There have been times in Juventus’s recent history when dropping six points in a month might have been considered as a run of poor form. On Tuesday, they saw that number slip away in the space of less than six hours.
First came the news that the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) had overturned the decision by Serie A’s sporting justice to award Juventus a 3-0 win for their unplayed game against Napoli in October. The Partenopei were a no-show for that fixture in Turin after two members of their first team, and a further member of staff, tested positive for Covid-19.
Under the protocol agreed between the Italian Football Federation and the national government’s scientific committee, the match ought to have gone ahead. Napoli, however, insisted they had been barred from travelling by local health authorities. Initial appeals to the league and federation were rejected, but CONI upheld their claim.
Juventus’s official position was one of indifference. “We have always been extraneous to this affair,” insisted the club’s chief football officer, Fabio Paratici, after the CONI decision was confirmed. “When they tell us to play, we will play. That said, we were ready in October.”
At least those “lost” points can be recaptured. The ones that got away later in the evening are gone for good. Juventus hosted Fiorentina at the Allianz Stadium on Tuesday in a game that ought to have provided an opportunity to end 2020 on a winning note.
The Bianconeri, despite mixed performances and some disappointing draws, were still undefeated in Serie A under Andrea Pirlo. Their opponents had not won a game for two months. Fiorentina made a nostalgic appointment of their own in November, bringing back Cesare Prandelli as manager after a decade apart, but he had scraped together just three points from his first six games in charge. Continue reading