Juventus suffered their fourth defeat in the Champions League group stage as they were dumped out of the Champions League by Benfica. The Portuguese side won 4-3 despite a late resurgence from the Bianconeri, and have earned qualification into the Round of 16.
But a team that was almost guaranteed to be in the knockout stages only a couple of years ago is now in ruins. And this is the first time that the Italian side have failed to make it out of their group since the 2013/14 season.
What is behind Juventus’ recent struggles?
One of the main reasons behind the poor form of the team is their reliance on older players. Leonardo Bonucci particularly struggled to keep up with the game, and it seems like it is time for the centre-back to move on to a league that isn’t as competitive. He struggled to win duels and keep up with the younger players at Benfica that went past him easily.
A lack of fluidity in attack, as well as a lack of confidence in the forwards has been a recurring issue. Moreover, the dressing room being divided over the coach’s approach and tactics has also been detrimental.
Filip Kostic was one of the only offensively productive players for Juventus on the pitch, putting in a remarkable, but under-appreciated shift on the wings.
Samuel Iling-Junior, however, helped the team get back into rhythm and provided the spark that helped them score their last two goals.
Max Allegri will remain in charge of the first team, but will have to consider giving chances to youngsters like Iling-Junior. Otherwise, it seems like the team is set for a tough season since their attacking display seems pitiful at the moment.