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25 September 2012
• Stadio Artemio Franchi, Firenze
Referee: P. Tagliavento
• Attendance: 21000
90' + 4'
Juventus can count themselves lucky here. Their 43-match unbeaten run goes to 44, but it could have been so different had Ljajic, Jovetic or Pasqual finished one of their numerous chances. I've been Alex Mott, thanks for joining me.
90' + 3'
And that's it. The referee blows for full time, and the scoreline here in Florence is Fiorentina 0-0 Juventus.
90' + 2'
Barzagli knocks the ball forward from the halfway line. Vucinic drops off for it, and flicks it first time around the corner for Giovinco. The ball though, is way too strong for the little man, and Viviano picks up the pieces.
90' + 1'
We'll have three minutes of stoppage time here.
The corner comes in from Pasqual, but it's cleared on the edge of the area by Asamoah.
Pasqual crosses from the left, but it's deflected, and Buffon has to make a smart save to knock it over the bar.
Massimo Carrera is gesticulating on the sidelines, but I'm not sure what he can do. Juve are being thoroughly outplayed here.
I asked if Juve were second only to Barca in world football - @RabeaMakhoul came back with this: "They are only one true world class center forward from being even better, I am saying this as a Milan fan."
OHHH! Another Viola chance! Cuadrado, on the right, crosses for Pasqual at the far post. The captain comes diving in, but his header goes just wide of the right-hand post. So, so close.
Another chance goes begging for the home team. Cuadrado, on the right-hand side of the area, cuts the ball back to Romulo. The Brazilian though, fires it first time over the bar.
It's whipped in by Fernandez, but Barzagli clears at the near post.
Vidal concedes a free kick on the left-hand touchline, and Fiorentina have a free kick.
Marchisio, 30 yards from the Fiorentina goal, chips the ball into the path of Lichtsteiner on the right. The former Lazio man heads it back across goal, but Viviano is there to pick up the pieces for the Viola.
Pogba does excellently well there. Ljajic raced down the right-hand side, but the French midfielder got back, and pressured the 20-year-old into shanking his shot/cross into the side-netting.
This from @vikramjit_ray: "You know you've ruffled a few Bianconeri feathers, when they substitute a certain Andrea Pirlo off the park."
OHHH! Another great Fiorentina chance! Cuadrado, on the right-hand side of the area, smashed a shot across goal, but watched as the effor went just wide of the far post.
Great chasing back from Cuadrado. Giaccherini was chasing after a pass from Pogba, but the Colombia international raced back, and got possession for his side. Brilliant work.
High praise from @AhsanARai: "as a Milan fan I am quite envious of Juve, altho I cant help but admire how good their team is. Their mid is only 2nd to Barca!" What do you reckon? Juve second only to Barca? Tweet me @alexjmott.
What a ball from Pasqual. A pass from Pizarro went out to the captain, who volleyed it across goal, and ultimately all the way across the box, with no one there to get on the end of it.
Poor from Viviano there. Receiving the ball from Rodriguez, the goalkeeper had the opportunity to settle his side down in possession, but instead lumped it up field, straight into the feet of Buffon.
@CorioLouis with an excellent point: "Juve can't dominate the midfield with Giaccherini at CM, best to put Marchisio or Asamoah there if Juve want to win the game."
The tempo has realy slowed now, and you can't help but feel that will suit Juventus. Will the Viola rue those first half misses?
Pirlo, 30 yards from goal, plays a pass over the top to Giaccherini. The former Cesena man though, is flagged for offside, and Fiorentina escape.
Remember, I want to hear your thoughts in tonight's game, and everything Serie related. Get following and tweet me @alexjmott.
Ljajic swings it deep, but Buffon is there to punch it away from danger.
Jovetic is fouled by Vidal on the left-hand side of the area, and the Montenegro international wins a free kick in an extremely dangerous position.
Yellow Card Arturo Vidal
Header from Jovetic goes wide of the left-hand post. A cross from the right by Cuadrado, is aimed at the head of the 22-year-old, and he flicks it towards the far corner, but sees it go past the post and out for a goal kick.
OHHH!! Roncaglia, on the edge of the area, strikes one at goal, but watches as it squirms just inches past the left-hand post. So close.
Pirlo plays one of those passes that only Pirlo can. Over the top of the defence, it goes towards Giovinco, but the former Parma man can't get a touch on it, and the ball runs away for a goal kick.
Some fantastic running from Romulo. Down the right-hand side, the Brazilian tries to get in a cross, but Asamoah blocks the effort, as the ball comes back off the Fiorentina man for a Juve throw in.
