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Italy - Serie A
May 8, 2013
• Stadio Atleti Azzurri d'Italia, Bergamo
Referee: M. Guida
• Attendance: 14000
A. Matri 18'
That result means that Juventus have now gone five consecutive matches without conceding and they will look to continue that record when they face Cagliari on Saturday. As for Atalanta, they will look to end their five-game winless streak when they travel to the Stadio Friuli to face Udinese. Thanks for joining me, Max Bentley, on this Serie A Goal.com live commentary. Make sure to check out the match report, player ratings and reaction. Until next time, goodbye.
However, Palermo's defeat to Udinese combined with Siena's loss to Fiorentina ensures that Atalanta cannot be relegated and Stefano Colantuono can look forward to another season in Italy's top flight.
FULL TIME: ATALANTA 0-1 JUVENTUS. Alessandro Matri's first-half strike is the difference as Antonio Conte's side march onto a ninth consecutive Serie A victory, to better their points tally from last season's unbeaten campaign. In truth, the Bianconeri were fortunate to escape with the win and were subjected to heavy spells of Atalanta pressure after going ahead.
90' + 2'
Mauricio Isla releases Anelka on the edge of the box and the Frenchman looks to notch his first Bianconeri goal but watches his strike blocked smartly by Canini.
Juventus have the chance to wrap up the points when Anelka launches a swift counterattack, slipping in Giaccherini on the left side of the box, but the Italian midfielder wastefully blasts into the side netting. He's had a few chances this evening.
Bonaventura has been one of Atalanta's best performers this evening and his cross towards Parra causes confusion in the Juventus box again, but Marrone recovers well to hack the ball clear.
Arturo Vidal looks to make it six goals in five games when he finds space on the right corner of the box, but the Chilean can only drag his effort wide of the goal. Three minutes remaining.
Juventus are just looking to see out this game now by holding onto possession. I'm not quite sure how Atalanta haven't scored. It's been a great effort from Colantuono's men.
Chaos inside the Juventus box again as they fail to clear from a set-piece but Caceres just manages to get his frame in the way to block Parra's goalbound attempt.
CONTROVERSY! Moments after Atalanta are denied what seems a clear penalty by a handball from Peluso, Juventus counterattack straight down the other end and Vidal's strike is well saved by the legs of Consigli after the Chilean had been played in by Giaccherini. With the goalscoring form he is in, you expect to see the net bulging there.
Cristiano Del Grosso
Stefano Colantuono also decides to make his final substitution, throwing on striker Facundo Parra in place of the left-back, Del Grosso.
Peluso's first contribution is to win a corner but Pirlo's delivery is well headed clear at the front post by Denis. Are Juventus set for another 1-0 victory?
Paolo De Ceglie
Antonio Conte opts to make his final change of the game, introducing former-Atalanta star Federico Peluso in place of Paolo De Ceglie.
Yellow Card Luca Cigarini
Luca Cigarini is the next man to be cautioned after hauling down Nicolas Anelka.
Scaloni floats another dangerous cross into the Juventus box but this time Caceres does excellently to hold off his marker and head back to Storari.
Luca Cigarini looks to make a name for himself by unleashing an effort from distance, but the ball sails high over the crossbar.
Blondini whips a corner into the Juventus box but the ball is nodded over the bar by the head of Stendardo.
Stefano Colantuono opts for an attacking change of his own, introducing Maximiliano Moralez in place of Carmona.
Antonio Conte decides to ring the changes and introduces Arturo Vidal and Nicolas Anelka in place of Simone Padoin and Fabio Quagliarella. Can the French striker notch his first goal in the Bianconeri jersey?
This time Atalanta attack down the left and Del Grosso whips a cross into the box which narrowly evades Giorgi at the back post. Atalanta are getting closer.
Atalanta continue to bombard the Juventus area with crosses and the ball falls to Del Grosso on the left corner of the box, but his miscued effort is well cleared by Chiellini.
Quagliarella does brilliantly to draw three Atalanta defenders towards him and slip a deft reverse-pass behind the defence, but Matri cannot hold his run and is flagged offside.
Just over an hour played and Juventus still clinging on to their 1-0 lead. Surely Colantuono will be tempted to make a change soon in an attempt to salvage something from this match? Conte must also be assessing his attacking options.
SO CLOSE TO 2-0! Alessandro Matri looks to play a neat one-two with Isla and the Chilean slides a return pass into the path of the Italian striker who looks set to score but inexplicably he takes an airshot and the move breaks down.
