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24 November 2013
• Stadio Armando Picchi, Livorno
Referee: D. Massa
• Attendance: 18735
C. Tévez 75'
That's it from me, bye for now.
Full time here in Tuscany, a hard earned three points for Juve. Job done for the champs, and they now leapfrog Roma to go top of Serie A, with the Giallorossi set to square off against Cagliari on Monday.
90' + 3'
Pirlo has a chance to make it three with the last kick of the game, but he slams his shot right into Emerson after Pogba's tee up.
90' + 1'
Into the first of three added minutes.
Emerson trying to make things interesting in the closing stages with a good solo run and a good strike on goal, but it does not trouble Buffon in the end.
Sting taken out of the game now as Juve have settled on their two goal lead and are milking the clock.
POST FOR JUVE AGAIN! Pogba attacks Padoin's cross inside the box but under pressure from a defender, the ball cannons back off the woodwork!
Double change for Juve as Tevez and Llorente, job fully done, depart for Quagliarella and Vucinic. The Argentine and Spaniard are really gelling into a fearsome partnership.
Now a matter of how many goals Juve want in this one. Livorno looked floored and have given up the ghost in this one it seems.
Yellow CardAndrea Luci
Luci picks up a fully warranted yellow card for taking the legs of Pogba from beneath him with a reckless challenge.
Massive display of strength from Llorente, who holds off two defenders and lays off to the Argentine, who then buries a well placed finish from just inside the box, via the post!
TEVEZ WRAPS IT UP!
Llorente has scored in each of his last three games for the Italian champs. He's rounding into form after a difficult start in Italy.
Yellow CardKwadwo Asamoah
More gaps appearing for Juve as Livorno look to get a little more reckless in their push for an equaliser. One more goal could beckon for the Bianconeri should they take one of these chances.
The goal has taken a little out of Livorno, who don't look at threatening as they did at the start of the half, and at the moment, don't look like they have a leveler in them.
TEVEZ HITS THE POST! Pogba set his man up in a great shooting position, but he cannot find the back of the net when that looked like the only outcome!
EMERSON! He had Buffon worried there for a second, with a dipping half volley that misses the top corner by only a foot!
The Spanish hitman does just that! Pogba whips in a great cross into the area from the right that picks out Llorente, who sidefoots a lovely finish in on the volley. He made that look easy when it was anything but!
The case for an opener in this game is looking more promising now. Livorno's increased propensity to break on the counter has opened matters up nicely in both halves. I still think that there's a goal in this game.
Juve appeal furiously for a penalty against Ceccherini, but it's not come from the referee. Llorente's layoff appeared to have struck the arm of the defender, but the incident happened so fast, it would have been a very harsh call.
Livorno looking a real threat on the counter attack at the moment, as Silligardi just fails to pick out a dangerous run from Greco, which, if connected, would have put him clean through on Buffon!
YELLOW CARD FOR GRECO...a contentious call as the midfielder went down under pressure from Vidal in the box! To be honest, that could have gone either way, the Chilean riding his luck on that occasion.
Yellow CardLeandro Greco
Pirlo tries to bounce a clever free kick towards the bottom corner, but it's hardly his best ever set piece and goes out for a goal kick.
Silligardi becomes the second booking of the contest for taking out Asamoah on the left hand side.
Yellow CardLuca Siligardi
Llorente has provided a few interesting knock downs despite being pressured hard by the opposition defence, but his teammates have not always read his intentions and as a result, he often gives the ball right back to the opposition.
Play looking a little more open in the second half as Juve bid to use the flanks more to get play going. They win a succession of corners, but nothing comes of any of them.
Here we go again.
A frustrating half for Juventus, who have failed to turn their monopolization of the ball into anything approaching a goalscoring chance. Livorno have defended excellently, and in fact came closest to breaking the deadlock with Emeghara's bad finish on the counter. Stay tuned for the restart in just a bit.
That's the end of the half, without a second of stoppage time.
Not quite as eventful for Tevez on the pitch though, as Rinaudo has absolutely taken him out of the game with some superb marking and positional play. A microcosm of Juve's fortunes so far.
Speaking of Tevez, it was quite an eventful international break for him, as he had an audience with countryman Pope Francis, chatting about poverty and strife in their home city of Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina.
Llorente knocks the ball down well towards Pogba, who uses the outside of his boot to try a first time ball towards Tevez, but he doesn't come close to picking out the Argentine.
Yellow CardIbrahima Mbaye
Mbaye gets himself booked for a rough, two-footed challenge on Padoin. A deserved and belated yellow card, both for the foul itself and its position as one of a series of illegal incidents from the former Inter youth product today.
Emeghara's pace and work rate is a valuable asset up front for the home side, but his lack of composure is jarring at times, especially since Livorno need a lot of time to get men forward in support on each attack.
Luci with a superb ball past the back of the defence to find Emeghara, who responds with a dreadful finish that is put high over the top, not testing Buffon at all. Replays suggest that he was fractionally offside on that play, so for controversy's sake it's perhaps best that it did not go in!
