Juventus loanee Sebastian Giovinco scored the only goal of the match against his parent club as the hosts dented the Bianconeri's hopes of European qualification
Sebastian Giovinco, on loan from Juventus, scored the only goal of the game as Parma defeated the Old Lady 1-0 at the Ennio Tardini to dent the Bianconeri’s hopes of finishing in a Europa League qualifying position.
Both teams had been riding into the match on very different form. Juventus had drawn three of their previous four matches on a streak which has definitively ruled them out of a Champions League spot and also left them danger of failing to reach one of Serie A’s Europa League positions.
Parma on the other hand were feeling confident after wins over Inter, Udinese and Palermo all in the last month.
Juventus continued this nervous vein of form immediately into the match, making an error from the tip off which surrendered a corner to the hosts. The home faithful sensed blood and no time was wasted in attacking the Juve goal.
Gianluigi Buffon was called in to action a number of times in a first half which was dictated by Franco Colomba’s side, most notably clawing the ball off the line after Valeri Bojinov had tried his luck from an acute angle.
The Old Lady found themselves under pressure for the vast majority of the half and Luigi Del Neri will have been thankful his side were still level at the interval with the score goalless.
The second half seemed to pick up where the first left off with Buffon again forced into action, but after an edgy opening few minutes for Juventus they began to find their feet. A rare foray forward from the visitors had the ball in the net but Alessandro Matri was flagged offside. Mirante then had to be at his best to tip a trademark Del Piero free kick around the post.
This spell of attacking pressure was to cost the Bianconeri at the back, however, and Giovinco took advantage in style, dancing past lacklustre tackles and firing into the top right hand corner leaving Buffon stranded. It is the second game this season in which the Juventus loanee has punished his parent club, having scored a brace in Parma’s 4-1 victory earlier in the season.
It looked like it was to be the end of the tie and the quest for European qualification for the men from Turin, no doubt bitter over the identity of the goalscorer.
Parma looked the more likely to score again, with substitute Antonio Candreva inexplicably failing to hit the target when he found himself with time and space in the Juve box.
The visitors managed a few chances in the closing minutes and Mirante needed to turn a speculative Felipe Melo effort over the bar, but Juve had not done enough throughout the game to warrant anything other than a defeat, and the final whistle blew.
The 1-0 loss by all rights should have ruled Juventus out of Europe next season but Roma's shock late defeat at the hands of Catania has left Del Neri's men with a mathematical but faint hope of securing the final Europa League position ahead of next weeks clash with Napoli.