Parma 1-1 Juventus: Sansone strike sees Bianconeri stumble again

The second-half substitute cancelled out Andrea Pirlo's free kick in the closing stages as the Old Lady's advantage at the top of Serie A shrunk by two points
Parma retained their unbeaten home record this season by securing a hard-fought 1-1 draw with Juventus at the Ennio Tardini.

After an extremely stretched first half that saw no goals, seven minutes after the restart Andrea Pirlo fired home his eighth career goal against Parma, more than he has netted against any other Serie A outfit.

The Bianconeri sat back and attempted to see the game out but the Crociati kept their heads up and found a late equaliser through Nicola Sansone to rescue a point.

Despite a boisterous atmosphere, both sides began fairly pensively. Juventus looked the more dangerous of the pair but two Fabio Quagliarella efforts that bounced wide of the goal were all they could muster in the opening 10 minutes.

As time passed the game became increasingly open, with Parma playing a more attacking role. Ishak Belfodil almost netted a goal to remember in the 21st minute as he beat Martin Caceres inside the area, but failed to curl the ball in at the far corner.

Possession was being given away far too easily, and one of the most reckless moments came courtesy of Gabriel Paletta. His loose ball fell straight to Paul Pogba 20 yards from goal but the Frenchman missed the target when he should really have done better.

But the Bianconeri were by no means in control as Parma gave as good as they got, with the confident Belfodil causing most of the problems.

With 34 minutes on the clock the Algerian finally managed to beat Gianluigi Buffon, but Stephan Lichtsteiner was back on the line to keep the ball out. The rebound fell to Amauri but his attempted overhead kick sailed well over the bar.

The end-to-end football continued as four minutes later Pirlo's brilliant free kick looked destined for the top corner but a great save from Antonio Mirante kept the ball out.

Seven minutes into the second half, though, Mirante could not emulate his first-half heroics. From the top of the box, Pirlo opted to shoot inside of the wall and a deflection off of Jonathan Biabiany guided the ball past the despairing keeper.

The second half proved a different story for the hosts as they struggled to retain the ball. Service to the strikers had slowed enabling momentum to remain with Antonio Conte's men.

Juve, clearly growing in confidence in the latter stages, were in no rush to get another goal. A speculative 45-yard effort from Quagliarella had Mirante backpedalling but the goalkeeper's blushes were spared as the ball dropped just behind the goal.

That lack of urgency proved costly in the 78th minute as a brilliant pass from Paletta caught Caceres out of position. Sansone made the most of it, latching onto the pass and firing a low shot past Buffon and into the far corner.

Roberto Donadoni remains without as a coach against Juventus, but will no doubt be pleased with the draw against the reigning champions who see their lead at the top of Serie A cut to three points.