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February 16, 2014
• 9:00 AM
• Juventus Stadium, Torino
Referee: P. Valeri
• Attendance: 38812
K. Asamoah 17'
C. Marchisio 29'
M. Cáceres 51' (own goal)
Juventus look to make it 17 Serie A games unbeaten when they take on Torino in the big Turin derby next weekend while Chievo aim to get back to winning ways when they host Catania in what is a huge relegation six-pointer. Thanks for joining me on this live commentary. Until next time, goodbye.
As for Chievo, they drop into the relegation zone after Catania's 3-1 win over Lazio while fellow strugglers Livorno currently lead Cagliari 2-1. It's now nine Serie A games without a win for Eugenio Corini's side and he has a big task on his hands if he is to steer the Flying Donkeys away from the drop.
FT: Juventus 3-1 Chievo. Goals from Kwadwo Asamoah, Claudio Marchisio and Fernando Llorente hand Antonio Conte a win on his 100th Serie A match in charge of the club. The Italian champions strolled into a comfortable two-goal lead at half-time but they were tested after the break by Pellissier's introduction and lost their clean sheet when Stephan Lichtsteiner fired a clearance into Martin Caceres which looped over Gianluigi Buffon. Andrea Pirlo was magnificent in the midfield and the attention now turns to Roma's game with Sampdoria this evening as they look to close the 12 point gap at the top.
90' + 3'
GOOD SAVE FROM BUFFON! Chievo are finishing the game strongly and Hetemaj cuts inside two Juve shirts before his bending effort is punched away from the far corner by Buffon. That will be the last action of the game as the referee blows the full-time whistle.
90' + 1'
CHIEVO GO CLOSE! Juventus' defence has been stretched in this second half and they are fortunate not to concede a second goal when Obinna nods Hetemaj's cross narrowly past the post.
IT SHOULD BE 4-1! Chievo have looked vulnerable from set-pieces today and they nearly fall further behind when they fail to deal with Pirlo's corner from the right. However, Ogbonna leans back and somehow blazes over from a few yards out.
Pirlo's passing has been tremendous today and he pings a fine first-time pass over the top of the Chievo defence for Marchisio. However, the 28-year-old cannot add to his tally as his low shot is well saved by the legs of Agazzi.
Pass. Pass. Pass. Juventus go into training ground mode as they effortlessly pass the ball around inside their own half. With Roma playing Sampdoria later this evening, Antonio Conte's side will be 12 points clear at the top of Serie A.
Arturo Vidal receives a good reception from the crowd as he is replaced by Simone Padoin for the final few minutes.
Obinna looks to make an impression from the bench and he cuts inside the challenge of Asamoah before bending an effort narrowly wide of the target. Can Chievo score a second to set up a nervy finale?
CHANCE FOR CHIEVO! Buffon has hardly been tested this afternoon and he flaps nervously from Rubin's cross before Radovanovic's fierce strike is well blocked by Ogbonna.
Final change for Chievo here as former West Ham forward Victor Obinna comes on to replace Cyril Thereau. Can his pace help to stretch the Juventus defence in the closing stages?
Osvaldo looks to endear himself to the Juventus fans as he controls Pirlo's pass over the top of the Chievo defence. However, he cannot produce the finish to match as his cheeky lob bounces narrowly wide of the post.
Juventus are in no rush to score a fourth goal here and they pass the ball from forward to back as they continue to frustrate their opponents. The home support have got their voice back here and they certainly believe the three points are safe.
The two substitutes combine immediately as Osvaldo clips a pass over the top of the Chievo defence for Tevez. However, the Argentine cannot pick out a teammate in the box as his low cross is diverted behind for a corner.
Antonio Conte decides to make a double substitution up front as Carlos Tevez and Pablo Osvaldo come on to replace Sebastian Giovinco and Fernando Llorente.
Yellow Card Sebastian Giovinco
It's been a frustrating afternoon for Giovinco as he has been determined to impress. However, he picks a booking for a rash challenge on Radovanovic before seeing his number illuminated on the substitutes' board.
BONUCCI TO THE RESCUE! This is a decent spell for the visitors and Rubin finds space to whip in a cross from the left. Guana ghosts into the box to meet it with a firm header but his effort is well diverted behind by Bonucci.
Chievo are not giving up hope of getting back into this game however and Guana plays the ball out to the right for Sardo. The wing-back races towards the byline and whips a cross into the box but Caceres rises highest to prevent Thereau from having a free header.
GIOVINCO GOES CLOSE! The diminutive striker produces a superb turn to spin away from Bernadini and he plays a neat one-two with Marchisio before firing a left-footed shot into the side netting.
Eugenio Corini opts to make his second substitution of the game as Rubin comes on to replace Drame.
You could sense the relief around the Juventus Stadium when that third goal went in. The hosts were under real pressure after that Caceres own goal but Pirlo has picked the team up here to regain their two-goal cushion.
