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2 vs 1
Played
April 12, 2012 12:15 AM IST
Juventus Stadium — Torino
Referee:‬ A. Damato‎
Attendance:‬ 35000‎
 
Top of the Match
Federico Marchetti
Federico Marchetti
Lazio
Alessandro Del Piero
Alessandro Del Piero
Juventus
Flop of the Match
Libor Kozák
Libor Kozák
Lazio
Libor Kozák
Libor Kozák
Lazio

Juventus 2-1 Lazio: Del Piero the hero as late free-kick returns Old Lady to Serie A summit

The club legend, who is set to leave Turin at the end of the season, came off the bench to score a crucial goal to keep the Bianconeri in pole position in the Scudetto race

By Mark Doyle

Alessandro Del Piero scored a stunning free-kick to hand Juventus a vital 2-1 win over Lazio in Turin on Wednesday.

With the game tied at one goal apiece after Stefano Mauri cancelled out Simone Pepe's opener, the Juve legend was sprung from the bench and rolled back the years with a characteristically deadly set-piece which propelled his side back to the summit of Serie A.

AC Milan had reclaimed top spot the night before with their victory over Chievo in Verona but the Bianconeri began as if intent on sending a message to their title rivals.

Juve could have opened the scoring as early as the fifth minute but Fabio Quagliarella was just off target after sliding to get himself on the end of Giorgio Chiellini’s cross from the left-hand side.

The hosts continued to dominate thereafter and really should have broken the deadlock on 28 minutes when the ball broke for Pepe in the area but he shot straight at Federico Marchetti.

However, Pepe made amends just over 60 seconds later, controlling a clever chip from Pirlo on his chest before then volleying home acrobatically in one glorious movement.

The Bianconeri were now buzzing and had it not been for Marchetti, the game would have been over by the break, the Biancocelesti goalkeeper scrambling back to keep out Arturo Vidal’s stunning strike before then stretching out a hand to deny Quagliarella after being wrong-footed by the forward’s deflected shot.

As it was, the two sides went in level at the interval, with Mauri beating Gigi Buffon with a bullet header after Juve's three-man defence, which had been so dominant up until that point, had gone AWOL.

Credit to a shell-shocked Juventus, they regrouped during the break and quickly set about reasserting their superiority after the restart.

However, while they were dominating possession once more, they struggled to open their opponents up and were restricted to long-range efforts from Quagliarella and Claudio Marchisio.

Stephan Lichtsteiner did fluff his lines after being the recipient of a sublime pass from Vidal but there was an inescapable suspicion that the hosts had run out of ideas.

However, cometh the hour, cometh the man, and with just eight minutes remaining substitute Del Piero curled home a free kick to secure a victory which moves Juve two points clear of Milan once more. As for Lazio, who lost Libor Kozak to a red card right at the death, they remain third.


Juventus

1
Gianluigi Buffon
Goalkeeper
3.00
3
3.00
15
Andrea Barzagli
Defender
3.00
19
3.50
26
3.00
7
Simone Pepe
Midfielder
30′ 72′
3.50
8
Claudio Marchisio
Midfielder
3.00
21
Andrea Pirlo
Midfielder
30′
3.50
23
Arturo Vidal
Midfielder
80′
3.50
9
2.50
27
3.50

Lazio

3.50
22
3.00
4
2.50
18
3.00
20
3.50
21
3.50
6
Stefano Mauri
Midfielder
45′ 54′ 72′
3.00
15
3.00
24
3.00
27
Lorik Cana
Midfielder
2.50
87
2.50
9

Substitutes

30
Marco Storari
Goalkeeper
0.00
4
0.00
11
0.00
23
0.00
-
3.50
22
0.00
32
3.00

Substitutes

0.00
53
0.00
6
2.50
-
Hernanes
Midfielder
72′
0.00
27
Matuzalem
Midfielder
0.00
32
2.00
27
0.00
30

Coach/Manager

-
0.00

Coach/Manager

0.00
-
 
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Results
 
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Ciro Immobile Ciro Immobile
Striker
Torino
19 0
Carlos Tévez Carlos Tévez
Striker
Juventus
18 1
Gonzalo Higuaín Gonzalo Higuaín
Striker
Napoli
17 5
Luca Toni Luca Toni
Striker
Hellas Verona
17 2
Rodrigo Palacio Rodrigo Palacio
Striker
Inter
15 0