Yellow Card Guglielmo Stendardo
Guglielmo Stendardo is cautioned for a rash challenge on Paolo De Ceglie and is now suspended for the next match.
Lionel Scaloni finds space down the right wing and whips a glorious cross into the middle which Blondini meets, rising in between Marrone and Caceres, but his header is straight into the gloves of Storari.
Pirlo bursts through the Atalanta midfield to set up a dangerous counterattack and the ball is worked to the left-hand side of the box brilliantly but Giaccherini leans back and balloons his effort over the bar.
Atalanta look to force Juventus into mistakes by pressing them high up the field but the Bianconeri show some delightful first-time passing to frustrate the hosts and retain possession.
Atalanta continue to look dangerous with their crosses into the box and Denis comes within inches of restoring parity but he just cannot make contact with Cigarini's teasing delivery.
Pirlo opts to strike the free kick but disappointingly cannot beat the wall and slices the rebound high and wide of the goal.
Yellow Card Luigi Giorgi
Luigi Giorgi is the second man to be booked after hauling down Quagliarella on the edge of the box.
Pirlo's corner from the right somehow finds its way towards the left corner of the box but Giaccherini's effort blazes high over the bar.
Chiellini switches the play out to the right excellently and Isla takes a sublime first touch and cuts inside De Grosso before his low diagonal drive is well diverted behind by Canini for a corner.
Atalanta win an early corner which they opt to drift towards the edge of the box, but Del Grosso's speculative volley is charged down by Marrone.
Atalanta get the second half underway. Can they start the second half in the same fashion as they ended the first?
What did you make of that first half? Which Juventus players have impressed you and which do you think should be sold in the summer? Let me know your thoughts via Twitter @MaxBentley1.
HALF TIME: ATALANTA 0-1 JUVENTUS. Alessandro Matri's eighth league goal of the season deservedly opened the scoring for Antonio Conte's side on 18 minutes but since then the Bianconeri have had to endure an Atalanta storm and can consider themselves fortunate to still be ahead. Can Stefano Colantuano's side break the Juve wall down in the second half? Stay tuned...
Bonaventura cuts inside the challenge of Padoin on the left flank and unleashes a venemous drive which seems to be heading towards the top corner of the goal, only to take a wicked deflection off his own player, Blondini, and go behind for a goal kick.
Atalanta are causing the Italian champions problems with their crosses into the box and Denis is nearly allowed to steal in, but Chiellini stands firm to crucially head the ball back to Storari. At this rate, it seems Juventus' four-game run without conceding is set to come to an end.
Yellow Card Andrea Pirlo
Andrea Pirlo picks up the first caution of the match after hauling down German Denis.
Chiellini slips a wonderful pass into the path of Pirlo outside the box but the veteran midfielder declines the opportunity to shoot and his lofted cross is well cut out by Canini.
ATALANTA HIT THE POST! Martin Caceres' sloppy pass is seized upon by Bonaventura and the 23-year-old drifts a cross towards the back post where the unmarked Denis volleys the ball against the upright. So unlucky for the Argentine.
Lionel Scaloni chips a cross into the Juventus box but Blondini's acrobatic effort is diverted wide of Storari's goal.
Juventus look to take the sting out of the Atalanta attack as they enjoy a decent spell of possession. However, they cannot make it into the final third and Atalanta come forward again.
Atalanta are certainly on top at the moment and as the ball falls kindly for Del Grosso 25 yards out, the left-back sends a fizzing effort narrowly wide of Storari's left-hand post. The Orobici are getting closer.
ATALANTA GO CLOSE! The trailing side are pushing for an equaliser and they nearly find it when Carmona cuts inside two defenders on the edge of the box before smashing a fierce strike inches away from the top right-hand corner.
Denis looks to chip a deft pass over the Juventus defence for Bonaventura but Chiellini backtracks excellently to make a crucial header.
Finally Juventus get the game back underway. Let's hope there are no more interruptions.
The referee is forced to halt the match due to a series of smokebombs and flares in the away section of the ground. Giorgio Chiellini and Antonio Conte go across to address the travelling supporters. The game should hopefully be back underway again shortly.
Luga Cigarini slips a neat pass behind the Juventus defence for Blondini and just as the attacker is about to pull the trigger, the referee blows his whistle for offside. That must have been marginal.
SO CLOSE TO 2-0! Mauricio Isla whips a fantastic cross towards the back post but De Ceglie does not connect properly with his diving header and glances the ball inches wide.
