After 12 rounds of matches in Serie A, Juventus currently find themselves in the third position with 24 points. For any other side, this would be considered a decent position, but it’s totally unacceptable for a club of Juventus’ standing.
The Bianconeri have won each of the last nine Serie A titles but for the first time in nearly a decade, their claim to the title is being threatened.
However, this is not necessarily because the other teams are doing extraordinarily well. Rather, Juventus’ lack of consistency is what has accounted for the team’s current position on the league table.
Andrea Pirlo's side is yet to win three consecutive league games this season and on Wednesday dropped points once again versus Atalanta.
With league leaders AC Milan drawing 2-2 with Genoa, this was the perfect opportunity for the Old Lady to close in on their rivals. However, Juventus also failed to win and drew 1-1 with Atalanta.
Lack of consistency costing Juventus
Pirlo’s side started the season poorly but their performances have improved in recent weeks. Before Wednesday’s game, Juventus were on a four-game winning streak, including a 3-0 thrashing of Barcelona at the Camp Nou.
However, their lack of consistency once again reared its head when they hosted Atalanta. Despite opening the scoring through Federico Chiesa, Juventus allowed their opponents to get back into the game.
The Bianconeri had several chances to double their lead. However, a combination of wastefulness up front and a lack of concentration proved to be their undoing.
Alvaro Morata, Cristiano Ronaldo and Rodrigo Bentancur were all culpable for missing some easy chances with the goal at their mercy before Remo Freuler struck the crucial equaliser for Atalanta.
Juventus falling off in title race
Cristiano Ronaldo later had the chance to put Juventus back in front from the penalty spot, but saw his effort saved by the goalkeeper. This wasn’t Juventus’ worst performance of the season. However, it wasn’t good enough either.
"We played an excellent match against a strong team, with great pace," Pirlo said in the aftermath of the game, as quoted by Goal.
"However, we would have won if we had shown more conviction. We created a lot, but we have not been able to close it out and when we leave the game in the balance, anything can happen - but we took the field with the right attitude. It was an important game in terms of intensity. Atalanta is difficult to face and we did it well."
AC Milan and Inter Milan have proven that they are ready to wrestle the title away from Juventus, who are currently a sleeping giant. The two Milan clubs sit first and second on the Serie A table and are playing some good football at the moment.
With Juventus already trailing, continuing to drop points will only cause Pirlo’s side to further lose pace in the title race.
It’s currently a three-horse race, but it could soon become a straight fight between AC Milan and Inter Milan if Juventus don’t regain their form soon.Published 17 Dec 2020, 19:19 IST