Juve vs Villarreal 1-4 (friendly match)

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This time Juventus got it wrong. They lost a friendly in Salerno against Giuseppe Rossi's Villarreal, 4-1. Goals from Carzorla (splendid), Nilmar and Pires for the Spaniards, with Amauri narrowing the gap at the end. This was the first real loss of the pre-season for the Bianconeri: the defeat by Aston Villa on their last outing in Seville was only on penalties after a gutsy performance. Tonight Juve were beaten by a very technically sound opponent, which exposed a few pre-season flaws, both defensively and tactically. But this is part of what friendlies are for: the opportunity to experiment - and Ferrara rotated a lot of players, giving Caceres his debut - and to correct any tactical or player errors before they start to really count and cost the team dearly.

formation — Juventus (4-3-1-2): Manninger; Zebina, Legrottaglie, Cannavaro, Molinaro; Camoranesi, Felipe Melo, Marchisio; Giovinco; Trezeguet, Del Piero. In other words, Giovinco was again deputising for Diego, who is still injured, while Trezeguet enjoyed a place in the starting line-up after his decision to stay at Juve. In for Sissoko, who is still on the injured list, was Marchisio. There was a big crowd at the Arechi stadium in Salerno: over 25,000 enthusiastic spectators.

juve struggled — Thanks to an excellent Villarreal side. Tactically clever and skillful, able to control possession, but also to go deep without losing their shape too much. Giuseppe Rossi is the focal point of this Spanish side, and was dangerous first with his left foot and then his right, after a lovely combination with the Brazilian Nilmar, with whom he has a good understanding and combines well. Manninger, watchful, was obliged to take on rather more than a holiday workload. And Juve? They struggled to find their combinations and they were a little disjointed, with their attack (including the headstrong Giovinco, who floated between attack and midfield) too far away from the midfield and not seeing much of the ball. Felipe Melo found it difficult to direct the traffic in the middle of the pitch, particularly in terms of trying to lift the tempo. Juve, whether they liked it or not, were forced to rely on counter-attacks in the first half. They were dangerous firstly with a dart by Del Piero and then with a header from Cannavaro. The captain of the national side - the Bianconeri's prodigal son from the summer transfer market - got a mixed welcome from the terraces: a few whistles, but also a lot of applause. On 43' Villarreal's goal came: a great left-footer by Cazorla from the edge of the area, after an acrobatic turn.

changes for juve — In the second half Ferrara introduced a brand-new attack: out with the elder statesmen Trezeguet and Del Piero, in with Amauri and Iaquinta. And there was the debut of the newly-acquired Uruguayan Caceres, who started wide on the right in the defensive line. Salihamidzic came on for Camoranesi. Giuseppe Rossi's exhibition also ended at the interval.

villarreal score again — Juve started the second half better, with Marchisio providing an anchor at the back of the midfield and Felipe Melo moving up into his position of inside forward. On the right Caceres won the first applause from his new fans, and Amauri's head was only an inch away from a Iaquinta cross. But it was Villarreal who scored again, with Nilmar's header after a desperate parry by Manninger. From 65' Zanetti was also on the pitch, then there was also a little playing time for Chiellini (who replaced Molinaro, off with a slight injury) and Tiago. But Juve, although they were willing, continued to take risks and fail to impress, even when the tempo inevitably dropped. The "old" Pires first missed, then found the net for 3-0.

the bianconeri's honour — Was saved by a goal from a goal-mouth scramble following a corner, scored by Amauri 5 minutes from the end. But on full time a fired-up Pires again punished a much altered Bianconeri defence, that now included Ariaudo. It ended 4-1. Villarreal much the better side.

ferrara — "Maybe it's better to get a good slap now after so much praise. We didn't play well, but we lost to a great team."

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