As things stand, Catania, Chievo and Sassuolo will be the three sides occupying the relegation zone.
Assist Andrea Pirlo
Goal Fernando Llorente
LLORENTE MAKES IT 3-1! It does not take Juventus long to retain their two-goal cushion as Pirlo swings over a corner from the left and Llorente rises highest amid a crowd of yellow shirts to head the ball into the net.
GOOD SAVE FROM AGAZZI! Pirlo looks to catch out the Chievo debutant at his near post but the shotstopper flies across his goalmouth excellently to make a fine fingertipped save.
The Juventus fans are getting restless now and they vent their frustration as Giovinco fails to test Agazzi from the edge of the box.
CHANCE FOR CHIEVO! This game has a different feel to it now and Pellissier's introduction from the bench has made a real impact. Thereau does superbly to burst past Asamoah down the right and he picks out Pellissier whose goalbound effort is well blocked by Bonucci.
Antonio Conte will be absolutely furious with the manner in which his side conceded that goal as Buffon is yet to make a meaningful save. Are we set for a repeat of the Verona second half performance last week?
Own Goal Martín Cáceres
CHIEVO PULL ONE BACK! It's a horror show at the back for Juventus as Pellissier causes havoc inside the box and Lichtsteiner reacts by wildly hitting a clearance straight into Caceres which loops over Buffon and into the net.
SO CLOSE TO 3-0! Pirlo delivers a teasing cross from the left and it flicks off the head of Thereau before just missing the onrushing Bonucci at the back post. From the resulting corner, Llorente heads over.
Chievo have made a bright start to the second half and Guana threads a ball behind the Juventus defence for Pellissier to run onto. However, it is slightly too heavy for the striker and Buffon rushes off his line to claim.
Pellissier looks to make an instant impact as he finds space on the right side of the box but his tame shot is comfortably saved by Buffon.
Eugenio Corini has decided to make a change at the break with Sergio Pellissier replacing Adrian Stoian in attack.
The teams re-emerge from the tunnel and Chievo get the second half underway. Can they find a way back into this match?
STAT: If Chievo fail to score today, it will mark their third consecutive Serie A match without a goal.
HT: Juventus 2-0 Chievo. Antonio Conte's side look to be heading 12 points clear at the top of Serie A after a solid first-half display. Kwadwo Asamoah opened the scoring after a fine one-two with Fernando Llorente before Claudio Marchisio doubled their lead when Michael Agazzi spilled Andrea Pirlo's swerving free kick. It's all been too easy for Juventus and Gianluigi Buffon has been a spectator in the first half with the Chievo attack failing to have a shot on target. Big half-time teamtalk ahead for Eugenio Corini.
The referee blows his whistle to signal the end of a comfortable first half for the Serie A leaders.
Juventus seem to have taken their foot off the gas a little since scoring that second goal and they pass the ball around comfortably as the clock ticks down towards half-time.
Vidal clearly fancies getting on the scoresheet this afternoon and he collects Pirlo's pass outside the box before arrowing a fierce shot high over the crossbar.
Nicolas Frey nearly gifts Juventus a third as Giovinco closes him down quickly before he plays a short backpass to Agazzi. However, fortunately for the French defender, his goalkeeper is off his line quickly to smother the ball.
This is a good spell for Chievo as they stem the Juventus flow with a sustained spell of possession. However, it is not difficult to see why they have the lowest number of goals in Serie A this season as Buffon still waits to make a save.
CHANCE FOR CHIEVO! Drame produces a wonderful piece of skill as he jinks past Lichtsteiner and Asamoah. However, he cannot produce the finish to match as he slices a shot wide of the target.
However, Juventus fans need only cast their mind back one week when they surrendered a two-goal lead to Verona. Surely that won't happen again?
This Chievo side look bereft of confidence and they are finding it extremely difficult to get into the Juventus half and test what is a makeshift defence. Antonio Conte seems to be heading to a win in his 100th Serie A match in charge of the club.
Goal Claudio Marchisio
MARCHISIO MAKES IT 2-0! Pirlo does indeed line up a shot from distance and his swerving effort is fumbled by Agazzi straight into the path of Marchisio who gratefully turns in the rebound. The goalkeeper may feel he should have done better there and it is a long way back for Chievo now.
Yellow Card Nicolas Sebastien Frey
A fourth yellow card of the game as Vidal gets to the ball ahead of Frey before being brought down before the French defender. Shooting opportunity for Pirlo here.
Giovinco goes down in a heap on the edge of the box when he has his shirt tugged by Radovanovic. However, the referee is alert to his playacting and allows play to continue.
Llorente is causing Canini all sorts of problems with his strong hold-up play and he reacts first to Marchisio's knock-down before turning the Chievo centre-back and sending a shot against the crossbar. However, it would not have counted as it struck Llorente's arm.
Yellow Card Fernando Llorente
Fernando Llorente joins Pirlo in the referee's notebook after he hauls Guana to the turf.
