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Italia - Serie A
24 February 2013
• Juventus Stadium, Torino
Referee: D. Celi
• Attendance: 38000
S. Lichtsteiner 30'
S. Giovinco 74'
P. Pogba 89'
That's it from the Juventus Stadium. Be sure to stick to Goal.com for reaction and ratings to this afternoon's action. There is the small matter of AC Milan - Inter tonight so be sure to follow Goal's coverage of that scintillating tie here. For now though, I've been Harry Slavin, thanks for joining me and until next time, goodbye!
FT JUVENTUS 3-0 SIENA. Antonio Conte's men get the win they expected in the end but it wasn't all plain sailing. Siena will feel hard done by having rattled the woodwork twice but goals from Lichtsteiner, Giovinco and Pogba cements the Old Lady's position at the top of Serie A.
90' + 2'
Francesco Della Rocca
90' + 1'
Emanuele Giaccherini set up Pogba's goal and he almost grabs himself one in stoppage time, curling just wide from the edge of the area.
Just two minutes of added time. The fans are in good voice once again here at the Juventus Stadium.
Assist Emanuele Giaccherini
Goal Paul Pogba
GOOOOOAAAALLL! POGBA SEALS THE WIN!!! He has been quiet, almost poor, but the sign of a quality player is to produce a moment of magic out of nothing. The french man fires in from the edge of the area to put the seal on a big win for the hosts.
Into the final five minutes then and I think it's safe to say that Juventus have this wrapped up. Siena have produced a much better display in the second half. Can they produce any sort of late show and force a grandstand finish?
Off the post! Siena are still pushing to get back into this match and Terlizzi has just hit a stunning drive that has cannoned back off the base of the post. It had Buffon well and truly beaten.
Paul Pogba has been a little quiet today by his high standards but he lmost produces a moment of magic there by skipping past a challenge and getting to the byline. The ball is deemed to have gone out though before he can pick out a target.
Giovinco has been hobbling a little bit since he scored the second and he hasn't been able to shake it off. Giaccherini comes on to replace him.
The floodgates are threatening to burst open now. Marchisio has to be denied by a last ditch challenge as the Bianconeri pour forward and Matri heads over from the resulting corner.
He only needs one chance, but luckily for Juve, Buffon is equal to Emeghara's effort. Straight from kick off the visitors launch an attack and the Nigerian's bullet header has to be tipped onto the bar by the veteran. Quality header, quality stop.
Assist Andrea Pirlo
Goal Sebastian Giovinco
GOOOAAALL! GREAT FINISH FROM GIOVINCO!! A well worked free kick has put this game to bed. Pirlo plays the dead ball low to the front post and Sebastian Giovinco picks up the pass to lash the ball into the roof of the net, beating Pegolo at his near post. Breathing space now for Conte's men.
Innocent Emeghara picks up the ball for the first time in the match and he turns brilliantly to evade the interest of Bonucci. He can't quite get away from the rest of the Juve defence though and the chance is gone.
The free kick results in Siena's second corner of the game but once again they can't create a clear cut opportunity. The visitors seeing a bit more of the ball now however and that will only breed confidence through the side.
Those changes have already given Siena a boost. Matri isn't the most hardworking of centre forwards and the away side are being given the opportunity to play the ball out of defence. They win a free kick in the Juve half. Their still yet to create a clear opening however.
Strange substitution from Juventus. Vucinic had been the key to unlocking the Siena defence in the opening period. It remains to be seen if Giovinco and Matri can create the same sort of problems for Iachini's side.
First substitutions of the afternoon. One for each side as Alessandro Matri comes on in place of Vucinic for the hosts. Pozzi is on for the visitors.
Pgba sends an effort from distance over the bar. Wasteful, but signs that Juventus are starting to take control once more. What ill be worrying Iachini is that his side are reluctant to get out their own half. They are behind and they do need something.
Vucinic is down in the Siena area after a tangle with Balmonte but Celi isn't interested. Seconds later Pirlo sends a delicate chip just wide of Pegolo's goal. The Siena keeper was beaten all ends up. Typical class from the midfield maestro.
