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Italy - Serie A
May 18, 2014
• Juventus Stadium, Torino
Referee: M. Bergonzi
• Attendance: 39334
M. Silvestri 8' (own goal)
C. Marchisio 40'
We'll leave Juventus to their celebrations. From me, it's goodbye for now.
So Juve break a century of Serie A points without breaking a sweat. Goals from Pirlo, Llorente and Marchisio see them past Cagliari easily, putting a nice finish on their victorious Serie A campaign, as they end with 102 points.
That's it for the season folks! Full time.
Can't imagine there being much, if any, stoppage time here. Apart from a brief delay to tend to the stricken Bonucci, this game has proceeded almost non stop since the half time break.
Rubinho is called into real action in the league for the first time in over a year, as a rolling snap shot from distance is seen late, forcing him to adjust his feet and push it around the post at the last.
Cagliari are passing the ball around the opposition half now but the Juve fans are paying them no mind, instead applauding their coach once again, as this is probably their last public chance to show their support before he makes a decision on his future.
The cheers go around the stadium for Conte, who obliges the gleeful fans with a round of applause. They certainly don't want him to go and why would they? Juve have been dominant, at least domestically, since he took over from Luigi Delneri.
Juve still holding onto the ball comfortably. Both teams look like their eyes and minds are already on the beach. It's rest and relaxation out on the pitch at the moment for sure.
Conte makes his final change of the season, bringing on Pepe for the veteran Pirlo, who receives a standing ovation from the home fans. Another set piece goal in his locker then.
Cagliari have tried to concentrate a few attacks down their left hand side in the past few moments, but Lichtsteinier has stood firm, ably assisted by Pogba and Marchisio defensively. No route forward.
Ibarbo gets on the end of a hopeful ball into the box, and for a second looks like causing Rubinho problems, but in the end, it sails harmlessly over the bar. Replays suggest that the keeper had it covered again.
One sub apiece left for each manager, and we may well see the game broken up further in the final stages as they choose to empty their bench. Time slowly starting to ebb away on this one.
Trouble here for Bonucci, and Juve are all too happy to let the game stop for him to get patched up by the physios. After a moment to recover, it looks like he'll be okay to see this one out.
Ibraimi, in one of his first actions as a sub off the bench, cracks a low shot at goal that narrowly misses the target. In all fairness, Rubinho looked to have had that covered relatively easily.
Juve are starting to get back to normal in terms of possession, as they are keeping the visitors penned in their own half by passing the ball from left to right. Already killing the game off.
Cagliari enjoy another spell of possession, but once again cannot make anything meaningful happen in the attacking third. No one seems in any hurry to do anything at the moment.
Pogba, as is his wont, goes for goal from a LONG way out, drawing another save from Silvestri. He hasn't done a whole lot wrong in this game despite conceding three times, the Cagliari No. 1.
Llorente's race is run for this season, as he departs the game. A goal and an assist on the night, and 16 goals in total for this Serie A season. He really came into his own for the Bianconeri after a very slow start. Osvaldo will replace him.
Great challenge inside the box takes out Llorente from point bank range, just as he was about to pull the trigger on what looked like Juventus' fourth goal. More like normal from the champs.
It's all smiles and celebration at the Juventus Arena, but there's not a whole lot happening on the pitch. Lichtsteiner tries to make something happen with a lofted cross, but it's too high for Llorente to reach.
Substitution here, and it's a commemorative one. Off goes Buffon, who gives the armband to Marchisio in the midst of a standing ovation from the Juventus faithful. On comes third choice keeper Rubinho for his first minutes of action in this season. Buffon signs autographs on his way to the bench.
Not quite the same intensity from Juventus to start the second half. Even Conte, pragmatic as he is, will probably note that the Bianconeri are not likely to surrender this advantage.
Lovely ball lets through Tevez centrally, and he tries to barge his way through four or five Cagliari players. However, not for the first time, there are too many bodies in the way for him to get shooting space.
Juve start the second half strongly with a series of corners, but it's Cagliari who make the first inroads towards goal, when Pinilla just loses control at the vital moment, allowing Buffon to smother.
Here we go again.
Three and easy for Juve, who are well on their way to finishing the season on 102 points. Only a miracle will see the toothless Cagliari back in this game. It could be a thrashing in the making. See what Juve have in store for us after the break in just a bit.
Half time is signaled as Asamoah goes for another drive, but this time sends it high and wide.
ASAMOAH! Another excellent shot from the left back, who lashes a high volley that's swerving wickedly, but Silvestri dives to his right and pushes it around the post! Possibly his best save yet!
TEVEZ! He lines a strike up from distance, but it's right at Silvestri, who still has to show strong hands to push it over the bar! That was a powerful shot that was still a little too easy to read.
Asamoah whips a cross in towards the danger area, and Llorente does get a knock down, but there's no one at the far post to lap it up. Tevez looked for a second like he was onto that!
Assist Fernando Llorente
Goal Claudio Marchisio
Lovely skill from the midfielder inside the area to evade his man with a bouncing ball, and he takes the opportunity beautifully, lashing a half volley into the roof of the net!
MARCHISIO MAKES IT THREE!
Juve are back to dominating possession, and are looking increasingly likely bets for a third goal before half time. They are looking dangerous in and around the box again, with Tevez in particular looking hungry.
