It has been a gruelling wait for Juventus but France international Paul Pogba finally made his Bianconeri return after spending the majority of the 2022/23 season on the sidelines.
However, it was the La Vecchia Signora defence that stood out in the 4-2 victory against Torino in the Derby della Mole on Tuesday evening, showing that they can contribute to the scoring when the likes of Angel Di Maria, Dusan Vlahovic, and Federico Chiesa draw a blank.
This outcome was a reflection of the type of players Juventus have whereas Torino, who often try to control games, have struggled to score goals. Much to the dismay of the city rivals, the Bianconeri showed the importance of being clinical when the scoring opportunities present themselves.
Pogba makes his Juventus return after nearly seven years
For the first time since May 2016, Pogba featured for Juventus in a competitive match. The French midfielder had spent six seasons at Manchester United, but a knee injury and further complications delayed his Bianconeri return.
The 29-year-old replaced Argentinian youngster Enzo Barrenechea after 69 minutes, and had some touches of the ball, but did not do much of note with it. However, he did have one shot that probably would have hit the target if a Torino defender had not blocked it.
Pogba is severely lacking in match fitness, but if he can pick his moments, he is a player capable of turning a game around for Juventus.
Juventus defenders add finishing class
Massimiliano Allegri can thank wing-back Juan Cuadrado, and centre-backs Danilo and Gleison Bremer for the goals while another French midfielder Adrien Rabiot added one himself.
Cuadrado has a knack for scoring in the Turin derby while the Brazilian duo can pose a threat in the air. Danilo has three goals in Serie A this season while this was Bremer’s second goal.
Vlahovic hit the crossbar with one of his efforts but his miss was not costly as he could trust his teammates to take the load off him this time.
Torino struggle to score more than twice in a Serie A game
This defeat will hurt Torino for multiple reasons. Not only did they lose to their city rivals, their attempts at attacking play has gone unrewarded again, and they have scored just 26 goals in Serie A so far in 2022/23, having not scored three goals or more in a league match this campaign.
The Granata have scored three goals on two occasions this season and both games were Coppa Italia fixtures. They defeated Palermo 3-0 in the first round and then won 4-0 against Cittadella in the Round of 16.
Torino coach Ivan Juric might encourage a proactive approach but they have lacked a quality finisher since the departure of Andrea Belotti. It is evident that a centre-forward should be a priority for the Granata this summer.