Another cross is flung into Buffon's area but the veteran gathers it easily. At the other end Giovinco is set away by Pirlo but again he cannot find Vucinic in the centre. Further frustration for the home side.
In contrast, Juve have yet to get going this half. Giovinco and Vucinic try, but fail, to fashion an opportunity as the former's pass is just to far in front of his Montenegrin strike partner.
Much better from the visitors. Rubin flies down the left wing before swiniging in a dangerous cross that has to be dealt with by the home defence. Emeghara was lurking. Will the Nigerian loanee get his chance today? He only needs one.
There was actually a great piece of defending from Marchisio during that Siena corner. The midfielder got an acrobatic foot to the ball just as it was about to drop for the in form Innocent Emeghara. Vital interception.
Well they fashion their first shot on goal, but nothing more. Buffon punches Rosina's corner to the edge of the area. It's driven back in but the Juve defence hold firm and they eventually get rid.
Siena have just forced their first corner of the game. It only took them 50 minutes. What can they do with it?
A sloppy pass from Valiani sets Asamoah free down the left wing but his cross is over hit and goes over everyone in the centre. An early let off for the visitors.
Man in the middle Celi blows his whistle and the second half is up and running.
After a little bit of a wait for Siena, both sides are back out. Moments away now from the second half kicking off.
STAT-TRICK. Juventus really did dominate that opening period. They enjoyed 68% of possession and were in possession of the ball for almost double the time of their opponents. Siena couldn't even force a corner in the opening period. Can they provide much of an attacking threat in the second period?
A win today would see The Old Lady open up a seven point gap on their Serie A rivals. That would be very handy lead indeed. It may even allow Conte to downgrade one of the 12 remaining 'World Cup Finals' to just a Champions League Final. No real pressure in those fixtures.
It was 0-0 when these side's met last season and for a while it looked as if that could well be repeated as Juventus struggled to break down Siena's stubborn defence. As it is, Iachini's men will have to open themselves up a bit more in the second half if they want to leave Turin with anything.
HALFTIME Juventus 1-0 Siena. A thoroughly deserved lead then for Conte's men at the break. They've dominated the play and should have more to show for it than Lichtsteiner's lucky break. Vucinic has been everywhere for the Bianconeri but they aren't out of sight just yet.
Juventus will be content with their first half display. A few better decisions in the final third could have seen them in a much more commanding position. As it is Siena are still in this. One minute added on at the end of the half.
Chance again for Giovinco but he fires over from inside the area. He's flagged late and to make matters worse the pass wasn't even intended for him. Marchisio was bursting into the box from an onside position.
Yellow Card Leonardo Bonucci
Leonardo Bonucci is in the book for Juve for a late sliding challenge. The hosts can't make anything from the free kick though and the home side can plot their next attack.
It's not full, but the fans have certainly responded to Antonio Conte's pre-match rallying cry. There's a good noise around the stadium just now.
Siena have had little response to the Bianconeri's dominance. They looked settled in the opening 10 minutes but they've been pushed further and further into their own half by a swarm of black-and-white jerseys.
Vucinic is proving a right handful. This time he plays Asamoah down the line and his centre finds Pogba who can only fire straight at Pegolo. The chances are beginning to mount up for the hosts.
Fantastic vision from the Montenegrin Vucinic. He's had a great opening half hour, carving open the opposition defence on a number of occasions. Can the home side build on their advantage?
Goal Stephan Lichtsteiner
GOOOAAAALL!!! LICHTSTEINER GIVES JUVE THE LEAD!! I'm not sure how much he knew about it though! Vucinic is the architect as he slides through a great ball into the box and although Pegolo beats the Swiss man to the ball, he can only push it into Lichtsteiner's shin and bobbles its way into the net.
Wrong pass from Lichtsteiner and that has just cost his side a glorious opportunity. The Swiss midfielder has time in the box to pick out any number of teammates but his cut back for Marchisio is wayward and the chance goes begging.
A smart free kick from Juve requires a bit of bravery from Pegolo to collect the ball from Vucinic's knock down. He clashes with his defender Christian Terlizzi but is okay after a quick bout of treatment.
