A poor performance from Juventus saw them draw 2-2 with Atalanta in a thrilling encounter, with the away side hitting the crossbar three times, and no fans present due to a ban...Juventus 2-2 Atalanta
'The Tinkerman' had to do without injured midfielders Claudio Marchisio and Momo Sissoko, meanwhile, star defender Giorgio Chiellini was suspended. Alessandro Del Piero once again began the match on the bench.
Atalanta coach Luigi Del Neri was missing star player Sergio Floccari due to a knock. The midfield was lacking as Simone Padoin and Tiberio Guarente were both banned.
The match was played behind closed doors, as their suspension for alleged racist chants by fans towards Inter's Mario Balotelli was being enforced.
Amazingly, Juventus fell behind with the first chance of the match! Captain Cristiano Doni laid the ball back for Luca Cigarini, whose deflected shot of Nicola Legrottaglie left Gianluigi Buffon stranded in the first minute.
It was the visitors who nearly doubled their lead, their one-touch passing bamboozled the defence, and Doni's shot with the outside of his foot was only stopped by a great reaction save from Buffon.
Juventus looked devoid of idea coming forward, but after another series of corners Legrottaglie's header smashed off the bar and Poulsen nodded the rebound over from a yard out!
It was a sign of things to come as Amauri played the ball through for Nedved on the left and Vincenzo Iaquinta converted his inch perfect cross into a goal with his head. The Italian international has been in fine form recently and bagged his tenth league strike of the season.
It seemed that after a slow start the Bianconeri had woken up as they hit the bar yet again! De Ceglie flew down the left and floating in a ball and Amauri's powerful header flew back off the frame of the goal.
Juventus were in command and took the lead on 37' with an absolutely stunning goal! A cross was headed out of the area but Cristiano Zanetti's sweet volley flew onto the underside of the crossbar and into the net!
Slack defending from the home side saw the ball fall to Defendi after a weak clearance, but his shot flew over. Surprisingly, the Juve defense fell asleep once again and Plasmati tipped the ball on to new entrant Maximiliano Pellegrino, who headed the ball past a visibly frustrated Buffon and the half ended 2-2.
The home side continued their defensive problems in the second half as Alessio Cerci broke though the offside trap, but Buffon was able to stop the man one-on-one. Next, it was Atalanta's turn to hit the crossbar, with Cigarini almost scoring his second goal of the match from a dipping left foot strike!
Poulsen nearly gifted the lead to the Bergamo-based outfit, but Buffon just managed to slap the ball off the foot of Plasmati, who would have had a tap-in.
Coach Claudio Ranieri opted to insert Alessandro Del Piero for Amauri. Nedved fired a long range shot from a central position, but Consigli got down well to catch it. Meanwhile, David Trezeguet replaced Zanetti in their search for a winner.
Nedved continued to be the creative force for the Bianconeri and skipped past two defenders before playing in Camoranesi, but the Italo-Agentine's header was straight at the goalkeeper.
The crossbar came to the rescue of Juventus once more! Plasmati tuned the defence on a through ball and cracked the ball against the woodwork!
Del Piero went on the counter and selfishly fired wide when perhaps he had better options with Iaquinta and Trezeguet making runs with eight minutes remaining. The Bianconeri icon then tried a spectacular overhead kick that flew over the net.
Once again, Del Piero missed a great chance to win the game. Iaquinta fired in a low drive from a difficult angle and the World Cup winner prodded the rebound on goal, but Italy's U-21 shot stopper made the save with his knee!
Thus, Juventus' winless streak extended to seven matches, and two months, after a sloppy showing in an empty Stadio Olimpico. They are now three points behind second placed Milan, and only one ahead of Fiorentina Meanwhile, Atalanta remain comfortably safe in mid-table.
Juventus 2-2 Atalanta
Goals: 1' Cigarini (A), 26' Iaquinta (J), 37' Zanetti (J), 44' Pellegrino (A)
Juventus (4-4-2): Buffon - Grygera, Mellberg, Legrottaglie, De Ceglie (77' Zebina) - Camoranesi, Poulsen, Zanetti (72' Trezeguet), Nedved - Iaquinta, Amauri (60' Del Piero).
Atalanta (4-4-1-1): Consigli - Garics (41' Pellegrino), Capelli (90' Girasole), Manfredini, Bellini - Defendi, Parravacini, Cigarini, Cerci (70' Peluso) - Doni - Plasmati.
Adam Scime, Goal.com