Ljajic goes down on the egde of the area. Chiellini looks to have caught him, but the referee books the youngster for a dive. To everyone's surprise.
Yellow Card Adem Ljajic
Some more tactical and personnel advice for the Juve management: @Ahmed_Kiyyali: "I think Vucinic should come one. He always plays well when coming on as a sub." @bungrudi: "giovinco should never play as center forward. He need to be played in wider position. 3-5-2 is not for him unfortunately."
Not the best start for the hosts'. Rodriguez plays a square pass to Roncaglia, but the ball is way too strong, and goes out for a Juve throw in.
Here we go then. We're back underway, and it's Fiorentina who kick us off, going from right-to-left.
@miki_brix sounds like a confident Juve fan: "most of our goals have come in the second half. Expect #juve to come out stronger in the nxt period of the game."
@RayWaneku with some tactical advice for Antonio Conte - or should that be Massimo Carrera: "I think marchisio should come in, though juve look balanced. marchisio will enter and score. am sure."
I'll be back in 15 minutes for the second half, but in the meantime, get following and tweeting me @alexjmott. I want to hear your thoughts on the game.
It's been a half of two halves here at Artemio Franchi. Fiorentina were magnificent early on, and perhaps should have gone one up through effort from Jovetic and Ljajic. Juventus though, have come back strong, and could make the Viola pay for their wastefulness.
45' + 1'
Yellow Card Gonzalo Rodríguez
45' + 1'
Quagliarella hits it, but the effort goes wide of the right-hand post. And that's it, the referee blows for half time, and the scoreline here in Florence is Fiorentina 0-0 Juventus.
Rodriguez makes a late challenge on Giovinco, 25 yards from goal, and concedes a free kick.
@RizzoMB: "hear the atmosphere in Florence is amazing tonight, however #Juventus are loaded & it will take a historic effort to beat them." You're right Mr. Rizzo. The atmosphere is incredible.
OHH! Ljajic misses the best chance of the half! A long ball from Cuadrado down the right, goes to the Serbia international. He travels into the box, and smashes the ball, aiming for the far corner. The shot though, goes well wide of the post, and 40,000 fans scream in anguish.
The ball comes in from Pizarro on the left-hand byline. Jovetic is there, six yards out, and heads AGAINST THE CROSSBAR! Unlucky.
And immediately up the other end, Lichtsteiner bundles Jovetic off the ball on the left-hand side, and concedes a free kick.
Shot from Pirlo goes over the wall, but just wide of the right-hand post.
Yellow Card David Pizarro
Pirlo nicks the ball off of Pizarro, 25 yards from goal. The former Roma man though, tries to get back, and almost rugby tackles the 33-year-old to the ground. Free kick.
Barzagli plays a pass into the feet of Quagliarella. Roncaglia though, stands firm, and comes in from behind to volley the ball away for a throw in.
Juventus win a free kick, 30 yards from the Fiorentina goal. Pirlo steps up to take it, but the shot blasts off the wall.
Lichtsteiner makes an absolutely barn-storming run forward. From nigh on his own area, the Switzerland international goes to the edge of the Fiorentina area, before passing to Giovinco on the right-hand side. The former Parma man though, is given offside, and a chorus of ironic cheers goes up around the ground.
Pasqual gets forward again, and puts in a cross from the left-hand side. Bonucci though, gets up, and heads away. It's all Fiorentina here.
Ljajic with a chance! Receiving the ball on the egde of the area, the Serbia international strikes one at goal first time, only to see it deflect behind for a goal kick.
Fiorentina have certainly had the better of the play here so far. Pasqual, in particular, is bombing on well down the left-hand side. Missed chances though, could cost the Viola. It certainly has for other teams over the past 42-matches.
CONTROVERSY IN FLORENCE! Pizarro plays Pasqual through on goal, with Vidal coming in from behind to tackle the captain inside the area. Viola players claim a penalty, but the referee waves play on.
A corner routine straight off the training ground. Cuadrado, from the right, played it out to Pizarro on the edge of the area, who volleyed at goal, and over the bar.
Some really nice football fom Fiorentina there. Cuadrado, on the right-hand side, played it into Valero, who flicked it around the corner to Ljajic on the edge of the area. Bonucci though, stood firm, and knocked the 20-year-old off the ball.
Fiorentina meanwhile, nick the ball, and within four passes, have put in a cross from the left-hand side. Unfortunately though, the ball from Pasqual goes straight into the arms of Buffon.
