Benevento have made history, although not in the way they wanted. On Sunday, they lost their 12th consecutive game since the start of the season, equalling the record (among “Big Five” leagues) set by Manchester United in 1930-31. The irony is that this was probably their toughest game thus far and could have gone in a wholly different direction.
Cult hero Amato Ciciretti actually gave them the lead away to Juventus and the “miracle” lasted just over an hour, until goals from Gonzalo Higuain and Juan Cuadrado restored normality and took us back out of the Twilight Zone. I know it sounds patronizing, but part of the reason Benevento are in this situation is that rather than hunkering down, they actually try to play. When you do that and you have substantially worse players than the opposition, you can get blown away. But at least you go down swinging.
As for Juventus, they got the job done despite a lacklustre and wasteful performance, especially in the first half. In terms of how they line up, the same thing I’ve written most weeks this season (and most weeks in the first half of last season) applies: they remain a work in progress. Still, they’re one point off the top, which means they’re ideally poised to strike when they do hit their stride.
Click here to read more of Marcotti’s thoughts on what occurred in European football over the previous week.