Giacomo Bonaventura finds space to unleash a strike from distance but his left-footed effort is always rising and Storari watches the ball soar harmlessly over the crossbar.
Very lively match here and Matri nearly doubles his tally but he cannot quite flick Quagliarella's cross past Consigli and the move breaks down.
Atalanta have responded brilliantly to going behind and they nearly find an equaliser when Denis meets Giorgi's right-wing cross, but his header glances narrowly wide of Storari's goal.
Assist Andrea Pirlo
Goal Alessandro Matri
1-0 JUVENTUS! Andrea Pirlo at his best as he lofts an inch-perfect pass between the two Atalanta centre-backs which Alessandro Matri controls wonderfully before slamming a left-footed shot across the keeper and into the back of the net. Brilliant finish.
The Bianconeri have won their last four matches without conceding a goal. Can they continue their impressive defensive record with a 19th league clean sheet of the season tonight?
Atalanta just cannot get out of their half at the moment but this time they do well to clear successive corners out of the box. Entertaining opening period here.
Juventus win another corner and just as it seems Caceres is about to poke the ball home at the back post, the referee blows his whistle for a foul by Chiellini in the box. The Atalanta defence looked shakey there.
Juventus go back down the other end but Quagliarella cannot force Consigli into a save as his header from Pirlo's corner loops just over the crossbar.
Atalanta launch a counterattack with Bonaventura releasing Denis on the right corner of the box, but the Argentine cannot find Blondini with his cheeky backheel and De Ceglie gets back to make the interception.
Juventus continue to come forward in search of an early opener and Quagliarella lets fly from distance, only to watch his shot blaze high and wide of Consigli's left-hand post.
Atalanta are forced into an early substitution when Cristian Raimondi suffers a hamstring injury. He is replaced by Luigi Giorgi.
Very one-sided start to this match as the hosts have hardly had a touch of the ball. De Ceglie soars down the left flank but his cross is safely cleared upfield.
Early scare for Atalanta as Giaccherini controls a long ball over the home defence brilliantly, but he can only fire straight at Consigli.
Perhaps a chance for some of the Bianconeri fringe players to shine this evening. They could well be playing some of their final games for the Turin outfit.
Juventus get the game underway! Can they make it nine league wins in a row?
The signs do not look too positive for Atalanta who have won just one of the last ten meetings between the two sides. Juventus have registered eight victories with one draw being played out between the teams. When these sides met in the reverse fixture back in December, the Bianconeri emerged 3-0 victors with goals from Mirko Vucinic, Andrea Pirlo and Claudio Marchisio.
Unsurprisingly, Antonio Conte rings the changes with nine new faces in the starting eleven. Marco Storari deputises for Gianluigi Buffon in goal. Andrea Barzagli's suspension means that Luca Marrone and Martin Caceres are given the chance to impress in defence. Mauricio Isla and Paolo De Ceglie start on either flank with Emanuele Giaccherini and Simone Padoin either side of Andrea Pirlo in the middle of the pitch. The goalscoring onus falls on the shoulders of Alessandro Matri and Fabio Quagliarella.
Stefano Colantuono makes three changes to the side which were defeated 2-0 by Parma on Sunday. Cristiano Del Grosso returns from injury to take his place in defence, whilst Michele Canini and Carmona are also recalled. Davide Brivio, Michele Ferri and Stefano Lucchini all make way.
JUVENTUS (3-5-2): Storari; Caceres, Marrone, Chiellini; Isla, Padoin, Pirlo, Giaccherini, De Ceglie; Matri, Quagliarella.
ATALANTA (4-3-2-1): Consigli; Scaloni, Stendardo, Canini, Del Grosso; Raimondi, Carmona, Cigarini; Biondini, Bonaventura; Denis.
Here are tonight's lineups, starting with the hosts...
Juventus do still have things to play for however, and Antonio Conte will be keen to surpass last season's points tally of 84 - a landmark they should be able to achieve as they require only two points from their remaining three matches.
After securing back-to-back league titles at home to Palermo on Sunday, newly recrowned Italian champions Juventus are in action once again as they take on a struggling Atalanta outfit. The Orobici are still not safe from relegation, although victory in front of their own fans this evening will consolidate their status in Serie A next season. Will the Juventus players suffer a Scudetto hangover or will they heap more pressure on Stefano Colantuono's team? Bringing you all the action from the Stadio Atleti Azzurri d'Italia, my name is Max Bentley. Feel free to let me know your thoughts and predictions on the game via Twitter @MaxBentley1.
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