It proved to be a forgettable match that both sides will want to progress from in the coming weeks after no goals were chalked up at the Artemio Franchi
Fiorentina and Juventus played out a dour goalless draw at the Artemio Franchi, in what was arguably one of the most disappointing clashes between two of Italian football's giants.
The match started in fairly cagey fashion, with both sides trying to find their rhythm in the early stages. Most of the attacking play was found on the wings, with the likes of Alessio Cerci and Marco Motta impressing early on.
Cerci had the best early chance on 13 minutes, if not a clear goalscoring opportunity, after a Riccardo Montolivo pass deflected into his path, and his shot went just over the Juventus goal courtesy of another deflection.
Alberto Gilardino hasn’t had his most prolific season in front of goal, and he should have done a lot better with his tame attempt at a lob over Gianluigi Buffon after connecting with a long ball over the top of the Bianconeri defence.
Juventus continued to stick with their 4-1-4-1 formation for this game, and there was an alarming lack of invention or enterprise by Luigi Del Neri’s men, with Alessandro Matri looking very much isolated in attack.
The first half wore on in rather dour fashion, with virtually no scoring opportunities of any note apart from a few speculative snap-shots. Not even a trademark Fabio Grosso overlap or a Juan Vargas set-piece was in sight.
However, the second half began in explosive fashion and gave birth to the game’s best chance. A Simone Pepe corner wasn’t dealt with at all by the Viola defence, and Leonardo Bonucci had a free header which went straight at Artur Boruc.
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Two minutes later Sinisa Mihajlovic’s men had an equally good chance of their own. Alessio Cerci curled a dangerous ball into the box from the right, and Gilardino’s glancing header just whistled past the far post.
Alessandro Del Piero’s introduction early in the second half was a seemingly inspirational choice, and he almost instantly gave his side the lead after an explosive snap-shot at goal in the Viola box was well stopped by Boruc.
The match then went back into its first-half state, with hardly any goalmouth action. Luca Toni had a couple of minor chances fall his way, but to no avail. Claudio Marchisio also had a rare powerful shot deflect just wide for a corner.
The match leaves Juventus a further two points behind in the Champions League race after Lazio's big away win, and Luigi Del Neri will feel this is a wasted opportunity after Roma's loss less than 24 hours ago.