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Italia - Serie A
May 5, 2013
• Juventus Stadium, Torino
Referee: A. Romeo
• Attendance: 38000
A. Vidal 59'
I don't think that anyone can deny that Juventus are fully deserving of their Scudetto. Napoli ran them close but in the end, an imperious defensive record and a collective winning spirit have decided the title in the Bianconeri's favour. As for Palermo, they drift into the relegation places with three games remaining. Thanks for joining me, Max Bentley, on this Goal.com live commentary. Make sure to check out the match report, player ratings and reaction. Until next time, goodbye!
In truth, Juventus were gifted the victory after Massimo Donati's clumsy push on Mirko Vucinic in the box before Paul Pogba became the first Bianconeri player to be sent off for spitting at Aronica.
It was hardly the most stylish of Juventus' performances but their fans will not care as they claim back-to-back league titles. The Bianconeri defence providing a brilliant foundation for the victory once again; that is now 18 clean sheets in the league this season.
JUVENTUS 1-0 PALERMO. A huge banner of the number 31 unfolds in the crowd to celebrate the Old Lady's 31st Italian league triumph. Queen's "We are the champions" booms onto the overhead speakers.
FULL TIME: JUVENTUS 1-0 PALERMO. JUVENTUS ARE SERIE A CHAMPIONS!
90' + 4'
WHAT A CHANCE FOR PALERMO! The Rosanero nearly snatch a point at the death when the Juventus defence fail to deal with Sorrentino's long goal kick, but Faurlin cannot make good contact with his strike and Buffon is allowed to claim. Seconds remaining...
90' + 4'
Vidal opts for goal of the season when he attempts to lob Sorrentino from inside his own half. However, he does not get enough distance on his strike and the goalkeeper claims.
90' + 3'
Palermo switch the play from right to left excellently but Garcia opts to execute the cross first time and watches the ball wastefully go over the bar for a goal kick. The Rosanero will need to find goals from somewhere if they are to survive in this division.
90' + 1'
Fabio Quagliarella has looked lively since his introduction and he nearly manages to pick out the run of Marchisio with his crossfield pass, but Aronica is there to make the interception.
Palermo are pushing men forward here but they just cannot find a way past this resilient Juventus defence which seems set to extend its impressive record to over 360 minutes without conceding.
Palermo have a chance to grab the equaliser when they win a corner on the left, but Dybala's disappointing delivery is headed clear by Vidal.
That was really disappointing from Paul Pogba. With only seven minutes remaining, he has put his side's lead in unnecessary danger. Can Palermo capitalise?
Red Card Paul Pogba
POGBA SENT OFF! The Frenchman is given his marching orders after spitting at Aronica. A sour end to what seems to be a joyous occasion for Juventus. A glimmer of hope for Palermo.
Juventus continue to push for a second goal when Pogba is released on the right side of the box, but the Frenchman's low cutback is well palmed away by Sorrentino and Palermo clear.
QUAGLIARELLA HITS THE CROSSBAR! The 30-year-old almost gets his name on the scoresheet when he sees his thumping drive from outside the box rattle the woodwork. So unlucky for Quagliarella.
Zamparini also opts to make his final change, replacing Arevalo Rios with on-loan QPR midfielder Alejandro Faurlin.
Final substitution from Antonio Conte as he replaces Mirko Vucinic with Fabio Quagliarella. You can hear the noise level rising as Juventus edge closer to the title.
PALERMO GO CLOSE! Nelson springs forward from right wing-back and finds Hernandez on the edge of the box with his back to goal, and the Uruguayan produces a wonderful swivel to evade Chiellini before curling an effort inches past the post, with Buffon beaten.
Juventus are looking to make the points secure here but Vucinic's cross towards Marchisio is well plucked out of the air by Sorrentino. The Bianconeri are fifteen minutes away from retaining their Serie A title.
Federico Peluso nearly makes an instant impression when he bombs down the left wing, but his low cross towards Marchisio is well cleared by Aronica.
Josip Ilicic has not enjoyed too much luck in front of goal this afternoon and the Slovenian is withdrawn in place of 19-year-old Argentine forward Paulo Dybala.
The Old Lady are pushing for a second here and Vidal nearly doubles his own tally when his fizzing drive is well saved by Sorrentino after he had been picked out by Pogba.
Conte makes his second substitution of the game, introducing Federico Peluso in place of Kwadwo Asamoah.
Mirko Vucinic nearly extends Juventus' lead when his volley from Pirlo's long pass is well blocked by Sorrentino at his near post. He's proving a real handful for the Palermo defence this afternoon.
First change for Palermo as Fabrizio Miccoli goes off to a negative reception from the home fans and is replaced by Uruguayan forward Abel Hernandez.
A bit of a mountain to climb for Palermo here as they look to break through a Juventus defence which has kept 17 clean sheets in 34 matches this season. Will it be four goalless defeats in a row against Juventus for the Rosanero?
