Chapter 535 Incredible Match Statistics
Beatrice Paretti, the Sky Italia journalist, hosted the Serie A post-match show that evening. Right after the interviews with the coaches and players, she smiled at the cameras and said, "Welcome back, our dear viewers, from that exciting Serie A battle between Juventus and Inter Milan. It was business as usual for the Juventus squad as they thrashed Roberto Mancini's struggling Inter Milan by a score of 5:1."
"Zachary continued his exceptional scoring form and put three past the Inter Milan keeper to complete yet another hat-trick this season," she continued. "Then, as a finishing touch, late goals from Carlos Tevez and Álvaro Morata sealed the pummeling of the team from Milan. What a game we've just witnessed! With me in the studio are two gentlemen who are former professionals that played in the Italian Serie A. They will help us analyze and scrutinize why Juventus was able to thrash Inter Milan by five goals to one. Alessandro Costacurta and Roberto Baggio! Welcome to the Sky Italia studio. We're glad to have you here."
"Thank you, Beatrice," The two pundits replied, more or less in unison as the cameras focused on them.
"Let's get straight to business." Beatrice Paretti smiled at the cameras. "Roberto! You just watched the game. What was the difference between the two teams? Why was Juventus so overwhelming on the field of play to the point of thrashing their old rival, Inter Milan, by five goals to one?"
"Well, the answer to that question is quite simple," Roberto Baggio said while smiling at the cameras. "The difference between Juventus and Inter Milan was one young player - Zachary Bemba. His display was so awe-inspiring during the game, and Inter Milan had no way to handle him. His performance today was a 10/10, and he literally destroyed the opponents just by himself."
"His three goals were quite impressive," Beatrice Paretti hurriedly chimed in as the cameras focused back on her. "I haven't seen such goals in a Serie A match for quite a while."
"Yes, they were quite spectacular goals," Roberto Baggio agreed. "The first and second were pretty much the same. Zachary Bemba escaped his markers and drifted from the midfield toward the wing. He then relied on his swift acceleration to set up a one-versus-one against Danilo D'Ambrosio, the Inter Milan left-back. His unparalleled skills allowed him to dash past the defender and slalom his way past a few more opponents before stepping into the box and finding the back of the net. Those two goals were, in every true sense, spectacles for the record books."
"As for the third," Roberto Baggio continued, "It was a typical forward's goal converted from a corner kick. Zachary Bemba showcased his game reading, timing, and finishing skills by towering over everyone else in the box and finding the back of the net with a powerful header. The goal might have looked simple to a layman's eyes, but to all who have ever played professional football, they would have a different perspective. Zachary did everything right from the time the corner was taken. He utilized his wits to escape the harassment of his markers before timing his run perfectly and connecting with the ball. Zachary did just enough to guide the ball into the back of the net. He didn't apply too much force while heading but merely utilized the ball's momentum to generate enough power to beat the keeper and bag his third for the night. His finishing at that moment was the pinnacle of goal scoring, even at the world-class level."
"Thank you for your analysis, Roberto," Beatrice Paretti said. "I have just looked at the game statistics between the two teams. They are quite astonishing. Juventus dominated Inter Milan in all aspects of the game. Let's have a look as we continue with our analysis."
And with that said, the game statistics appeared on the screens around the studio. Beatrice Paretti and the two pundits immediately focused on the stats before continuing their post-match analysis.
Juventus FC (5) : (1) Inter Milan
Mauro Icardi (Inter Milan) 47'
Zachary Bemba (Juventus) 50', 52', 61'
Carlos Tevez (Juventus) 78'
Álvaro Morata (Juventus) 84'
Juventus FC (72%) : (28%) Inter Milan
->Shots on Target
Juventus FC (9) : (3) Inter Milan
->Shots off Target
Juventus FC (3) : (4) Inter Milan
Juventus FC (8) : (2) Inter Milan
Juventus FC (7) : (11) Inter Milan
Juventus FC (0) : (2) Inter Milan
Juventus FC (10) : (3) Inter Milan
->Big Chances Missed
Juventus FC (5) : (2) Inter Milan
Juventus FC (732) : (271) Inter Milan
Juventus FC (653/89%) : (204/75%) Inter Milan
"This is pretty much what we expected," Alessandro Costacurta, the other pundit present in the studio, said after glancing at the statistics. "Juventus was overwhelming in all areas. Their 5:1 thrashing of Inter Milan doesn't come as a surprise to me."
Roberto Baggio pursed his lips and said, "At least my old team, Inter Milan, didn't lose out against Juventus in all aspects. They have more shots off-target, more fouls, and more yellow cards than Juventus. That should count for something. Right?"
The others in the studio chuckled at that.
"Alessandro!" Beatrice Paretti hurriedly chipped in. "Look at the time for Zachary's three goals. He scored during the 50th, 52nd, and 61st minutes. That implies that he destroyed Inter Milan in a brief span of less than a dozen minutes. Truly surprising!"
"Yes, the fact that Inter Milan conceded the three goals in such a short time period also surprised me," Alessandro Costacurta said. "I think the Inter Milan players switched off for a bit during those minutes, and Zachary being as sharp as he is, took advantage of their laxity. He first scored two goals within a window of fewer than three minutes before adding the third that pretty much sealed the deal. If Roberto Mancini had taken measures to contain him right after Inter Milan scored, the result might have differed greatly from what we see now. Zachary might not have scored those three goals, and Inter Milan would have had a chance to win or draw the game."
