Trabzonspor played one of their bravest and crucial games of the season when they faced the Italian Serie A champions, Juventus, in Turin, Italy.
The game provided less back-and-forth action as would have been expected; Juventus played with three in the back and Trabzon stuck with the 4-1-4-1, meaning that the Turkish outfit looked to find their lone striker or use their wide midfielders to produce chances.
The home side relied on the mindsets, skills and visions of both Andrea Pirlo and youngster Paul Pogba, who managed to score the second and final goal of the night in added time. Together, they form a formidable partnership in the center of the park and it is always difficult to outplay them.
Trabzonspor unfortunately had a goal called off as Olcan Adin slammed home a cross that was put back into play by the player who sent it in after it rolled over the end line. According to the replay, the ball was not fully over the line, which is why the Turkish side could feel robbed.
Regardless, Juventus were victorious by a score of 2-0 ahead of the second leg in Turkey, where the Turks will have to score two and allow none in order to force Extra Time.
The one aspect of Trabzon’s game that was truly impressive was the bravery of their center-backs: Mustafa Yumlu and Aykut Demir. These two players covered their opponents, dispossessed them of the ball and cleared away so many long balls and crosses that the count was lost. In fact, their successful play should earn them both a starting spot on the Turkish national team as a duo. They work well together so they should be trusted.
As for Juventus, Pogba once again proved why he is being courted by Real Madrid, as he can defend and attack just as successfully as the other. At the age of 20, he shows a humble confidence that is not easily found in players as young as he is. If he stays on this path, he will go down as one of the very best midfielders of the game.