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Horncastle: Pelle takes his chance

Italy Oct 14, 2014
 By Mina Rzouki
16 hours ago

Genoa rally to upset Juventus on Gigi Buffon's 500th appearance

Former Premier League goalkeeper Shaka Hislop assesses the achievements of Sao Paulo's Rogerio Ceni and Juventus' Gigi Buffon.

Defeated for the first time in Serie A this season, Juventus lost 1-0 away to Genoa on the day Gianluigi Buffon made his 500th appearance for the club. Unable to celebrate but forced to commiserate, bad defending, inefficient attacking and Juve's usual disinterested performance in the first half led to a surprising loss.

There is something rather special about Gian Piero Gasperini's Genoa. Aggressive, tough and capable, they press high up the pitch, are deliciously organised and fear no opponent....

2 days ago

Ancelotti triumphs, van Gaal's progress, Dortmund disappoint, more

The ESPN FC panel discuss the player ratings following El Clasico.

You can't really call Real Madrid's clasico win a tactical victory.

That's because frankly, manager Carlo Ancelotti -- as he promised ahead of the game when he said there would be "no surprises" -- did nothing particularly fancy that night. His XI -- with Isco in for the injured Gareth Bale -- picked itself. (Or, if you're really, really cynical, you might say a man named Florentino Perez picked it.)

What Madrid did was execute and figure out a way to get a lopsided, top-heavy lineup to work against...

 By Mina Rzouki
3 days ago

Llorente's confidence gets boost, but Palermo win was too easy for Juve

Fernando Llorente celebrates his goal with Kwadwo Asamoah during Juventus' 2-0 win over Palermo.

It would be good to say that Juventus faced stiff competition in their 2-0 win over Palermo on Sunday but the truth is the Sicilians came to Turin to avoid embarrassment rather than having a go at the champions.

With Palermo showing no ambition or interest in taking hold of the ball to create their own chances, it was a one-sided affair, and this brings with it wider issues about the state of Serie A football and the Champions League.

Italian teams are struggling in Europe's premier competition...

 By Mina Rzouki
7 days ago

Questions persist as Juventus slump to another Champions League defeat

ESPN FC's Raphael Honigstein breaks down Juventus' losing performance against Olympiakos.

Is it fear? Poor tactics? Individual mistakes? It's certainly something as Juventus slumped to another defeat in the Champions League, losing 1-0 to Olympiakos in the Karaiskakis Stadium.

Carlos Tevez instantly spoke of changing the mentality of this group when questioned about the defeat after the game. A team capable of astonishing performances in Serie A, Juventus are renowned for playing a confident and mesmeric brand of football. They push forward in all directions, their defence alert and sturdy...

 By Mina Rzouki
Oct 20, 2014

An energetic Juventus needed to combat Olympiakos pressure

The ESPN FC team explain their surprise in Juventus' recent 1-1 draw with Sassuolo, while Shaka Hislop believes the title race now becomes a little more interesting between Juve and AS Roma.

With Roma being thought of as the best Italy has, at least according to Bayern director Karl-Heinz Rummenigge whose comments are also somewhat self-serving, it truly is time for Juventus to show Europe why they are better. Qualifying out of the group and reaching the latter stages of the Champions League is more important that winning another Scudetto, at least it is so for many of the fans.

The draw against Sassuolo will be forgiven and indeed forgotten if the Bianconeri manage a comprehensive...

 By Mina Rzouki
Oct 19, 2014

Draw with Sassuolo proves Juventus need more tactical work under Allegri

Massimiliano Allegri was frustrated by Juventus' inability to take their chances as the defending champions failed to win a Serie A game for the first time this season, drawing at Sassuolo.

Spitting in the face of every cliche used to describe Serie A, the 1-1 match between Sassuolo and Juventus at the Mapei Stadium was played at a thrilling tempo and demonstrated that not even Serie A's bottom placed team is willing to sit back and absorb. On the contrary, rarely have we seen a side as courageous both tactically and physically as Eusebio Di Francesco's team.

Opting to deploy a 3-4-3 formation, their first priority was to ensure they disturbed Juve's usual style of play. That meant...