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Serie A

  • February 18, 2012
  • • 2:45 PM
  • • Juventus Stadium, Torino
  • Referee: C. Brighi
  • • Attendance: 31000

Juventus 3-1 Catania: Magnificent Pirlo leads Turin side back to the top of Serie A

Juventus 3-1 Catania: Magnificent Pirlo leads Turin side back to the top of Serie A

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In a magnificent display of attacking soccer Juventus climbed back to the summit of the table courtesy of a brilliant display by the former AC Milan man

Juventus eased to a 3-1 win over Catania at home to regain first place in the Serie A standings. Pablo Barrientos shocked the Bianconeri with an early strike, but shortly after Andrea Pirlo drew the game level with a fine free kick from just outside the box.

The former AC Milan man stepped up his game even further in the second period as he provided two assists for Giorgio Chiellini and Fabio Quagliarella, who sealed an impressive victory for the Old Lady.

Catania got off to a brilliant start to the match as in the fourth minute Marco Motta, on loan at the Sicilians from no other than Juventus, picked out Barrientos outside the box, and the Argentine took a few steps before firing a precise shot in the lower left corner.

The Old Lady quickly recovered from the early setback, and began mounting increasingly dangerous attacks. The deserved equalizer came in the 22nd minute through Pirlo. The midfielder took a free kick from outside the box, and sent a beautiful shot in the lower right corner, scoring his first goal for Juventus.

The Bianconeri continued to press as they aimed to take advantage of their momentum, and nearly went in front on the half-hour mark when Quagliarella sent a crashing finish into the bar.

Moments later, however, Catania responded through Francesco Lodi, who forced a superb reflex save from Buffon, who managed to parry the ball against the woodwork, saving his team from a certain goal.

Little changed in Juventus Stadium after the break as the Old Lady continued to press forward in search of the winner. Pirlo and Quagliarella went close on a couple of occasions, but it seemed increasingly likely that game may well end in a draw.

In the 65th minute Motta severely damaged Catania's chances of earning a point as he was deservedly sent off for a ghastly challenge on Juventus left back Paolo De Ceglie. It looked like a matter of time before the Old Lady take the lead, and indeed they did 10 minutes later.

Chiellini was at the right place at the right time to head in yet another brilliant free kick from Pirlo, who was having a magnificent game at Juventus Stadium. Catania looked unable to contain the former AC Milan man, who was actually not done for the night yet.

In the 81st minute, he slid a superb through ball for Quagliarella, who raced ahead of the Sicilian defencs and fired a low shot, which deflected off the goalkeeper before looping in the net to put the game well beyond any doubt.

Following tonight's result, Juventus is first in the standings with 49 points, two more than title rival AC Milan, which it faces in the next round of Serie A.

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