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UEFA Europa League
March 14, 2014
• Juventus Stadium, Torino
Referee: B. Kuipers
• Attendance: 39610
A. Vidal 3'
M. Gómez 79'
Conte's decision to leave out Tevez and Llorente may now come under question, but this tie is far from over. My name is Tom Webber, and it has been an absolute pleasure. Thanks for joining me tonight.
FULL TIME - Juventus 1-1 Fiorentina: The Viola take the upper hand into the second leg of this Europa League last 16 tie thanks to Gomez's second-half equaliser after Vidal's early opener. The away goal could prove important at the Artemio Franchi next time around, where the Tuscans have already beaten the Bianconeri 4-2 this season.
90' + 4'
The final whistle goes!
90' + 3'
Juve break forward to try and get a late winner but as Marchisio chases the ball he pulls up and puts his hand on his hamstring. Not a promising sign. Llorente has also been limping recently.
90' + 1'
We are into the first of an additional three minutes.
Valero goes to ground 25 yards from goal and is clearly looking to buy a free kick. The referee doesn't pay up though, and instead awards a free kick in Juve's favour.
BUFFON! The keeper has to launch himself to his left to get a strong hand to Vargas' skidding, rifled shot from distance. Juve are in danger of losing this and leaving themselves with it all to do at the Artemio Franchi.
VALERO!! The Spaniard lets fly with a swerving effort from range and the movement on the ball leaves Buffon in uncertain territory. As it starts to dip the keeper decides to just push the effort over the top for a corner.
Gomez is absolutely purring now! The Germany international dribbles away from Pirlo and thumps a powerful shot at Buffon's goal, but he drags it wide of the bottom corner. He has been very lively since his introduction.
WHAT A MISS! Pogba makes a great, late run into the box and looks to slide his shot into the far corner but he puts too much bend on it and watches it pull outside of the post.
That goal is Gomez's first goal for the Viola since September 1, when he scored twice against Genoa in Serie A. Much of that time has been spent on the sidelines, mind.
Juve almost go straight back into the lead but Llorente's volley from the edge of the box is held by Neto. The game has suddenly come to life!
Assist Josip Iličič
Goal M. Gómez
GOOOOOAAL! FIORENTINA DO GET THE GOAL! A fantastic ball over the top is latched onto by Gomez and his first touch takes him around Buffon before using his second to slot into the net. Great finish from the German striker.
Still no signs of anything threatening from Fiorentina. An away goal would be a huge boost, but it doesn't look like they are going to get one.
An exquisite touch from Marchisio sees him get away from Valero in the centre, 25 yards out from goal, and he uses the space to lay the ball off to Isla. He fires in a cross but Savic deals with it capably at the back post.
LLORENTE! Valero is caught on the ball by Vidal and Juve break. The Spaniard carries it forward and the Viola continually back off. He eventually decides to pull the trigger but Rodriguez gets his body in the way and blocks the attempt.
Gomez is searched out with a cross from the left but Ogbonna shows more determination to win the ball and he nods it safely back to Buffon. The German striker didn't look wholly interested there.
Roncaglia flights a cross in from the right but Gomez makes no move to get onto the end of it. Caceres attempts to chest the ball back to Buffon, and the keeper has to dive to his left to ensure an embarrassing own goal is avoided.
The tempo of this game has really suffered since the break. With the Viola in control of possession, much of the game has been contested in the middle of the park. It is far from the end-to-end action that we saw in the first period.
Matri is replaced by Gomez for the closing stages. The former Juventus man did not get much service during the game but never looked particularly dangerous.
The game is starting to fall into a similar pattern to that of the second half between these two sides from Sunday. Again, it was an electric first half, but since the break it has fallen quite short.
Fiorentina have monopolised possession since the restart but they have been rather toothless. Very little has been created and Buffon is still yet to be properly tested. They are lacking creativity and a finisher in the final third.
Giovinco makes way for Llorente now. It has not been a great performance from the Italian, but he did start quite brightly.
Fiorentina last reached the round of 16 in this tournament in 2007-08 edition, beating Everton on penalties as they made it all the way to the semi-finals, where they were beaten by Rangers.
Chiellini is at it again! The defender races past Aquilani this time and is felled by the Fiorentina man, who receives a talking to from the referee. He just kicked out there, and it could have been a booking.
Pirlo tries his luck with a free kick from in excess of 30 yards, attempting to catch Neto out by taking it quickly. It bounces towards the corner but the Viola keeper is able to get across and hold onto it.
Yellow Card Gonzalo Rodríguez
Juve take the free kick short, with Asamoah clipping it towards Vidal at the back post but Neto comes off his line to claim the ball. The Tuscans attempt to counter through Ilicic but he is unable to create anything.
