Juventus reached a European semi-final for the first time in 11 years last night with their 2-1 victory over Lyon, flying the flag for Italian football on the continent by making the last four with the fewest number of goals conceded in the knockout stages.
The Bianconeri emerged fired up and with a real spring in their step, and the ball was past visiting goalkeeper Anthony Lopes with just four minutes gone.
The source, as it has so often been in recent games, was an Andrea Pirlo free-kick. The Maestro’s sixth converted attempt of the season sailed into the left corner, continuing the trend that now means his last 11 goals in the black and white stripes have come directly from a set piece.
Harried by Steed Malbranque throughout, Pirlo was unable to make as many passes as usual, but it was he who recuperated possession more times than anyone else (12).
No Juve man created more chances than his midfield partner and fellow goalscorer Claudio Marchisio, while elsewhere in the individual statistics Leonardo Bonucci stands out as making 108 more passes than any other Bianconeri player over the course of the two legs.
Another major figure on the night was 482: the number of outings Gigi Buffon has now made in the Juventus shirt after his inclusion against Lyon. The captain is now level with another Juve icon, Roberto Bettega, and fourth in the all-time club appearances table.