STADIO MARC’ANTONIO BENTEGODI (Verona) – Having bagged each of Hellas Verona‘s four goals in their 4-1 hammering of Lazio last time out at home, Giovanni Simeone hit two more on Saturday to condemn Juventus to another surprise Serie A defeat. Igor Tudor’s side sent the Bianconeri packing having claimed a 2-1 win.
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Although a goalless midweek round interrupted things somewhat, Simeone has now scored six goals in his last two outings at the Bentegodi, and with just 15 minutes played he’d scored each of those within a 100-minute window at home.
Fans of Fiorentina and Cagliari would have been left watching against both Lazio and Juventus and wondering if they were seeing the same player who had previously represented their respective clubs, much like Parma fans must have been scratching their heads seeing Gianluca Caprari again dominate a top-half side.
Although Simeone’s purple patch might have caught some off guard, Juventus should never have expected anything else from the Argentine on Saturday given his record against them. Since first arriving in Serie A in 2016/17, Simeone has scored six times against the Old Lady – more than he has hit against any other side in Italy’s top tier. He’s now just the seventh player in Serie A history to have scored two or more goals against Juventus with three different sides – Verona, Genoa, and Cagliari.
Tudor gets the edge over Allegri
Massimiliano Allegri’s plan didn’t work in Veneto. What was most concerning for Juventus was that it was never likely to, and its cracks were exposed from the off. The Bianconeri could barely string two passes together before they found themselves a goal behind. Then Verona’s tails were up and it didn’t take them long to get their second.
Verona impressing shouldn’t have come as a surprise to anybody with more than a passing interest in Serie A though. They were more than capable of causing problems for bigger sides under Ivan Juric before he left for Torino in the summer, and after a poor start to this season with Eusebio Di Francesco in charge, Igor Tudor has come in and seemingly taken them to an even higher level.
Since his appointment in Veneto, only the joint-leaders AC Milan and Napoli have picked up more points than Verona, and the Mastiini have beaten Lazio, Roma, and now Juventus.
But what will concern Juventus supporters is that Tudor had the edge over Allegri, as Verona were dominant all over the pitch. Tudor got his gameplan just right.
The six-time Serie A winner didn’t look to have any answers, and questions are starting to be asked about his suitability to the job. In two years away from football he claims to have not watched all that much, and against Sassuolo and Verona that was plain to see.