"I have a different opinion," Roberto Baggio hurriedly said. "Coach Roberto Mancini tried to contain Zachary Bemba by man-marking him with Mateo Kovacic and Yann M'Vila, during the final twenty-five minutes. But what was the result? Sure, Zachary's impact on the game was reduced. However, it was at the cost of leaving gaps that were readily utilized by the other Juventus attackers to put two more goals past Inter Milan during the late stages. So, following that reasoning, the result wouldn't have varied from what it is now, even if Coach Roberto Mancini had utilized two players to mark Zachary from the very beginning. Inter Milan would have only contained Zachary, but Juventus would still thrash them overwhelmingly."
"Let's look at Zachary's statistics for the game before we continue," Beatrice said, and the screens around the studio flashed to show a select few of Zachary's stats against Inter Milan.
ZACHARY BEMBA'S STATS
->Minutes played: 90'
->Shots on Target 4
->Shots blocked 1
->Hit the Woodwork 1
->Dribble Attempts (succ.) 6(5)
->Big Chances Missed 2
->Accurate Passes 71 (97.2%)
->Key Passes 3
"Look at his passing accuracy," Roberto Baggio hurriedly drew the viewers' attention to that specific statistic on the screen. "Zachary was so flawless with the ball that he achieved a 97.2% passing accuracy statistic against Inter Milan. He didn't lose possession unnecessarily — a feat that allowed him to have a maximum impact throughout the entire ninety-plus minutes of the game."
"The statistic that really impresses me is the success rate of his dribble attempts," Alessandro Costacurta, the other pundit, chimed in. "Zachary attempted six dribbles and succeeded in five of those. Moreover, three of those resulted in big chances for Juventus, implying that his creativity within the opponent's half is truly terrifying. He's really maturing fast and quickly becoming a playmaker that can threaten any defense within the top leagues in Europe."
"Yes, he is improvement has been lightning-fast," Roberto Baggio agreed. "His hat trick today has allowed him to push his Serie A tally to 20 goals. Additionally, he previously scored two goals in the Supercoppa and nine in the Champions League. So, as we speak, his season total in all competitions is 31 goals, and he has achieved such a feat at a point just after the mid-season mark."
"I'm just wondering whether Zachary will go on to score 60 goals by the end of the season," Beatrice Paretti said. "If he can score thirty-plus goals right after the mid-season mark, why can't he score 30 more before the end of the season? We might be looking at a player that might break most (if not all) goal-scoring records in Europe."
"Success doesn't come that smoothly in football." Roberto Baggio chuckled. "Sure, Zachary is a once-in-a-generation young talent. I'm sure that he will score more goals before the season ends. But again, we must understand that coaches and defenders will study and assess him as he continues playing. They will come up with targeted strategies to contain him, and that will limit his goal-scoring opportunities. I'm no prophet of doom, but there's also the question of whether Zachary can remain a hundred percent match-fit for the rest of the season. Going by the norm, there should be more and more days when he feels tired as the season progresses into its late stages. The fatigue would affect his consistency in the long run, and he might not be able to maintain his goal-scoring form."
"We've talked about Zachary a lot today. Haven't we?" Beatrice Paretti said with a smile. "Let's now focus on his team. Juventus has been impressive this season. After beating Inter Milan today, they extended their perfect winning streak in the Serie A to seventeen games. Moreover, they also have six other wins from the Champions League's group stages and one more from the Supercoppa final when they defeated Napoli. They haven't lost or drawn even a single game and are probably the best-performing team in Europe this season."
"Yes, Juventus' form this season is so astonishing," Alessandro Costacurta said with an audible sigh. "In my honest opinion, I think they will win the Serie A without any challenge. They have won all games and amassed all the 51 points they could possibly get from their 17 Serie A games this season. They are already ahead of the second-placed AS Roma by 12 points, which puts them in the perfect position to win this year's Serie A. They are really flying as a team, mostly because of the overwhelming displays by Zachary Bemba, their young playmaker, who is like a magician on the field of play."
Beatrice Paretti smiled. "Juventus will face off against Napoli next Sunday, on the 11th of January, 2015. It will be the second meeting between the two teams this season, and this time around, it's in the Serie A. Juventus won the previous battle between the two sides during the Supercoppa final. Can they repeat the same performance and extend their perfect winning streak in the Serie A this season to 18 games?"
"With the form that Juventus is on, I don't see any way Napoli can defeat them," Roberto Baggio said as the cameras focused on him. "Juventus will head into the fixture with all the momentum to attain victory, especially after having already beaten Napoli in the Supercoppa by four goals to zero. But again, football is sometimes unpredictable. Maybe something unexpected could happen, and we could see an upset by Napoli."
"In that case," Alessandro Costacurta said lightly, "The sun might just set in the east on the day Napoli manages the upset against a Juventus team that is in good shape. The future is always unpredictable."
The others in the studio chuckled and ended their analysis of Juventus. They then proceeded on with the show and started discussing the other teams in the Italian Serie A.