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Serie A

  • April 7, 2012
  • • 12:30 PM
  • • Stadio Renzo Barbera, Palermo
  • Referee: C. Brighi
  • • Attendance: 20000

Palermo 0-2 Juventus: Bonucci and Quagliarella send dominant Bianconeri back to the top of Serie A

Palermo 0-2 Juventus: Bonucci and Quagliarella send dominant Bianconeri back to the top of Serie A

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Two second-half goals see the Bianconeri emerge from Sicily with victory and a one point lead in first place, leaving the Rossoneri to chase in the race for the title

Juventus has ascended the Serie A summit once more, with a 2-0 over Palermo at the Stadio Renzo Barbera sending it one point clear at the top of the table.

AC Milan’s shock 2-1 loss at home to Fiorentina earlier on Saturday had left the door open for Antonio Conte's men, who were presented with the chance to turn a two point deficit to the Rossoneri with a win against Bortolo Mutti’s side.

Juve dominated the contest from start to finish, but a slew of missed chances had sent the tie into halftime with the deadlock yet to be broken.

However, Juve was able to finally break Palermo's resistance 10 minutes after the restart through a headed goal by Leonardo Bonucci. Fabio Quagliarella then sealed the victory with 20 minutes to go to hand the Bianconeri the advantage in the title race, and stretch their domestic unbeaten run to 31 games.

Ex-Juve striker Amauri had done his former club a huge favor earlier in the day, with a late winner at San Siro leaving Conte’s men with the knowledge that victory in Sicily would see them reclaim top spot for the first time since February.

Indeed, Juventus seemed determined to make the most of Milan’s slip up, dominating play right from the start of the match.

Mirko Vucinic came within inches of turning home a Quagliarella cross, before the Italian striker himself sliced wide after being put clean through with only the keeper to beat.

Juve was running Palermo ragged, but its wastefulness told, as it was unable to take one of the many chances that fell its way. A mix up between Ezequiel Munoz and Emiliano Viviano left Vucinic with an open goal, but the Montenegrin could not find the target from an angle.

Martin Caceres was next to try his luck, after a surging run into the box left him with space to shoot, but his finish was woeful, and bounced out of play off his shin.

Palermo was nowhere to be found, despite the cutting edge of Conte’s men tailing off slightly as the half wore on. Pirlo tested Viviano with a pair of efforts from range as the visitors continued to search for a breakthrough.

Artuo Vidal sent a shot straight into Viviano’s arms from the edge of the box in the 50th minute with Juve looking to make headway coming out of the break.

Juve finally got its breakthrough five minutes later, after Andrea Pirlo’s corner was glanced into the far corner by Bonucci to give Juventus a priceless lead.

Palermo continued to show precious little in the attacking third, as Conte’s men continued to control possession inside their half. Vucinic cut in from the left to sting the palms of Viviano with a drive from distance as the game crossed the hour mark.

Fabrizio Miccoli caused Juve hearts to flutter as he beat Giorgio Chiellini brilliantly towards the right byline, but his drilled center across the face of goal was just too far ahead of the waiting Josip Ilicic.

However, barely a minute later, Juventus was further ahead. Substitute Alessandro Matri held the ball up well at the top of the box, before teeing up Quagliarella for a cool finish into the corner to give the visitors a two-goal cushion.

Viviano then had to be alert to tip over a dangerous cross by Pirlo in the 77th minute, with Caceres lurking at the far post.

The Palermo keeper was called into action once more to deny Alessandro Del Piero on the stroke of injury time with his legs from close range, but by that point, Juve already had the result in the bag.

Juventus now leads Milan by a single point at the top of the Serie A table, with only seven games remaining until the end of the season. Palermo meanwhile remains in 11th place, and continue to sputter in mid-table mediocrity.

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