In a totally unexpected result, reigning Italian champions and European heavyweights, Juventus, fell to a 2-1 defeat against Group H bottom placed Young Boys in Bern, Switzerland.
Young Boys are the defending Swiss champions, and currently sit 19 points clear at the top of the Swiss Super League table, winning each of their last 6 domestic matches consecutively.
However, this is only their maiden Champions League campaign, and in Juventus, they came up against a club in a much different league, and the history of the Italians as well as the difference in the calibre of players on display for both clubs made fans and pundits alike see this as a walkover for the Italians.
Juve have been one of the in-form teams in Europe this season, losing just one of their 20 matches this season in all competitions (their 1-2 reverse to Manchester United on Matchday 4 of the UCL), while they have won 18 of the rest, with the only other blemish coming in their 1-1 draw against Genoa in the Serie A.
Juve currently sit 6 points clear at the top of the Serie A table, and are all but certain to retain the league title they have won consecutively for the last 7 seasons.
The Old Lady had booked their spot in the next round coming into the match, but their coach Massimiliano made it clear that the Italians were all out to win the match, and his starting line-up buttressed that view, with Allegri fielding his strongest team in Switzerland.
Manchester United’s loss to Valencia meant that Juventus retained their lead at the top of Group H, and will be seeded for the round of 16 draws, but the defeat in Bern was shocking to say the least.
Juve had won each of their last 5 away UCL matches, and were gunning for the record of 7 currently held by Ajax and Bayern Munich, but that was not to be as Young Boys pulled off one of the biggest results in their history. In this piece, we take a look at 3 factors which made Juve lose the match.
#3 Ronaldo uncharacteristically off-form
After 9 stellar seasons in Madrid, Cristiano Ronaldo completed a shock move to Juventus in the summer, in a record breaking deal which not many foresaw.
The Portuguese is a premium player considered by many to be the Greatest Of All Time, and with 121 goals, he is the all-time record goalscorer in the Champions League. With him Juve would fancy their chances of ending their 21 year wait for continental success.
Ronaldo has hit the ground running in Serie A, scoring 11 goals in 15 matches to sit top of the scorers chart, but things have been a bit slower for him in the competition where he has made his name.
Heading into the fixture, Ronaldo had just 1 goal from 4 matches, and his luck did not improve much in Switzerland.
His first big chance of the night came on 15 minutes, as he was played in through on goal with only Woelfli to beat in the Young Boys goal. In uncharacteristic fashion, Ronaldo dragged his shot wide, and It was to be the first of 4 big chances he had throughout the match, which on another day could have seen him have at least a brace.
He made amends somewhat by laying on the ball perfectly for Paulo Dybala to half the deficit, but Ronaldo’s ill-luck continued when he became the man responsible for denying Dybala a brace and Juve an equaliser, when he flicked on the ball from a sweet strike by Paulo Dybala in the dying embers of the match.
Ronaldo will undoubtedly kick into full gear once the knockouts commence, but his poor form on the night played a huge role in seeing Juventus fall in Switzerland for the second time consecutively.