Juventus have their tails up here and Chiellini goes close to doubling their lead when his header fizzes inches past the post. Palermo just need to keep it together here.
IT SHOULD BE 2-0! Juventus launch a rapid counter-attack with Asamoah down the left and the Ghanaian does excellently to pick out Vucinic on the right side of the box, but the Montenegrin inexplicably opts to pass when the shot was on, and Palermo scramble the ball clear.
Yellow Card Arturo Vidal
Penalty Goal Arturo Vidal
POP! That's the sound of champagne opening in Turin as Vidal coolly rolls the ball into the bottom left corner, sending Sorrentino the wrong way. Another crucial goal from the Chilean. The Juventus Stadium erupts, 1-0!
PENALTY FOR JUVENTUS! Donati is the culprit after he clumsily shoves Vucinic in the back. Vidal will take it...
Antonio Conte makes his first substitution of the game, introducing Simone Padoin in place of Stephan Lichtsteiner.
Garcia has had a brilliant game for Palermo so far and does brilliantly once again to prevent Lichtsteiner from heading in Vidal's cross at the back post.
Juventus nearly find the opener when Sorrentino flaps at Pirlo's corner, but Barreto is alert to hook the ball away from the pouncing Vidal.
Palermo are looking a real threat here and Garcia springs down the left wing superbly and his low cross towards the back post is denied by a last-ditch sliding challenge from Chiellini. Who can break the deadlock?
PALERMO HIT THE WOODWORK! Ilicic switches the play to the right corner of the box where Miccoli takes on Chiellini before firing a low strike across goal and onto the foot of the post. Buffon was beaten there.
Antonio Conte's side work the ball around the Palermo box excellently but they juat cannot find a gap to get the shot away. Brilliant defensive resolve from the visitors.
Juventus win an early free kick in a dangerous position but Pirlo's teasing cross is excellently headed clear by Aronica, to keep his side's clean sheet intact.
Juventus get the second half underway. 45 minutes away from retaining the Serie A title.
Who can decide this contest? Will Miccoli come back to haunt the Bianconeri or can Vucinic notch his tenth goal of the season? Let me know your thoughts and predictions via Twitter @MaxBentley1.
Maurizio Zamparini will be pleased with how his side have grown into this contest as they look to extend their unbeaten run to six games. However, as it stands, with Genoa winning, Palermo will drop into the relegation zone.
HALF TIME: JUVENTUS 0-0 PALERMO. Not the greatest half of Juventus' season but if the scoreline stays the same, they will be crowned Serie A champions this afternoon. Antonio Conte's side started brightly but a combination of resolute Palermo defending and misplaced passing has ensured that it has been a relatively trouble-free half for goalkeeper Stefano Sorrentino. All square at the break.
Juventus nearly snatch an opener right on the stroke of half-time when Pogba rises highest to meet Pirlo's corner, but the Frenchman's header glances narrowly wide. The referee's whistle goes to signal the end of the half.
Few signs of frustration creeping into the Juventus play now as Pogba sends a left-footed effort way over the crossbar. The Palermo defence continues to stay strong.
Lichtsteiner has not had too much joy down the right but this time he manages to dig out a cross from the touchline, but Asamoah scuffs his ambitious volley straight into the nearest defender.
Yellow Card Andrea Barzagli
Andrea Barzagli is the first man in the book when he trips Nelson. That means he will be suspended for Wednesday's trip to Atalanta.
Palermo have looked threatening in the last five minutes and Garcia skips down the left wing only to see his lofted cross into the box headed clear by Bonucci.
Kurtic does well to find Ilicic on the edge of the box but the in-form Slovenian wastefully slices his effort well wide of the goal.
Miccoli whips a corner into the Juventus box but Buffon is off his line quickly to punch clear. Neither goalkeeper has had too much to worry about in the opening 38 minutes.
After that early Juventus storm, Palermo have finally settled into this contest and are proving a match for their opponents in the midfield battle.
Juventus are just lacking that final ball and Lichtsteiner is the next to cheaply give away possession as his cross into the box is comfortably headed clear by Donati. Not seen too much of Marchisio in this first half.
Garcia is the next player to go down after a collision with Lichtsteiner. Will we see a goal before the interval?
No. Disappointing from the away side as they opt to take it short and a hopeful hoof into the box is easily headed clear by Bonucci. Donati has gone down and requires a spot of treatment.
Palermo win their first corner when Chiellini is forced to make a sliding challenge on Miccoli. Can they make it count?
Just over half an hour gone and the deadlock is yet to be broken. Juventus champagne still on ice for the moment.
GOOD CHANCE FOR JUVENTUS! Lichtsteiner is the architect as he threads a ball behind Donati for Vucinic to latch onto and the Montenegrin's low shot is well foiled by Sorrentino. From the resulting corner, Vucinic sends a header wide of the far post.