Yellow Card David Pizarro
Another marauding run from Chiellini here, but it's brought to an abrupt end by Pizarro who cynically brings the centre-back to ground 25 yards out.
STAT: Juventus' Andrea Pirlo is making his 124th Uefa club competition appearance, which is more than any other outfield player in this round.
Well, that is it for Fernandez. The Chilean heads down to the treatment room and Ambrosini replaces him. It is a fairly defensive change, but one that has been forced.
Fiorentina are temporarily down to 10 men with Fernandez off receiving treatment, but they have managed to keep hold of possession. The Chilean has come back on but does not look to be moving freely.
Fernandez goes down after controlling the ball in the centre of the field. There was no contact, which may prove worrying for Montella. Ambrosini is being readied to replace him.
We are back underway in Turin!
Welcome back! The second half will be underway shortly. Can Fiorentina find a way back into this game?
HALF TIME - Juventus 1-0 Fiorentina: An early goal from Vidal got the Bianconeri off to the perfect start but they have since allowed the visitors enough of the ball to pose them some real threats. Vidal hit the bar late in the half, but there remains just one goal in it at half time, just as it was on Sunday. Stay tuned for the second half.
45' + 2'
The half-time whistle goes!
45' + 1'
Tomovic again pushes on down the left, cutting onto his right foot and loosing a shot at goal. He fails to find the target, instead powering his attempt into the hoardings.
VALERO! The midfielder gets a crack at goal but the shot is deflected and Buffon ensures it goes out for a corner. Just one minute of added time to be played at the end of this half.
Savic is closed down on the near side and concedes a needless throw. Juve take it quickly, enabling Vidal to drive a low cross in for Osvaldo, but the striker's first touch is poor and he fails to keep it in play.
Chiellini got a blow to the head following that and seems to be complaining of an issue. He goes off to receive treatment and Barzagli begins warming up on the near side.
Where did that come from?! Chiellini shows a turn of pace to burst past Roncaglia down the left flank and then aim a cross towards the centre. It takes a deflection and he wins a corner for his team.
OFF THE BAR!! Juve finally manage to get out of their own half an win a corner. It is taken short before Pirlo stands up a cross at the back post. Vidal rises highest and gets his head on it but his effort rattles the frame of the goal before going behind.
Good play from Matri, spinning away from Ogbonna in the box and running in along the byeline. Aquilani moves into some space inside the box but the striker goes it alone, only to see his shot comfortably palmed away by Buffon.
The quality of deliveries from the visitors tonight has consistently been rather poor. Roncaglia is the latest player to flight an aimless cross out behind.
Fiorentina patiently work the ball across the pitch until Pizarro takes it upon himself to cut inside from the right and clip a cross to the back post. He fails to find another purple shirt, though, and the ball bounces out for a goal kick.
Juve seemed to have stepped off the gas now and have let the Viola enjoy a greater deal of possession. The visitors look more capable of creating opportunities to score than they did at the weekend, so perhaps the one-goal cushion won't be enough for the Old Lady.
There is a bit of a disagreement between Pizarro and Vidal in midfield after a full-bodied challenge from the Juventus man. He receives a little kick for the tackle and a little scuffle ensues. The referee calls both players over and has strong words for them.
Fiorentina are playing well at the moment, enjoying good possession, but their last win away at Juventus came back in March 2008. The Viola triumphed 3-2 and the scorer of their winning goal is currently up front for the Bianconeri: Pablo Osvaldo.
GREAT SAVE! Vidal is the dangerman again as he gets a powerful header to Marchisio's floated cross from the byeline. He nods it down into the ground but aims too close to Neto, who dives to his right and parries the effort aside.
CHANCE FOR FIORENTINA! It's end-to-end stuff at the moment. Fernandez's corner picks out Savic at the back post but the centre-back is unable to get a meaningful connection on the ball with his header and possession drops to the ground. From there, Juve are able to deal with the danger.
GIOVINCO! The 'Atomic Ant' has another chance to get a shot away and this time he manages it, firing a shot at goal following good work on the counterattack by Osvaldo. He strikes a tame effort, though, which Neto drops to his knees and smothers.
Good anticipation from Neto, there, as he races off of his line to beat Giovinco to a long ball over the top and clear it from outside of his area. No claims for a foul from the Juve forward.
BUFFON! Fernandez bundles his way into the box and stabs a shot at goal with the outside of his right boot. It is easy for Buffon to keep out but he parries it straight into the danger area, however Valero is unable to make contact on the rebound.
OVER THE TOP! Asamoah gets into a similar position to the one from which he scored the only goal of the game on Sunday, but this time he cuts the ball back to Marchisio 20 yards out. The Italian takes a touch before letting fly but his attempt sails miles over the roof of the net.