ASAMOAH LINES ONE UP! From all of 30 yards, the Ghanaian lets fly with his left foot, and it's heading towards the top corner! However, SIlvestri stretches well to tip it around the post and deny Juve a third!
Pirlo plays a through pass down the middle for Tevez, who ghosts past one defender but runs right into the back of Avelar after squaring up to shoot. He's appealing for a penalty, but there was nothing that Avelar could do on that occasion.
Llorente holds the ball up on the edge of the area and looks to lay it off to a teammate, but he's swarmed by blue and red shirts, which eventually leads to hm losing the ball under that pressure.
We're starting to see some slow signs of life from the visitors in the opposition half, though they still look like they don't have a concrete plan once there other than picking up any scraps left over by Juventus.
The fans inside the Juventus Stadium are in full voice, enjoying the stroll in the afternoon sun for their team. Another season on success in the books for them. They will want Juve to push further on in Europe next season though!
Cagliari have finally settled in the last few minutes, enjoying a decent spell of possession. However, the cynical side of me says it's nothing more than Juve allowing themselves a breather after an intense opening to the game.
BUFFON WITH A MAGNIFICENT SAVE! Cossu holds the ball up well, drawing two defenders and leaving Pinilla absolutely free inside the box. He eventually gets the ball to him, and Pinilla seems set to slot in, but the Juve captain spreads himself excellently to block the shot!
TEVEZ! He tries to walk the ball into the back of the net instead of having a crack when it first dropped onto his left foot. He has the defence second guessing, but in the end, sheer numbers crowd him out.
The Serie A trophy will be presented to Juventus at the conclusion of tonight's fixture. Remember, that's three in a row for the Bianconeri now, a level of domestic dominance not seen since Inter won five straight titles in the latter half of the last decade.
Long punt from the back by Caceres that Tevez, despite his efforts, cannot catch up with. A risky move by the defence to step up to catch the striker offside, since the linesman's flag stayed down on that occasion.
All going to plan and then some for the Bianconeri. Smooth sailing, and there has been precious little in the way of resistance from the visitors. They now need three goals to prevent Juve from marching to that record.
Goal Fernando Llorente
From a corner, Bonucci gets a touch, and it falls kindly for the striker who makes no mistake! Slack defending from the visitors, who had a chance to clear when the initial flick dropped, but could not sort their feet out.
LLORENTE MAKES IT TWO!
Marchisio has acres of space to gallop down the left hand side, but with three teammates to pick out inside the area, he instead lofts it onto the head of a Cagliari defender. Poor there.
Slow stuff from Cagliari whenever they get on the ball, and it's hard to see them fashioning a chance any time soon. Juve are shepherding them into rather limp areas, and look dangerous every time they attack.
Just the start that Juve would have wanted and you can't say that it hasn't been coming. The Bianconeri have shown no signs of late season lethargy, they clearly want to wrap up that 100 point record!
Own Goal Marco Silvestri
MAGNIFICENT FROM PIRLO!
OVER THE BAR! Pogba shows great footwork and awareness down the right hand side to set up Pirlo for a shot from the very edge of the box. The veteran midfielder bends it over the bar, but it's another good move down that right flank from the champs.
Ibarbo beats the Juventus defence for pace all ends up and leaves Caceres scrambling to keep up. He's a real wild card to have in your pack, Ibarbo, and he's capable of causing any side danger with his unpredictable running style.
Poor decision from the Cagliari defence nearly gifts Juve the opening goal of the game! Asamoah's hooked cross is too far over the head of Llorente, but a dramatic chest back from Perico intended for Silvestri instead almost lands at the feet of the big striker!
Off we go then.
Cagliari are left to play for only pride, and the potential ego boost of being the side that prevents Juve from reaching their landmark century of points. Ivo Pugla, who took over from Diego Lopez in April, has already guided his side to safety, taking seven points from his first four games. Even losses in their last two outings have not dented their ultimate destiny of survival.
It's a third straight Scudetto under Conte, in what has been an incredible three-year domestic run for the Bianconeri. He will already be recognised as one of Juventus' best managers of all time, with only a lack of sucess in the Coppa Italia and especially the Champions League perhaps holding his name a peg below the likes of Marcello Lippi - though that's an argument that can wait until the day that Conte does actually leave Turin.
This could well be Antonio Conte's last game in charge of the Bianconeri, as the former midfield general has hinted that new challenges may lie in his immediate future. Juve, on 99 points, already have the highest ever tally in a Serie A season, and he has a chance to break the mythical 100-point barrier tonight, needing only a draw to do so.
With Giorgio Chiellini and Andrea Barzagli both out, Leonardo Bonucci stands as the only member of Juve's famous back three to start their final game of the season. Martin Caceres and Angelo Ogbonna will man the centre of the defence in their absence, while up front, both Carlos Tevez and Fernando Llorente play together from the beginning.
CAGLIARI: Silvestri, Perico, Rossettini, Astori, Avelar, Conti, Dessena, Eriksson, Sau, Ibarbo, Cossu.
JUVENTUS: Buffon, Caceres, Bonucci, Ogbonna, Lichtsteiner, Pogba, Pirlo, Marchisio, Asamoah, Tevez, Llorente.
Hello and welcome to the final day of the Serie A season, where champions Juventus face off against Cagliari at the Juventus Stadium. I'm Keeghann Sinanan, your guide for all the action.
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