Vucinic is looking dangerous and he slips a neat pass into the path of Lichtsteiner but Sorrentino does well to pluck the Swiss' cross out of the air.
Pirlo is looking for that killer pass and he once again fails to find it as von Bergen makes the interception. Despite Juve's pressure, Sorrentino has hardly been troubled in the Palermo goal.
Vucinic does brilliantly to peel off his marker onto the left wing but his low cross into the box just evades the run of Marchisio, allowing Aronica to scramble the ball to safety.
Vucinic does well to hold off the challenge of Donati in the box before switching the play to Pirlo who cuts inside his marker before sending a speculative left-footed effort high over the crossbar.
Bad news for Palermo fans as Genoa have taken the lead against Pescara. As things stand, Zamparini's side will drop back into the relegation places.
Palermo threaten when Ilicic and Miccoli combine well to set Nelson free down the right, but the Portuguese' first-touch lets him down and Bonucci gets across to block the shot.
Asamoah does well to get the ball in from the left again and his cross is half-cleared to the edge of the box by Donati, allowing Vidal to send a volley inches past the post. The Chilean clearly fancies another goal this afternoon.
Good spell of possession for Palermo as they look to stem the Juventus tide. Ilicic dummies the ball for Barreto to run onto, but Barzagli is across quickly to mop up the danger.
Arturo Vidal has been instrumental to Juventus' success in recent weeks and the Chilean goes close to getting on the scoresheet once again, but watches his curling effort go narrowly wide of the far post.
Pirlo plays a corner short to Marchisio but the Italian's cross into the area is headed clear by Donati. Palermo are really pegged back into their 18-yard box at the moment.
Juventus are pushing for an early goal here and the ball falls perfectly for Pirlo on the edge of the area, but the veteran midfielder declines to shoot and his disguised pass is well intercepted by Aronica.
Pirlo is already starting to pull the strings in midfield and he lays the ball off to Pogba on the edge of the box, but the Frenchman's fierce strike is well blocked by Aronica.
Palermo launch their first attack of the game when Miccoli pings a wonderful ball over the Juventus defence for Ilicic, but the Slovenian delays getting his shot away and the move breaks down.
Asamoah has made a blistering start down this left-hand side and his fizzing cross towards the back post is crucially palmed away by Sorrentino, to prevent Pogba.
Brilliant start to the game from the home side and Asamoah is denied a route on goal when his mazy dribble is brought to a halt by Arevalo Rios. Juventus throwing down their attacking intentions from the off.
NEARLY THE PERFECT START FOR JUVENTUS! Pirlo plays a wonderful ball behind the Palermo defence for Lichtsteiner but the Swiss' low cross towards the back post is scampered behind crucially by Nelson, with Asamoah lurking.
Palermo, in their pink strip, get the ball rolling...
A sea of black and white has completely filled out the stadium this afternoon. Captains Gianluigi Buffon and Fabrizio Miccoli exchange handshakes in the centre-circle. Can the 33-year-old forward score against his former teammate this afternoon? Prepare for kickoff...
Juventus will need to keep an eye on Josip Ilicic this afternoon. The Slovenian has notched ten league goals this season, one more than Bianconeri leading goalscorer Mirko Vucinic. However, the Sicilian side are the second-lowest scorers in the division, with only 31 goals in 34 games.
The omens don't look too good for Palermo. They are winless and scoreless in their last three matches against the Old Lady, who are currently on a seven-game winning run and have not conceded in over 270 minutes of Serie A football. Can they upset the odds today?
Maurizio Zamparini is forced into one change to the side which defeated Inter 1-0 last weekend. Michel Morganella is suspended, meaning that Portuguese wing-back Nelson comes into the starting eleven. Josip Ilicic has recovered from a knock to partner former-Juventus striker Fabrizio Miccoli up front.
Antonio Conte sticks with the same formation and players which have served him well in recent weeks. That means Paul Pogba is once again given the chance to impress in midfield, with Claudio Marchisio in the hole behind lone striker Mirko Vucinic.
PALERMO (3-5-2): Sorrentino; Von Bergen, Donati, Aronica; Nelson, Barreto, Arevalo Rios, Kurtic, Garcia; Ilicic, Miccoli.
JUVENTUS (3-5-1-1): Buffon; Barzagli, Bonucci, Chiellini; Lichtsteiner, Vidal, Pirlo, Pogba, Asamoah; Marchisio; Vucinic.
Let's bring you up to speed with this afternoon's lineups, starting with the Bianconeri...
Is today the day that Juventus claim a record 31st Scudetto title? Only one point separates Antonio Conte's side from retaining the Serie A crown. Their opponents, Palermo, are fighting for their survival in Italy's top flight however and are unbeaten in their last five matches. Can the Rosanero spoil the Juve party? Bringing you all the action from the Juventus Stadium, my name is Max Bentley. Feel free to tweet me your thoughts and predictions on the game via Twitter @MaxBentley1.
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