Juventus suffered another major blow in the Serie A title race following back-to-back league defeats at the start of the new season. The Old Lady came unstuck to perennial title-rivals AS Roma, losing 2-1 at the Stadio Olimpico on the weekend, and now find themselves without a point from their first two games of the campaign. It’s light-years away from where the club were this time in 2014/15, but could be evidence that Massimiliano Allegri’s men are now past their peak.
The Italian giants, who have won four consecutive scudettos, are 17th in the table, and are clearly suffering from a summer exodus of key players. Juventus lost Angelo Ogbonna, Andrea Pirlo, Arturo Vidal, Carlos Tevez and Fernando Llorente ahead of the 2015/16 season, and have underperformed as a result. They have parted company with so many influential individuals who played a key role in their past success over the years, so replacing them is a near impossible task. And to lose so many faces all in one summer was always going to hurt the club.
Juventus have been dominant in the division for some time, but have peaked at the tail-end of the 2014/15 campaign, finished runners-up in the Champions League – which would have sealed the treble had they have beaten Barcelona. It’s unlikely the side will come close to making a Champions League final for many years now, and their hopes of defending the Serie A title are in major doubt already.
The worst news could be yet to come for the Old Lady, with Paul Pogba being coveted by some of the biggest clubs in Europe. Chelsea, Real Madrid and Barcelona have all piqued an interest in the talented French midfielder, and his future with Juventus could be up for consideration after such a poor start in the league. Pogba will be very aware that last season may have been the best it could ever be with the Italians, and he may seek greener pastures elsewhere to try and succeed in Europe.
Already six points adrift of the league leaders, Juventus have a major task to make up the ground on their competition, and they’re likely to have genuine competitors for the title in the former of Inter Milan and AS Roma. It means they can’t afford to continue dropping points and letting in for sides gain an even bigger lead over them, but could this be the season where Juve’s monopoly on the Serie A finally ends?