Juventus Tactical Analysis vs Verona - Sept 21, 2019
Juventus sealed an all important 2-1 victory today vs a well organized Hellas Verona squad who made things difficult for the Turin side. It was actually Hellas Verona that took the lead in the 20' from a Long Range shot by Veloso. Juventus then equalized from a deflected shot at the top of the box by Ramsey at 31' (Goal analysis broken down later in this article) and took the lead at 49' from a Ronaldo Penalty Kick.
The Tactical Match up for this game saw Juventus deploy a 1-4-3-3 formation & Hellas Verona set up in a 1-5-BOX-1 Formation. Hellas Verona were well organized to deny Juventus Build Up through central spaces. This was due to their high concentration of Four Midfielders set in their BOX structure that prevented Juve central penetration and generally directed the Turin side to progress possession down the width. With the qualitative superiority in favour of the Juventus Line up, there was opportunities for Juve to exploit the space behind the Two Hellas Verona Defensive Midfielders (Space behind their Midfield Box and in front of their Back 5 - See Diagram Below) and create wide overloads through sophisticated movement patterns.
Based on the spaces that Juventus could exploit against the Hellas Verona 5-BOX-1, Sarri had two clever patterns/structures in possession that were consistently utilized during the match. The first structure was based around the Profile of Dybala playing in the Centre Forward (Number 9) position, which is more of a False 9 profile because he is suited to playing in between the lines and is effective at dropping into Midfield areas to unbalance and destabilize the opponent. When Dybala did show between the lines (set the False 9), this was the trigger for Ronaldo and Cuadrado (Number 11 & 7) to make diagonal runs (Invert) and change the Juventus formation to look more like a 4-4-2 with a Diamond Midfield. The Juventus diamond midfield shape would occupy the spaces between, around and through the Hellas Verona BOX. Also, when the False 9 with the diamond midfield was set up for Juventus, Alex Sandro and Danilo had more space and responsibility for covering the width.
As a variation from the above tactical solution that Sarri utilized in the previous pattern/diagram, Aaron Ramsey or Matuidi (Predominately Ramsey based on Profile) would drop down into the Interior Channel (or Half Space for some readers) to receive possession from the Centre backs and the Ball Side Full Back would push high in the width with the Winger inverted to create a 2v1 on the opposition Full Back. Dybala had the option to exploit depth or show between the lines. Ronaldo would start to Narrow inside frequently when this set up was triggered and look to make depth movements behind the Hellas Verona back 5 (Weak side movement - Diagonal runs).
Outside of the above variations, Juventus would often build up within the 1-4-3-3 system and aim to progress possession within the natural shape and options provided within the 4-3-3 structure.
Leading up to the first goal, Juventus utilized Buffon to pass short to the Left Centre back (Both CB's are low and support on an angle in line with Buffon) that draws Hellas Verona to press high up the pitch and creates space for the Left Back (Alex Sandro) to receive as the free player and he breaks the Hellas Verona 1st phase of pressing. In the next phase of play, Matuidi effects the ball side midfielder by showing towards Alex Sandro and opening the width for Ronaldo to receive (Matuidi then makes a second movement to run in depth and the aim of his run was to pull the Hellas Verona Ball Side Midfielder out of position and open space for Ronaldo to drive inside with the ball). Ronaldo then gets fouled upon receiving during this sequence (If Ronaldo was able to turn/face forward, Hellas Verona had a high back 5 and the depth was available).
From the Free Kick, Juve play short to draw Hellas Verona towards the ball zone and that creates space to pass in depth for Cuadrado who exploits Hellas Verona High Back 5....Once Cuadrado has received, their is clever movement by Matuidi again to open space into the Central Pocket for Ronaldo to set up Ramsey for a long range shot at goal that is deflected and ends up in the back of the net.
Video analysis of the Juventus 1st Goal by Aaron Ramsey #8:
It was interesting to see the structure Juventus used on goal kicks based on the new rule that has been implemented this season that allows attacking players to receive inside the 18 yard box unopposed. The below points is a summary of our analysis on the Juventus Goal Kick Structure :
Goalkeeper - Both Centre Backs - 1 Midfield Pivote set up a diamond structure inside the 18 yard box vs Hellas Verona Flat Front 3 (positioned at the edge of the 18)
Both Juventus Central Midfielders (Khedira & Matuidi) split apart to open the Central Channel & stretch Hellas Verona Midfield organization
Buffon plays into the Pivote of the Diamond (Pjanic) who immediately passes into Ronaldo who shows into the gap that has been created in the Central channel
Higuian and Cuadrado stay high to lock up the Hellas Verona Back Line, which leaves Alex Sandro (Left Back) as the free player to break the opposition pressing structure
Video example of Juventus using the above structure to build up from a Goal Kick:
Based on the other results in today's Serie A round of matches, Juventus are in Second Place with 10 points and 2 points behind League Leaders Inter Milan. In conclusion, Serie A looks early on like it will be a tighter competition in comparison to previous seasons and it will be exciting to see if Juventus can retain their title!