Pirlo with a fantastic pass forward for Carlos Tevez, down the channel onto his stronger right foot, but the Argentine just runs out of room before the ball can set up for a shot. Goalkick as it rolls over the byeline.
Emeghara delays the pass on a 2 on 3 break for Livorno following a corner. Schiattarella was calling for the ball down the centre, but the striker spots his run too late, and the pass that eventually comes is poor, not making it past the first man.
Chiellini has trotted forward almost into a left wing back role, as the regular incumbent of that position Asamoah is pushed so far up that he's nearly playing as the furthest man forward.
Mbaye is forced to resort to the dark arts to get Pogba off the ball, barging right into the French midfielder and conceding the foul, lest Livorno face a swift counter.
Livorno will be delighted with how the first 25 minutes have unfolded here. Juve are struggling to create anything despite their dominance of the ball, and the hosts look comfortable, despite defending most of the time.
Not a bad opening for Llorente, who gets his head to a great cross from Padoin, but cannot get it close to the target as Bardi watches it sail over the top.
Promising free kick from Pirlo on the right hand side is well defended by Livorno, as the ball fails to reach Llorente, Pogba or Chiellini, three of the menacing Juve targets in the box.
To be fair, it was a good tackle from Chiellini, and the fact that the once writhing Schiattarella is up and running good as new means that his reaction probably had some merit behind it.
Schiattarella stays down on the deck after an incredibly meaty challenge from Chiellini and look at this! The Juve defender, he himself a former Livorno man, stands over his fallen opponent and has a few choice words. The referee rushes in to take the pot off the boil.
Turning into a bit of a siege in front of the Livorno goal as the defence and midfield for the hosts are penned back, but to be fair, Juventus have not managed to come close to a genuine chance. Play is breaking down a little too easily in the final third.
Juve forced to play it patiently in the Livorno half. It's not happening for them centrally at the moment, but the flanks are looking a little more sparsely manned.
Arturo Vidal with the first display of his credentials at the back. Mbaye tries to manhandle him with a powerful run down the left, but he picked the wrong hombre to hassle. Vidal puts the ball out for a throw with a forceful challenge.
Juve dominating possession as Livorno are happy to sit deep and get nine men behind the ball. Not entirely unexpected developments in the opening exchanges, and we'll see how the champs respond to having to break down yet another stubborn defensive setup.
The congestion in front of the Livorno goal is such that Chiellini is forced to embark on a dribble towards the left byeline, but Luci is in position to marshal the defender away from the danger zone.
Early problem here for Emerson, who seems to be holding his hamstring in some distress. The knock appeared to have been picked up in an innocuous challenge with Pogba.
January 1942 was the last time that Livorno managed to win against Juventus, and the odds haven't changed much since then. Both sides with completely different objectives at opposite ends of the table in Serie A this season.
Here we go!
Lovely atmosphere amid a bright Sunday afternoon in Tuscany, as the teams set themselves on the pitch, Kickoff just around the corner.
And thanks to the Giallorossi's Monday kick off against Cagliari, Conte and his men can go top of the table with a win, at least for a day. Juve need all the confidence they can get, as their form on the continent has hardly matched things at home. They face Copenhagen in a crucial Champions League clash midweek, needing to virtually win both of their remaining games to have a chance of progressing from their group.
Going to be a tough ask for the hosts today against a Juve side in deadly form at domestic level. The Bianconeri have won their last four in the league, and have dropped only four points all season, cutting Roma's once intimidating gap at the top to a solitary point.
Livorno have injury and suspension problems of their own, as Alfonso De Lucia and striker Paulinho are banned from this encounter, while Marco Benassi and Ruben Botta both sit out due to injury.
Leonardo Bonucci and Angelo Ogbonna are suspended, and Andrea Barzagli is injured. Vidal and Chiellini won't have to worry too much about a starting spot when the former three are available again, but today is a big opportunity for the third member of the back line, Martin Caceres, to force his way further into Antonio Conte's reckoning.
Juve needed special permission from Fifa to even field Vidal today, since he withdrew from Chile's friendly with England on Wednesday, and this match falls within the five-day window that prevents a player from featuring for his club if he missed international duty through injury.
In the wake of key absences, Juve's defence is patched up tonight, to the point that Arturo Vidal starts as one of the back three. Not an entirely left-field choice to draft the Chilean though, who has played centre back in a pinch before for Colo Colo and the national team.
JUVENTUS: Buffon, Caceres, Vidal, Chiellini, Padoin, Pogba, Pirlo, Marchisio, Asamoah, Tevez, Llorente.
LIVORNO: Bardi; Coda, Rinaudo, Ceccherini; Schiattarella, Luci, Emerson, Greco, Mbaye; Siligardi, Emeghara.
Greetings one and all, and welcome to live play by play coverage of the Serie A clash between Livorno and Juventus. I'm Keeghann Sinanan, your designated scribe for this afternoon's action.
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