009) respectively.

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