Yellow Card Francesco Della Rocca
First booking of the afternoon goes to Siena's Francesco Della Rocca as he brings down Giovinco in full flight.
Giovinco forces Pegolo into another smart stop. This time the striker is played into the box and takes a low shot on the run, Siena's stopper getting down well to tip the ball away from danger.
What an effort from Marchisio! Again Vucinic is there to help create the opportunity as he lays off to the midfielder who's curling effort has to be tipped behind by Pegolo.
Siena aren't afraid to play the ball out of defence, which is a good thing providing you can keep it. They give the ball away twice in their own half in a matter of seconds but neither Asamoah nor Pirlo can capitalise.
Juve's midfield is beginning to take a strangle hold on this match. A lot of space and possession for Paul Pogba, Pirlo and Marchisio. The home side earns a corner but it comes to nothing.
Great movement from Lichtsteiner and what a goal that would have been! The 'Swiss Express' steams down the right and plays a neat one-two with Vucinic before firing a zipping effort goalwards that flies just over the bar.
Juventus are just beginning to hold onto the ball a bit better now. Giovinco is close to getting on the end of a cross but he's flagged for offside in any case.
Giovinco has a little bit of space on thee edge of the area and tries his luck but he scuffs his effort well wide. Apologies all round from the little striker.
Siena coach Giuseppe Iachini hasn't set his side out to sit back here. They're definitely feeding off the confidence of their recent form and Pirlo & Co will have to come up with something extra to overcome their opponents today.
Sebastian Giovinco embarks on one of his mazy runs and is upended on the edge of the area. It's well within Andrea Pirlo's range but he curls over. Good chance that for the set-piece specialist.
First chance for the hosts and it's foiled by their own groundsmen! A low cross from a short corner finds Mirko Vucinic in acres of space but the Montenegrin ends up swinging at fresh air as the ball takes a massive deflection off a divot and over his foot.
This is an assured opening from the visitors, who have had to don an all-red strip having abandoned their traditional black-and-white stripes. That would be because that's what Juventus have lined up in.
Siena are quick out the blocks and Alessandro Rosina has already tested Buffon with a teasing cross that the keeper has to slap behind.
The sides are both out at a soggy Juventus Stadium. We're just waiting on the whistle of Domenico Celi now to get us underway.
These sides may be miles apart in terms of league position but Siena's form of late will have made Juventus sit up and take notice. They've won 3 of their last 5, including victories over Lazio and Inter. Conte's side know this wont be a stroll in the park.
Siena meanwhile are able to include Innocent Emeghara up front. The January loan signing from Lorient has scored 4 in his opening 4 games for the Robur.
So Arturo Vidal starts on the bench after failing to shake off an ankle injury and Giorgio Chiellini starts on the bench for his first involvement in Antonio Conte's side since December.
SIENA: (3-4-2-1) Pegolo; Teixeira, Terlizzi, Felipe; Belmonte, Bolzoni, Della Rocca, Rubin; Rosina, Valiani; Emeghara.
JUVENTUS: (3-5-2) Buffon; Barzagli, Bonucci, Peluso; Lichtsteiner, Pogba, Pirlo, Marchisio, Asamoah; Giovinco, Vucinic.
Let's quickly get some team news ahead of kick off then, starting with the hosts.
Antonio Conte took a slight dig at his own fans in the build up to this match by questioning the level of support his side receive at home games. This was part of a rallying cry that saw the Juve boss declare the next 13 games as 'World Cup Finals'. Will the Bianconeri faithful respond this afternoon?
As ever, I'm looking for your thoughts on today's match and your predictions. Get in touch by using the chat box on the live match centre, or alternatively you can tweet me on @harryslavin. The choice is yours.
With all the hype surrounding Mario Balotelli's this evening since signing for the Rossoneri, you could be forgiven for thinking the rest of Serie A had come to a complete standstill. Thankfully that isn't the case and Juventus have an important fixture of their own this afternoon, at home to Siena. I'm Harry Slavin and I'll be here to bring you all the action from Turin.
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