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3 February 2013
• Stadio Marc'Antonio Bentegodi, Verona
Referee: M. Bergonzi
• Attendance: 9500
C. Théréau 52'
A. Matri 10'
S. Lichtsteiner 42'
Eugenio Corini will not be too disheartened with that result and he can be proud of the tireless effort shown by his players. In the end, Juventus' quality, especially in that first-half, was too much for the Flying Donkeys. Chievo face a tricky away trip to Inter next Sunday whilst Juventus host sixth-place Fiorentina. That's all from me, Max Bentley. Make sure to check out all of Goal.com's reaction, report and player ratings. Until next time, goodbye.
So, Juventus continue their impressive record against the Gialloblu and they are now unbeaten in 19 of the last 20 meetings between the sides. Chievo's eight-game unbeaten home run in Serie A has come to an end and it was undone by two strikes of the highest order.
FULL TIME: CHIEVO 1 - 2 JUVENTUS. Mauro Bergonzi calls time on a brilliant contest as Juventus regain their three point advantage over Napoli at the top of Serie A. First-half strikes from Matri and Lichtsteiner put the Italian champions firmly in control but they appeared to take their foot off the gas in the second half and Thereau managed to pull one back for the hosts. Corini's side rallied for an equaliser but Juventus hung on to claim a vital away victory.
90' + 2'
Hetemaj launches the ball into the Juventus box but it is hoofed clear by Luca Marrone. Do they have one final attack?
90' + 1'
Pirlo plays a pass into Quagliarella on the edge of the box and the striker's shot on the turn is well saved by Puggioni. Two minutes of stoppage time remaining.
Andrea Pirlo whips a freekick into the heart of the Chievo penalty area but Dainelli rises highest to head the ball clear. The Old Lady are almost there.
Final change for the Old Lady who replace goalscorer Alessandro Matri with versatile Chilean Mauricio Isla.
If Juventus were to concede late on, they really will be masters of their own downfall. After a commanding first-half display, the Bianconeri have invited Chievo pressure onto them. Will they pay the price?
There is a stoppage in play as Dainelli receives a spot of treatment for a knee injury. Will we see late drama in the remaining five minutes at the Stadio Bentegodi?
Matri holds the ball up brilliantly before laying it off to Vidal on the edge of the box but the Chilean's powerful drive is blocked by Dario Dainelli.
Alberto Paloschi capitalises on some hesitation from Luca Marrone to send an effort over Buffon's goal. Chievo's top goalscorer has been relatively quiet today.
Andrea Pirlo steps up to execute a freekick from distance but his swerving effort dips over the crossbar. Can Juventus see out this contest to regain their three-point lead?
Stephan Lichtsteiner's goal could decide this contest and the Swiss wing-back is the next to be replaced, making way for Simone Padoin.
Andrea Pirlo looks to split the Chievo defence with an eye-of-the-needle pass but it is excellently cut out by Acerbi. The defender who played at Milan last term has been impressive on his debut.
Juventus switch the ball from right to left with Pirlo finding De Ceglie but his shot across goal is well saved by Puggioni.
Eugenio Corini makes a final change, replacing Isaac Cofie with veteran striker Sergio Pellissier.
Quagliarella looks to continue his impressive record against Chievo with a strike from the edge of the box but there are three yellow shirts around him and his effort is well blocked.
Yellow Card Paolo De Ceglie
Paolo De Ceglie is the first Juventus player to be cautioned for a tackle through the back of Seymour.
Good spell of controlled possession from Juventus. Chievo just cannot pick the ball off of the toes of Andrea Pirlo who is becoming increasingly influential in this game.
Paolo De Ceglie does excellently to burst past his marker before delivering a wonderfully clipped cross into the box which just evades the head of Matri. Great wing play.
Desperate defending from Juventus. Felipe Seymour's cross is volleyed towards goal by Cofie before Thereau is denied by a block from Barzagli. The next goal is crucial.
Yellow Card Isaac Cofie
Yellow Card Isaac Cofie
Juventus are probing to restore their two-goal cushion. De Ceglie whips in a cross from the left which is acrobatically flicked towards goal by Pogba and it takes a wicked deflection off a Chievo defender before dropping just the wrong side of the post.
Andrea Pirlo looks to chip a clever pass over the top of the Chievo defence for Quagliarella but Marco Andreolli backpeddles excellently to flick the ball back to his goalkeeper.
Two chances for the visitors. First, Matri's goalbound effort is well blocked by Acerbi before Pogba sends a venemous drive wide of Puggioni's goal.
Sebastian Giovinco's day is over and he is replaced by Fabio Quagliarella who decided this contest at the Juventus Stadium with two goals earlier this season. The forward has seven goals in his last nine games against the Gialloblu.
Juventus counterattack in numbers with Vidal spreading the ball out wide for Lichtsteiner but the Swiss' low cross is excellently cut out by Acerbi.
