It wasn’t a pretty day for star keeper ‘Memo’ Ochoa or any Salernitana player / fan for that matter. Coming off a motivating 1-2 road victory at Lecce 10 days ago, troubled Salernitana had a chance to make it two straight in a home matchup against historic Italian side Juventus. The match went nothing like they would’ve wanted.
After going down 0-1 thanks to a boneheaded tackle on the part of MF Nicolussi on Juventus’ Miretti, the amateurish mistakes continued on the part of the home squad, and the next one unfortunately involved Ochoa.
♂️ ¡NADA QUE HACER PARA MEMO OCHOA!— ESPN.com.mx (@ESPNmx) February 7, 2023
Horror de la defensa de Salernitana y le cae el segundo al portero mexicano#Salernitana 0-2 #Juventus
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This goal was a compilation of mistakes, ending in Ochoa’s, of course. First, the ill-conceived header by Sambia to the center of the penalty area instead of heading it back safely for a corner. Then, the near swing and a miss on the part of Vlahović, only to find a wide open Filip Kostić who would’ve had a much tougher attempt had the Mexican keeper stayed put. Instead, he played to his weakness (leaving the goal), and for some odd reason tried to go around Sambia himself who was much more in position to close out Kostić than the keeper. Ochoa’s decision ended up leaving the striker an open net and easily put it away for the 0-2.
The black and white kept on coming, and just a minute into the second half, a wide open Vlahović got the ball down the middle and crossed it beautifully out of Ochoa’s reach for the final nail in the coffin.
Juventus appeared to slow the pace after that and Salernitana were even able to approach Szczęsny’s goal a couple times. In the end though, it wasn’t even close. What’s worrysome about this result is that despite their recent struggles, Juve were still miles away from the home side. Just a sample of how lopsided this league really is.
Ochoa has now played in 6 matches for Salernitana, same span during which he’s received an unbelievable 17 goals. He’s nearly conceding 3 per match. It goes without saying he has yet to record a clean sheet since his transfer to the Serie A club. It’s also worth mentioning Salernitana own the worst defense in the league, allowing 41 goals in just 21 matches. Their closest rival in that stat are last placed Cremonese (37 goals), who haven’t even won a match this season if you can believe it.
An absolute defensive catastrophy for ‘Memo’ Ochoa and his club. But if there’s a positive to this story (and that’s a big IF), it’s the fact they find themselves 16th in the league table, 7 points clear of Hellas Verona for that first relegation spot (18th place). The question is whether or not this wretched defense can show up enough for Ochoa in their final 17 matches to hold on for dear life and avoid them going under.