Patience buld-up play from Juve here. They must have made about 30 passes, but as yet, have not created any sort of chance. Fiorentina's back-three look strong tonight.
A chance wasted there from David Pizarro. Dispossessing Giaccherini on the right-hand side, he attackd down the flank, and put in a dreadful shot/cross, over the head of Buffon and into the crowd behind the goal.
Some contrasting opinions on Twitter: @connall1875: "Viola have a very good chance tonight, Jovetic already seems to be causing problems." Whilst @miki_brix reckons: "la vecchia signora is winning this one no doubt. #forza juve."
Great running from Pasqual. Down the left-hand side, the former Arezzo man took on Lichtsteiner, and put in a good ball for Jovetic. Unfortunately though, Asamoah got there before the Montenegrin, and passed it back to Buffon.
@ksperro: "I think Mati Fernandez could cause some problems too." I think you'd be right. If he were playing.
Giovinco again causes Fiorentina problems. Running from right-to-left, the Atomic Ant crashes an effort from the egde of the area that goes just wide of the far post.
Ljajic runs at the Juve defence this time. He enters the box, and goes down under a challenge from Bonucci, but despite the protests, the referee waves play on. Correctly.
@hnafe99 reckons the Viola could cause some problems tonight: " Fiorentina have built a pretty interesting squad, the thing to fear is Roncaliga's long range shots." What do you think? Tweet me @alexjmott.
First shot of the game, and it's Giovinco with the effort. Cutting in from the right, the former Parma man goes past three Fiorentina defenders, before hitting it at goal. The strike though, is a poor one and Viviano saves easily.
Jovetic comes forward now for the hosts'. He comes over the halfway line, but finds his path blocked by Chiellini and Asamoah, and eventually plays it backwards to Romulo.
Nenad Tomovic has it now for Fiorentina. He plays it long, up towards Ljajic, but the ball goes out of play on the left-hand side, and Juve have a throw.
Chiellini, formerly of Fiorentina, gets his first early touch, and plays it into the path of Vidal. The former Leverkusen man though, takes a touch too many and gievs it away.
Here we go then. We're finally underway at Artemio Franchi, and it's Juventus who kick us off, going from right-to-left.
Fiorentina wing-back Manuel Pasqual described this as 'not a game, THE game,' So expect fireworks here tonight. The players are entering the pitch, with kick off just moments away.
Not long until kick off here in Florence, and the sell-out crowd at Artemio Franchi are certainly in the mood for an upset. The atmosphere is electric.
As always, I want to hear your views, thoughts, opinions on tonight's game. So get following and tweeting me @alexjmott.
Juventus (3-5-2): Buffon; Barzagli, Bonucci, Chiellini; Lichtsteiner, Vidal, Pirlo, Giaccherini, Asamoah; Quagliarella, Giovinco.
Fiorentina (3-5-2): Viviano; Roncaglia, Rodriguez, Tomovic; Pasqual, Valero, Pizarro, Romulo, Cuadrado; Ljajic, Jovetic.
TEAM NEWS: Claudio Marchisio and Mirko Vucinic have been left out of Juventus' starting line-up. The Bianconeri instead, going for Emanuele Giaccherini and Sebastian Giovinco. As for the hosts', the headlines coming out of their selection is that Romulo has been chose ahead of Matias Fernandez.
That optimism may be punctured though, by the fact that the last time Fiorentina won at home to Juve, Gabriel Batistuta was the goalscorer in a 1-0 win - that was back in 1998.
The Viola meanwhile, were distinctly average last season, but seem to be rejuvenated under the tutorship of Vincenzo Montella this year. Borja Valero, Matias Fernandez and Gonzalo Rodriguez are just some of the names that have joined the club over the summer - and there seems to be an air of optimism surrounding the Tuscan club of late.
Recently though, the fortunes of the two teams have been vastly different. Juventus are on a 42-match unbeaten run, and, with seven successive away wins to their name, will fancy taking the three points here tonight.
What a game we have in store this evening. Described as 'virtually a derby' by Vincenzo Montella yesterday, this game is the biggest in Florence, bar none. Anamosity between the two clubs has been well-publisised in the past, with a history of hatred and vitriol running deep in the city's veins.
Good evening everyone, and welcome to Goal.com's LIVE, play-by-play coverage, of Fiorentina - Juventus from Stadio Artemio Franchi. I'm Alex Mott, and I'll be your commentator for tonight's mouth-watering Serie A clash.
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