Thereau is full of confidence after his fourth league goal of the season and he forces Buffon into another save after cutting in from the right flank. Chievo have their tails up here.
Assist Perparim Hetemaj
Goal Cyril Thereau
CHIEVO HAVE MADE IT COUNT! Perparim Hetemaj's long ball forward is chested down by Alberto Paloschi into the path of his strike partner Cyril Thereau who rifles the ball into the bottom left-hand corner. Great response from Corini's side. 2-1 Juventus!
A rather tentative display from Juve in this second period who are yet to enjoy possession in the Chievo half. Can the Flying Donkeys make this pressure count?
Finnish midfielder Perparim Hetemaj looks to penetrate the Juventus backline with an incisive through ball but Martin Caceres is there again to hack the ball clear.
Bojan Jokic floats a teasing cross in from the left which causes havoc in the Juventus penalty area but they just about manage to scramble the ball clear.
Two half-time substitutions from Chievo who introduce Chilean midfielder Felipe Seymour and new signing Francesco Acerbi in place of Bostjan Cesar and Mario Sampirisi.
We could well see the introduction of Nicolas Anelka in the second half. The 33-year-old French striker joined on a six-month contract from Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua where he notched three goals in 22 league appearances.
Is that Juventus' best first-half performance of 2013? Let me know your thoughts on the match via Twitter @MaxBentley1.
HALF TIME: CHIEVO 0 - 2 JUVENTUS. A cultured and cohesive performance from the Old Lady who have scored two goals of the highest order to storm into a deserved lead at the break. Chievo have worked hard to close Juventus down but when the Bianconeri are in this kind of irresistible form, there is not much you can do. Great half from Conte's side.
Lichtsteiner looks to add to his tally when he collects Giovinco's pass and cuts in from the right flank but his left-footed shot flashes wide of Puggioni's goal. Juventus are in full flow here.
Assist Sebastian Giovinco
Goal Stephan Lichtsteiner
2-0 JUVENTUS!!! Sebastian Giovinco and Alessandro Matri combine excellently once again with Giovinco backheeling the ball into the path of Stephan Lichtsteiner who fires across goal with his left foot past the helpless Puggioni. Super team goal by the Bianconeri.
One player we haven't seen too much of in this first half is Paul Pogba. The 19-year-old Frenchman has been in good form recently but hasn't made too much of an impression so far today.
Andrea Pirlo plays a wonderful diagonal pass to Stephan Lichtsteiner who appears to bring the ball down with is arm before forcing Puggioni into a smart stop with his legs. The rebound falls to Matri but his placed effort curls over the crossbar.
Juventus really have controlled this first half but they need to be wary of the threat that Chievo pose on the counterattack. Pirlo is pulling the strings effortlessly in midfield.
Not one of Pirlo's greatest...his freekick dips over the wall but Puggioni gets across his goal quickly to make the save.
Yellow Card Bostjan Cesar
Bostjan Cesar is the first player in Bergonzi's notebook after a mistimed tackle on Giovinco. Shooting distance for Pirlo or Giovinco here...
From a Juventus corner, Chievo counter at pace. Thereau plays a wonderful ball towards the far post for Paloschi but the ball ricochets off the striker and out for a goalkick.
Some fantastic goalkeeping from Gianluigi Buffon as he rushes off his line to slide-tackle the ball away from Alberto Paloschi.
Juventus opt to play a short corner and Giovinco's deflected effort draws a smart stop from Puggioni at his near post.
Bojan Jokic concedes a freekick in a dangerous area for a foul on Sebastian Giovinco. From Pirlo's set-piece, Vidal meets it with a thumping low drive which is deflected behind for a corner.
Thereau floats a cross into the Juventus penalty area but Buffon is on hand to punch the ball clear. This is a good spell for the Gialloblu.
This is better from Chievo. Luca Rigoni plays the ball into Paloschi on the right-hand side of the box and the striker draws a good stop from Gianluigi Buffon.
Alberto Paloschi and Cyril Thereau combine excellently to set up a promising attack for the Flying Donkeys but Martin Caceres gets across to produce a wonderful challenge. The Uruguayan defender has started this match superbly.
SO CLOSE TO 2-0! Sebastian Giovinco plays a splendid one-two with Alessandro Matri but his low placed shot trickles just past the post. Good build-up play from the Bianconeri.
Andrea Pirlo looks to wriggle past several Chievo defenders on the edge of the box but he has the ball stolen off of his toes by Marco Andreolli.
Chievo make a lighting-quick counterattack with Alberto Paloschi but the forward's low strike is excellently blocked by Martin Caceres. Can the striker on loan from Milan extend his league tally of seven goals today?
Chievo are working hard but they just cannot get possession of the ball in the Juventus half. Antonio Conte's side in firm control of this contest at present.
Juventus are really enjoying themselves here! Giovinco spreads the play out wide to Paul Pogba and his dangerous low cross is well smothered by Puggioni.
