Juventus are the only team to have won all four of their UEFA Champions League away games this season, but they certainly seem to feel at their most comfortable in Turin.
The 1-0 victory against Porto which confirmed the Old Lady’s passage to the quarter-finals was the Bianconeri’s 150th match at the Juventus Stadium in all competitions and their 119th win since their first fixture on 11 September 2011, a 4-1 success against Parma in Serie A.
The spectacular flashing lights which accompany the announcement of the starting XI help to create a sense of occasion, with the fans’ showing of their scarves and singing of the club anthem ahead of kick-off ensuring that Juventus always feel at home.
“Our fans are so important for us and we will never stop thanking them,” Paulo Dybala, who scored the penalty winner against Porto, told UEFA.com after the game.
“We keep repeating it because we are well aware of the importance of their support in every game, home and away. In this stadium, these fans make everything much easier for us.”
So far, the Bianconeri have scored 320 goals and conceded 85 at their new home, where they have lost just five times in all competitions. Massimiliano Allegri’s team are on a record 31-game home winning streak in Serie A (having earned 93 victories from 110 home league games in total) while in Europe they have lost only once (2-0 against Bayern München in 2013) in 26 fixtures at the stadium, 15 of which ended in victory.
This season, though, the magic has not been confined to Turin. Juve have conceded only twice in eight UEFA Champions League encounters, registering their sixth European clean sheet of the campaign against Porto on Tuesday. All this despite an attacking 4-2-3-1 system, with Juan Cuadrado, Dybala, Mario Mandžukić and Gonzalo Higuaín all starting up front.
According to Dybala, one of Juventus’s strengths has been the work the forwards put into defending. “Our coach says that is what we have to do if the four of us want to play together in attack,” he explained. “We field a lot of attacking players and it’s important that we make sacrifices for the good of the team. Sometimes we have to help out in defence, but that’s normal and very important.”
As usual, Mandžukić was the most diligent defensive attacker, hounding Porto’s full-backs all the way to Juventus’s penalty box. “Mario played his usual great game,” a satisfied Allegri said. “He is an example for everybody. [Marco] Pjaca has to follow his example and see quickly that defending is as important as attacking.”
If all of his team-mates feel that Mandžukić spirit, there is no telling how far the Bianconeri can go this season.