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Serie A

  • April 6, 2013
  • • 19:00
  • • Juventus Stadium, Torino
  • Referee: S. Peruzzo
  • • Attendance: 38790
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Juventus 2-1 Pescara: Bianconeri bounce back against 10-man Delfini

Juventus 2-1 Pescara: Bianconeri bounce back against 10-man Delfini

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Two goals from Mirko Vucinic were the key for the Old Lady as they banished their Bayern blues, although they left it late against the dogged Delfin

A late flurry of goals for Juventus sealed a 2-1 victory over Pescara that puts Antonio Conte's charges 12 points clear at the top of Serie A.

The leaders dominated from start to finish but could not finish off their opponents until Mirko Vucinic fired them into the lead 20 minutes from the end from the penalty spot. The Montenegro striker repeated his exploits with a lovely close-range finish, giving Juve a valuable win and leaving the Delfini, who hit back with Emmanuel Cascione's brilliant effort, mired in relegation trouble.

Looking to bounce back after a painful defeat midweek at the hands of Bayern Munich, Juventus started positively and immediately went on the offensive against a Pescara side battling desperately to avoid Serie B football next season. The Old Lady, resting Andrea Pirlo, attacked rapidly using the flanks, a strategy that almost provided early results.

Stephan Lichtsteiner wriggled his way through to the byline on the right-hand side, and floated in a cross. Emanuele Giaccherini was the man who met the centre, releasing an acrobatic scissor kick, but his good work was matched by that of Delfino keeper Ivan Pelizzoli who reacted with an excellent save to deny the midfielder.

Juve were also active down the middle. Sebastian Giovinco did brilliantly to beat his marker after being played in with an intelligent ball from Arturo Vidal, and Pelizzoli again had to be attentive to palm away the youngster's shot one-on-one.

The first half was a story of almost constant pressure from the home team, but they did not count on the resilience of the visitors who defended determinedly, limiting the number of clear chances. And on the half hour, with no way through, there was a further blow for the Bianconeri. Stretching to reach a cross on the volley, Giovinco clashed painfully with Marco Capuano and was stretchered off, putting his presence in doubt for the upcoming Champions League clash with Bayern.

With Fabio Quagliarella thrown into the action, Juventus tried to rearm their siege of the away net. Time and again, however, they were foiled by the outstanding Pelizzoli. The goalkeeper pulled off a fingertip stop to turn the substitute's shot onto the post, and later denied Giaccherini as the midfielder, set up by good work from Kwadwo Asamoah, released a venomous effort from deep. It was all Juve in the first 45 minutes, but they could find no way through and went into the break still tied with the league's bottom club.

The onsalught continued after the break, and just four minutes in Juve should have taken the advantage. Asamoah weaved his way down the flank and his cross was palmed by Pelizzoli right into the path of Mirko Vucinic, a rare misjudgement from the keeper. The striker had the goal at his mercy, but completely fluffed his volley and looked livid with himself as the ball rolled harmlessly away for a goal kick.

If Pelizzoli had a lucky escape previously, he soon compensated for his error with yet another fine save. A nicely-floated ball forward from Paul Pogba found Quagliarella with space and the striker's volley had to be deflected over the bar to once again deny Juve the lead they so desperately sought.

Antonio Conte's men continued to dominate in terms of possession and territory, but as the minutes ran down a win looked less and less likely, as spaces around the penalty area evaporated. With 20 minutes left, however, they were thrown a lifeline. A short free-kick resulted in Arturo Vidal being roughly thrown to the ground by Guiseppe Rizzo, and the referee had no hesitation in ordering a penalty as well as sending off the offender. Vucinic stepped up, and blasted home the kick to put his team finally in the ascendancy.

There was no way back for the away team, who had withstood well the home onslaught, a second goal for Vucinic with a wonderful curled finish sealing their fate. Emmanuel Cascione provided a late cheer with a stunning consolation, slammed in from 30 yards, but it was not enough as they slumped to a defeat that leaves them rooted to the foot of the table, six points away from safety and with a game more played. Juve, meanwhile, were left to celebrate as they opened up a 12-point gap over Napoli, who host Siena on Sunday.

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