Sebastian Giovinco is looking to impress on a rare start for Juventus and he has troubled Bernadini early on with his pace and clever movement. I don't think many Juventus fans expected to see his name in the starting line-up today.
Juventus have their tails up here and Agazzi does well to deny Giovinco before Pirlo draws the applause of the crowd when he dances through the Chievo midfield.
Assist Fernando Llorente
Goal Kwadwo Asamoah
BRILLIANT GOAL FROM ASAMOAH! The Ghanaian darts beyond three Chievo players before playing a splendid one-two with Llorente and curling a shot beyond the outstretched glove of Agazzi and into the far corner. Juventus lead 1-0!
Thereau steps up to take the resulting free kick and he curls the ball over the wall but it does not have enough dip and Buffon guides it safely over the crossbar.
Yellow Card Andrea Pirlo
Andrea Pirlo joins Guana in the referee's notebook after a mistimed challenge on Hetemaj. Eugenio Corini will be relatively pleased with how his Chievo side have started here.
Shaky moment for Juventus as Caceres plays a short backpass to Buffon and the Azzurri No.1 is forced to concede a corner. However, Juventus defend the resulting set-piece excellently and the danger is averted.
Juventus are upping the tempo here and Giovinco does well to beat his man down the left before standing up a cross to the back post. Vidal wins the header but Llorente cannot turn in his knock-down before Pirlo blazes wildly over the top.
Michael Agazzi will be hoping to keep a clean sheet on his debut but the Chievo shotstopper is nearly beaten within eight minutes when Marchisio slips a neat ball beyond the defence for Llorente. However, fortunately for Agazzi, the tall Spanish forward is adjudged marginally offside.
Llorente shows his class as he collects Ogbonna's pass with his back to goal before rolling the challenge of Canini excellently. However, he cannot produce the finish to match as his left-footed effort goes high over the bar.
Chievo launch their first attack of the game but a promising move breaks down when Radovanovic overhits his pass to Drame.
Yellow Card Roberto Guana
Roberto Guana picks up an early booking when he brings down Asamoah midway through the Chievo half. He will need to be careful for the remainder of this one.
As expected, it is Juventus who are dictating the play early on. Pirlo looks to play a raking pass in behind Drame but the Senegal international backpedals excellently to prevent Lichtsteiner getting in on goal.
The referee blows his whistle and Juventus get the game underway. Can they extend their lead over Roma to 12 points? Let's find out...
The teams emerge from the tunnel with captains Gianluigi Buffon and Nicolas Frey leading out the respective sides. Juventus are in their famous black and white jerseys with Chievo in their familiar yellow and blue strip.
CHIEVO (3-5-2): Agazzi; Frey, Canini, Bernardini; Sardo, Guana, Radovanovic, Hetemaj, Drame; Stoian, Thereau.
JUVENTUS (3-5-2): Buffon; Caceres, Bonucci, Ogbonna; Lichtsteiner, Vidal, Pirlo, Marchisio, Asamoah; Llorente, Giovinco.
CHIEVO TEAM NEWS: Michael Agazzi makes his debut between the sticks after his transfer from Cagliari while Nicolas Frey, Roberto Guana, Ivan Radovanovic and Perparim Hetemaj also come into the side after sitting out the 3-0 defeat to Udinese. Bostjan Cesar is suspended, while Dario Dainelli and Luca Rigoni are sidelined.
JUVENTUS TEAM NEWS: Sebastian Giovinco is a surprise starter for Antonio Conte's side as he partners Fernando Llorente up front. Giorgio Chiellini and Andrea Barzagli are not deemed 100% fit so Martin Caceres and Angelo Ogbonna are handed starts in the centre of defence while Claudio Marchisio is preferred to Paul Pogba. Pablo Osvaldo is on the bench after recovering from a bout of flu.
STAT: Juventus have not lost to Chievo in their previous seven Serie A encounters, with the Old Lady's last defeat to the Flying Donkeys coming in January 2010.
Chievo have taken just 18 points from their 23 Serie A matches this season but coach Eugenio Corini insists that his side should not be underestimated. "We're up against a battleship, but you just have to look to Verona to see that sometimes Juve are susceptible," he said. "Football has taught us over the years that no team is unbeatable. We will go there with that message in our heads."
However, it has not gone quite so smoothly for Juventus recently with Antonio Conte cancelling the team's rest day this week after they surrendered a two-goal cushion in the draw with Verona last weekend. The Bianconeri coach will certainly be expecting a better performance today and it marks his 100th Serie A game in charge of the club.
Just when Eugenio Corini thought things couldn't get any worse for his struggling Chievo side, they are forced to travel to Turin to face runaway leaders Juventus. The Flying Donkeys are nine games without a win in all competitions and Catania's imminent victory over Lazio will see Chievo drop into relegation zone before a ball is even kicked. What's worse is the fact that Juventus are unbeaten in their last 15 matches and are yet to drop a point at home in the league. It really will take something special for Chievo to earn a result today.
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