SO CLOSE! Fiorentina almost pull one back as Tomovic's cross is volleyed towards goal by Aquilani from 20 yards out. His effort is clearly going wide but Ilicic flings a foot at it which makes it more dangerous, however he was unable to make decent enough contact to find the target.
VITAL CLEARANCE! Juve step up the tempo by moving the ball quickly from right to left, finding Asamoah in space to supply a cross. He drills a low delivery into the middle but Savic slides in and clears it behind for a corner. That could have gone anywhere!
There was a lovely backheel by Giovinco in the build-up to that previous move, by the way. Certainly worth a mention.
VIDAL! Marchisio's cross is cushioned down by Isla on the near side and he lets the ball fall to his compatriot. Vidal takes a touch before searching out the far corner with a low shot, but his effort bounces harmlessly wide of the target.
The Viola may have a number of central midfielders in their line-up tonight but they have found it difficult to hold onto possession so far. There have been too many misplaced passes already in the opening stages.
WIDE! Asamoah finds space out on the left and drives a cross in for Osvaldo in the centre. He does not have time to adjust his body so tries to hit the ball with the outside of his right boot, but he fails to execute it correctly and shanks his shot wide.
Fiorentina began the game pressing high up the pitch but following that goal that already seems to have slackened. Montella has four central midfielders in the centre of the park to help his side compete in that area, but it could leave them narrow.
Assist Sebastian Giovinco
Goal Arturo Vidal
GOOOOOOOAL! Vidal opens the scoring! Marchisio hooks a cross into the middle which Giovinco manages to cushion down with his chest. The ball falls kindly for the Chilean midfielder who stabs an effort past the keeper and into the back of the net.
EARLY CHANCE! Isla is picked out on the right by a fantastic pass and he sends a low cross into the area. Vidal makes a late run and gets a foot to the ball, however he fails to generate adequate power to send it past Neto.
We are underway at the Juventus Stadium!
The pre-match formalities are almost over so the game will get underway in a matter of moments.
Only one team has beaten Juventus in 35 European games in Turin since August 2004: Bayern Munich. The Bavarian giants won 4-1 in the group stage of the 2009-10 Champions League and then again 2-0 in the quarter-finals of the 2012-13 edition. Juventus have managed to win 20 times in that run.
The Juventus Stadium will actually host the Europa League final this season, so that could potentially hand them a huge advantage should they make it to the showpiece this season. The Viola fans are surely relishing the chance for their team to deny the Bianconeri that opportunity, but they will need to be better than they were at the weekend in this evening's game to have any chance of doing just that.
Vincenzo Montella also makes changes from the side that were sunk by Kwadwo Asamoah's goal here on Sunday. Facundo Roncaglia and Nenad Tomovic replace Modibo Diakite and Manuel Pasqual respectively in the full-back positions. Borja Valero is available as his domestic ban does not apply so he steps in for Anderson, while Josip Ilicic, Alessandro Matri and Mati Fernandez are also handed starting berths.
For the hosts, Andrea Barzagli, Stephan Lichtsteiner, Paul Pogba and Fernando Llorente drop to the bench with Martin Caceres, Mauricio Isla, Andrea Pirlo and Pablo Osvaldo coming into the side. Carlos Tevez, meanwhile, is given the night off and is replaced in the starting line-up by Sebastian Giovinco.
Fiorentina bench: Rosati, Pasqual, Cuadrado, Ambrosini, Vargas, Matos, Gomez.
Fiorentina (4-4-2): Neto; Roncaglia, Savic, Rodriguez, Tomovic; Aquilani, Pizarro, Valero, Fernandez; Ilicic, Matri.
Juventus bench: Storari, Barzagli, Bonucci, Lichtsteiner, Pogba, Padoin, Llorente.
Juventus (3-5-2): Buffon; Caceres, Chiellini, Ogbonna; Isla, Vidal, Pirlo, Marchisio, Asamoah; Osvaldo, Giovinco.
Back to tonight, though, and the two line-ups have been announced so lets take a loot at how they will shape up.
These two sides met in the final of this competition in its previous format as the Uefa Cup. Dino Zoff's Juve came out on top in a two-legged final with a 3-1 aggregate win in the 1989-90 edition of the tournament. Certain parts of the Viola faithful may still be hungry for revenge against their rivals.
Welcome to the second part of the Juventus-Fiorentina trilogy! The two side's met just four days ago in Serie A, when the Bianconeri earned a 1-0 win at Juventus Stadium. It is the same venue tonight, but the competition differs: it is the first leg of the pairs' Europa League last 16 tie. Let's hope this isn't a difficult sequel, and we instead get a thrilling installment of football. My name is Tom Webber, and I will be guiding you through all the action.
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