Sebastian Giovinco looks to extend his side's lead with a left-footed shot from distance but the diminuitive forward drags his shot wide of the goal.
Incidentally there are some colourful boots on show today. Martin Caceres is sporting some pink boots whilst Barzagli's banana-yellow ones certainly catch the eye.
Assist Arturo Vidal
Goal Alessandro Matri
1-0 JUVENTUS!!! That is just the start the Old Lady needed. Arturo Vidal spots the run of Alessandro Matri who has peeled off his marker and the 28-year-old striker shows wonderful technique to volley the ball with his left foot across Puggioni and into the far corner. Brilliant goal!
Juventus are looking to step it up here and Alessandro Matri attempts to chip the ball into the path of Arturo Vidal but the ball is slightly overhit and Puggioni claims. Good idea from the visitors though.
Pirlo opts to take it short, playing it to Andrea Barzagli who finds Arturo Vidal 25 yards out but the Chilean's stinging drive flashes wide of Christian Puggioni's goal.
Isaac Cofie is fortunate not to be cautioned after a challenge through the back of Paolo De Ceglie. Good chance for Pirlo to whip the ball into the box.
Chievo are closing Juventus down quickly in these opening moments and are refusing to allow the likes of Sebastian Giovinco to settle on the ball. You can feel the confidence flowing through Eugenio Corini's side who have lost only twice at the Stadio Bentegodi this season.
Stephan Lichtsteiner is struggling after a mistimed challenge from Bojan Jokic. The Swiss wing-back has been one of Juventus' better performers in recent weeks.
Luca Marrone is nearly caught out when his square defensive pass is intercepted by Alberto Paloschi but the young defender is fortunate to see Gianluigi Buffon race out of goal and claim the ball.
Juventus attack down the left with Paolo De Ceglie but his low cross is well cut out by Dario Dainelli.
Bergonzi blows his whistle and this Serie A contest is underway...
A bright sunny day in Verona as both sides take to the field. Mauro Bergonzi will officiate today's match. Juventus enjoyed a perfect record under his stewardship in the 2011/12 campaign, beating Lecce, Fiorentina and Roma without conceding a single goal.
Juventus are undefeated in 18 of their last 19 matches against Chievo in all competitions. Can they continue that impressive streak today? Let's find out, kickoff is only moments away...
In the reverse fixture back in September, the Old Lady secured a 2-0 victory courtesy of a double from Fabio Quagliarella. He is on the bench for Juventus today with Alessandro Matri given the chance to impress up front.
Mario Sampirisi makes his debut for Chievo this afternoon after joining from Genoa. New Juventus signing Nicolas Anelka starts on the bench. Can he be the forward to fire the Old Lady to glory?
Angelo Alessio will be in charge for the Bianconeri today as Antonio Conte is serving a two-match ban for dissent towards the official after last week's controversial draw with Genoa. In the opposing dug-out is Eugenio Corini, who made 64 first-team appearances for Juventus between 1990-1992, scoring four goals from midfield. Can he frustrate his former side this afternoon?
Juventus (3-5-2): Buffon; Barzagli, Marrone, Caceres; Lichtsteiner, Vidal, Pirlo, Pogba, De Ceglie; Matri, Giovinco. Subs: Storari, Rubinho, Peluso, Isla, Padoin, Giaccherini, Anelka, Quagliarella.
Chievo (5-3-2): Puggioni; Sampirisi, Dainelli, Andreolli, Cesar, Jokic; Hetemaj, Rigoni, Cofie; Thereau, Paloschi. Subs: Squizzi, Ujkani, Vacek, Frey, Papp, Farkas, Acerbi, Spyropoulos, Seymour, Guana, Stoian, Pellissier.
Here are today's lineups, starting with the Flying Donkeys...
However, the Bianconeri possess a strong record at the Stadio Bentegodi, slipping to just one defeat in nine encounters contested to date.
Let's get this straight, today is not going to be an easy game for Antonio Conte's side. Chievo are undefeated in their last eight home matches in Serie A. The run stretches back to September 26 when they were defeated 2-0 by Inter.
Having been joined at the perch of Serie A by Walter Mazzarri's Napoli who secured a 2-0 win over Catania yesterday, Juventus can ill-afford to drop any more points in the Scudetto race. At the turn of the year, the Bianconeri held an eight point lead but a series of poor performances and in particular, profligacy in front of goal has seen their rivals catch up. Juventus' poor start to 2013 was compounded by their elimination from the Coppa Italia on Tuesday night at the hands of Lazio and the head of Sergio Floccari. Can they bounce back to winning ways against a resurgent Chievo side who defeated Lazio 1-0 at the Stadio Olimpic on their last outing? Bringing you all the action from the Stadio Bentegodi, my name is Max Bentley. Feel free to let me know your thoughts and predictions via Twitter @MaxBentley1.
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