The figures from last night’s narrow 1-0 defeat at the Stadio Olimpico portray a tight affair with little space for either side to do damage in the final third
After defeat to Napoli in the final two years ago and the 2-1 loss against Lazio that eliminated the Bianconeri last season, the Stadio Olimpico once again proved a minefield for Juventus in the Coppa Italia last night as a 79th-minute Gervinho goal sunk Antonio Conte’s men in the capital.
The Ivorian’s strike, the culmination of a counter-attacking move which swept forward in a flash, was the very first shot on target in the entire game; a rare opportunity in a match that otherwise afforded the teams very little.
Rudi Garcia’s hosts managed 14 efforts, only two of which were on target, while the visitors had six attempts without ever managing to test Morgan De Sanctis in the Giallorossi goal.
It’s very unusual that Conte’s Juve are so stifled in attack, and the explanation can perhaps be found in the opposition’s tactical setup: Roma maintained a very high average territorial position and packed the centre circle, allowing the Bianconeri very limited creative opportunities in midfield as well as isolating Sebastian Giovinco and Fabio Quagliarella up front.
In terms of individual performances, Leonardo Bonucci’s stands out as one of the strongest amongst the Bianconeri. The defender’s 75 positive passes and 15 successfully completed long balls is similar to the 76 and 22 respectively that Giallorossi playmaker Daniele De Rossi, a statistic which demonstrates the Juve man’s accuracy when in possession.
But the individual stats also reveal the scarcity of the chances created. For Roma, Gervinho produced both of the team’s shots on target, while Arturo Vidal was the most threatening Bianconeri player with the same number of efforts, both off target.