I woke up early along with two friends to catch a 8:45am train from Firenze to Torino. After a nice nap we arrived around 11:45am. Since we had enough time, we decided to take our time and casually walk to the stadium. I know it was a Sunday afternoon but it seemed a bit eerie as almost every store was closed. I supposed I'm now used to Firenze which is a huge tourist attraction, which Torino isn't so much but just from my walk I could tell it is a very nice city. It feels much more like a true city compared to Firenze and it seemed quite big as well. After picking up some lunch and a coffee we continued our way to the Juventus Stadium.
As the stadium came into sight it was quite a spectacle to behold. It is an impressive building. We got there about 3 hours before and the place was already buzzing. There were obviously stands selling food, scarves and jerseys outside the stadium. There is also the Juventus Museum and Juventus Store right there at the stadium. Unfortunately we did not get to go to the museum because it only opened like 75 minutes before kickoff for some reason. There is basically a mall around the JStore with clothes stores and even a supermarket. The JStore was packed and chaotic. I bought myself the black jersey with Marchisio on the back. Since we had time to kill we decided to walk around the entire stadium. The whole area near the stadium is quite lively on match days.
We headed into the stadium about 45 minutes before kickoff. Our seats in the 2nd row near midfield were quite phenomenal. Compared to the Artemio Franchi & San Paolo the seats at the Juventus Stadium are much closer to the pitch which gives it a great, compact feeling. The design of the stadium is very well done and it plays a huge part in making the atmosphere so great. Hopefully we continue to see more improved stadiums like this one throughout Italy.
As the teams came out for warmups "Thunderstuck" by AC/DC was played over the loudspeaker. The Juve squad came out and started dribbling and passing with each other. Pogba was going around doing some dribbling tricks. After about 5 minutes of that one of the coaches brought them in to run through their usual warmup routine. Paratici, Nedved and Agnelli have a pre-match chat on the field before every match. Before going back to the locker room, Gianluigi Buffon was presented the Team MVP award for the month of September.
After the lineups were announced and the teams greeted each other, the whole stadium joined in singing Juve Storia Di Un Grande Amore. Juve seemed to start the match on the front foot yet Bologna took the early lead in just the 5th minute. Anthony Mounier beat the offside trap, found himself on the end of a cross inside the box and managed to get the ball past Gigi Buffon. The Juventus stadium went silent as the traveling Bologna fans celebrated. You could sense that "oh no not again" feeling amongst the crowd but the home side was up for the comeback. After controlling the play, The Old Lady eventually found an equalizer in the 33rd minute. After a well worked passage of play, Sami Khedira whipped in a cross which Morata headed home. (Watch here: https://twitter.com/scutweet/status/650979686072369152) Juventus and Bologna headed into the break tied at 1-1.
We missed the first few minutes of the second half waiting on line for food but we were back in time to see Morata pulled down in the box and a penalty awarded! Paulo Dybala stepped up and slid it home nicely. (My video: https://twitter.com/transferscalcio/status/650753838178258944)
Juventus continued to dominate the run of play and in the 63rd minute sealed the 3 points. Morata played a beautiful ball into the box to find Khedira at the back post who placed his header into the bottom corner. (My video: https://twitter.com/transferscalcio/status/650753919417720832)
There was a sense of jubilation in the stadium as Juve were finally going to win there first home game in Serie A this season.
Morata was given a standing ovation when taken off in the 75th minute. Kwadwo Asamoah was also given a nice applause as he made his return from a long injury in the 90th minute.
After the final whistle, the crowd sung Juve Storia Di Un Grande Amore again as the Bianconeri walked around the field applauding the fans. Bonucci and Lemina gave their jerseys away to fans. If you're a Juventino and are ever in Italy you really should try to go to a game. The whole experience was a surreal feeling, truly remarkable.
Barzagli - At the age of 34 he still looks great. Top class defender, is good with the ball at his feet and even has some pace still.
Evra - This was the 2nd time I've seen Uncle Pat play in person and I was impressed yet again. His positional sense is fantastic, first touch world class and he's always so calm on the ball.
Cuadrado - Not one of his better games with Juve so far but you could still see how this is the Juan Cuadrado we know from his Fiorentina days. It will be exciting to watch him this year.
Khedira - The German will be a great signing for Juventus. His experience in the midfield was evident and I think he'll become a key figure for this Juve side. He had a good performance and also got a goal in his first Serie A match.
Pogba - It's awesome to see the Frenchman's presence and command on the ball in person. Sometimes he does too much or tries to be too flashy. He had about 2-3 times where he could've taken a shot but just didn't pull the trigger. I want to see Pogba take the shot almost every time he has the chance and so did the rest of the stadium.
Morata - The Spaniard has quite the skill set. He's got height with a big frame but also has great speed so he can both hold up play and blow by defenders. He also has that center forward instinct, where his movement is great, he makes good runs and gets to the right spot at the right time. In my opinion, Alvaro has world class potential.
Dybala - He looked very good in the first half but I think the Argentine still seems a shell of what he was at Palermo so far. Things just don't seem to be fully clicking yet for Paulo. He works very hard but we haven't seen him at his best with Juve yet. His finish on the penalty was well done. Still has tons of potential and once he finds his rhythm he'll look great.
Lemina - While he only played for 23 minutes, the midfielder looked good and completed 100% of his 43 passes. I've been impressed by this kid so far, I think he can become a very good player.
Asamoah - Kwadwo made his return after a long injury spell. He'll mostly be playing in the midfield this season which should be interesting to see. It was good to see him back on the field.