A tale of two halves best describes Juventus' faltering display against German titans Bayern Munich. Can Seria A bounce back from an abysmal year of continental cup play?

Juventus: string of missed chances

The bianco neri started the match like true champions. Two first half goals, and a questionable off side ruling could have put the Italian title winners 3-0 ahead had fate turned things their way. But like most clubs in their position, Juventus tried to spoil their way in defense against a tactful German side that saw them score a second half goal in the dying minutes of the match. Juventus fans can rejoice slightly in the fact that their side at one point had the game in their hands, but without a depth of bench to choose from and a rare goal keeping mistake from Italian legend Gianluigi Buffon, la vecchia signora squandered what could have been a brilliant triumph in Bavaria.

This is but a small part of a much larger problem that troubles Italian Soccer. With only Lazio left in Europa League, the Italian Penninsula is in a state of shock as clubs like Napoli, Roma, and Juventus have all booked themselves an early ticket home. Ironic, considering that this year's final will be played at the San Siro in May.

Seria A lost fourth place qualifying spot in the league

Another year without continental glory could further dampen Italian soccer as the country has received much criticism for its lack of wealth, talent, and a national side that has exited two World Cups in the first round. A league that once housed players like Platini, Van Basten, Del Piero, and Maradonna has been reduced to ashes under the heap of big spending Spanish monoliths like Barcelona and Real Madrid.

Milan was once the Barcelona of its time, but four successive years out of International cup play has forced the rosso neri to strive for merely the domestic cup which would gain them entry to only the Europa League next season. Juventus was the last glimmer of hope for Italian soccer fans since they did manage to reach the final last season.

But now with a disastrous loss to Bayern Munich on their resume, Juventus will mostly likely conquer their league for a sixth time. A harrowing shift from a club that one time reached three European finals in a row back from 1996 to 1998. Seria A has already seen its league diminished to only its top three entering the Champions League, but after another season of early defeats for its clubs, the UEFA is already considering to take away its third place playoff spot, relegating their entrants to only two teams from now on.

Seria A in need of major restructuring

The Italian league requires a monumental corporate restructuring if they are to maintain their historical stance as one of Europe's elite competition. Barcelona has proven that they have the perfect combination of homegrown talent and a depth of monetary wealth that enables them to buy some of the world's best footballers. Both Juventus and Milan had that ability at one point. The bianco neri were the club that housed legends such as Zinedine Zidane and Edgar Davids. But with this pool of players, the Turin side showed that all they have to offer is a solid starting eleven with many holes permeating their roster. Last night's loss in Munich was a revelation to the club's corporate structure, as their loss was due to a lack of talent coming off the bench.

With Dybala, Marchisio, and Chiellini gone, so were Juventus' chances of victory. Tenacity is what makes a side truly deserving of the coveted Champions League trophy. A side like Real Madrid has a 32 man roster full of champions who can substitute for each other at any given time. The bianco neri are still a squad with much to be proud of, but this summer they must spend more money on the transfer market if they hope to do better then a mere round of 16 finish.

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