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Italy - Serie A
February 9, 2014
• Stadio Marc'Antonio Bentegodi, Verona
Referee: D. Doveri
• Attendance: 25140
L. Toni 52'
J. Gómez Taleb 90'+
C. Tévez 4', 21'
Verona's excellent home record continues, and though this is a blow for Conte and his side, they will remain confident of a third Serie A title in as many seasons. For now, though, I'm Tom Maston, and thanks for joining me.
And with that the final whistle blows, and in truth Verona deserved their point after an excellent second half showing. Juventus were made to pay for their lack of potency in attack in a first half they dominated as they dropped points for just the fourth time this season.
90' + 4'
90' + 4'
GOAL!!! Verona have snatched an equaliser in the final seconds and the Verona fans erupt. Romulo is given far too much time to cross from the right, and it is substitute Taleb who gets in front of his man to nod past Buffon.
90' + 2'
Almost wrapped up for Juventus as Lichtsteiner gets forward before playing the ball into Vidal's path, but his shot is just too high and Verona breath again.
90' + 1'
Yellow CardEmil Hallfredsson
Huge appeals by the Verona players for handball in the Juventus area. Lichtsteiner looks guilty, and he certainly should be after replays confirm the ball struck his outstretched arm as he challenged Toni. Hallfredsson is booked for his protests. Into five minutes of stoppage time.
Juventus are hanging onto their lead fairly comfortably at present, with Verona struggling to muster the energy for one final push. It looks like the visitors may well come out on top in this one.
Toni, who has proved a real handful in this second half, tries to find an equaliser, but his shot from distance is far too high to trouble Buffon.
Verona make their final substitution as Cacciatore is replaced by Sala.
Some concern here for Vidal as he is remains on the ground. The Juventus medical staff eventually get him up, but he is moving far from comfortably.
Yellow CardRafael Marques
The first booking of the match goes to Marques as he brings down Vidal on the edge of the Verona box.
Conte makes his third and final change as Asamoah makes way and Peluso comes on.
GREAT SAVE! Buffon keeps the hosts ahead with a fantastic diving stop. Romulo's free-kick eventually found Toni on the edge of the six-yard box, but his effort lacked power and the Italy goalkeeper was able to stretch and push the effort away.
Osvaldo , who has been impressive since coming on, has the ball in the net but the referee disallows it as Asamoah, who fed the striker, was correctly flagged offside.
Pogba again tries the spectacular as he shoots from all of 30 yards, but Rafael sees it early and gets his body behind it to block at his left-hand post. Chances at either end now as we enter the final stage.
Some concern here for Juventus as Chiellini kicks the ball out of play before holding his right leg and trudging from the field. Ogbonna is the man to replace him.
After Osvaldo sees an effort blocked, Pirlo sends over a corner from the left, but Caceres cannot get any purchase on his header and it drifts wide. Meanwhile,Marchisio is being readied on the Juventus bench.
Verona continue to press in search of an equaliser, and Hallfredsson is the latest to try his luck with a long-range shot, but it flies well wide of the left-hand post.
A blow here for Verona as Donadel, who has come to the fore in the second period, is forced from the field with an injury, with Cirigliano on in his place.
OFF THE POST! Almost a dream return to Serie A for Osvaldo as he gets away from Marques after Pirlo's through ball, but he cannot squeeze his effort from the right of the area into the bottom corner with Rafael beaten. So unlucky for the former Roma man.
The longer Verona stay in the game, the more they will believe they can deny Juventus all three points, and their fans remain in full voice.
Pablo Daniel Osvaldo
As Toni sees another effort blocked, Juventus hand a debut to Osvaldo as he replaces Llorente up front after his move from Southampton.
Albertazzi almost costs his side a goal as his poor clearance only finds Tevez, and after he feeds Vidal, Moras is there to head away the Chile international's cross with Llorente lurking.
A first change of the afternoon for Verona sees Jankovic take his leave, with Martinho on in his place.
Verona have upped the intensity in the second period, and after twice winning the ball inside the Juventus half, Toni is able to get a shot away, only for Chiellini to slide across in front of him to block.
Pirlo has the opportunity to deliver as Juventus win a corner on the left, and though his ball is a good one, Llorente cannot take advantage as he heads over the top. The striker is then penalised for a foul on Moras as his frustrating afternoon continues.
Toni's goal seems to have awoken Juventus, and Tevez is looking to again make an impact as he tries to get Vidal in behind. The midfielder doesn't have the pace, however, and is easily blocked off.
The hosts have their tails up here, and Jankovic's confidence is so high that he tries to test Buffon with a 40-yard free-kick. His effort is powerful but well off-target. A cross into the box may well have been the better option.
GOAL!!! Verona back in it, and Toni has his goal against his former side. Romulo curls in a quality free-kick from the right and the Italy forward gets in front of Bonucci and Chiellini to nod in at the near post. The volume goes up another level.
Verona certainly look more comfortable on the ball since the break, and their supporters are back in full voice as they look for a way back into this match. Juventus aren't exactly rocking, but they look vulnerable.
Verona's best chance of the match so far falls to Romulo as Hallfredsson breaks from midfield before finding the Brazilian, but Bonucci is across well to make the challenge.
Juventus begin the second half as they ended the first as they dominate possession. Pogba is the first to try his luck after the break as Asamoah lays the ball back to him, but his shot with the outside of his right foot is straight at Rafael.
Verona kick-off and we are back underway...
The two sides are beginning to make their way back onto the field of play as we prepare for the second half. With Roma currently being held by local rivals Lazio, Juventus could go 11 points clear at the top this afternoon. To do that, though, they must see this one out.
It is Tevez, who celebrated his 30th birthday earlier this week, who has been the difference between the two sides, and he will be eager to add to his two goals in the second half. If Juventus remain as dominant after the break he may well finish the afternoon with the match ball. I'll be back in ten minutes for the second half.
No stoppage time and the referee blows his whistle to signal half-time. Verona coach Mandorlini is on the field and squaring up to Lichtsteiner as the players head down the tunnel after what must have been a frustrating half for all associated with the home side.
Verona have certainly grown into this match after a tough start, and they again have a short period of possession before Romulo sends a cross straight out for a goal kick. The hosts have just had no quality with their final ball.
The game seems to be winding down towards half-time, with neither side really busting a gut to get forward and find the net before the break. Juventus will be more than happy with their afternoon's work so far.
Verona are still struggling to make any impact in the final third, with Toni still pretty isolated in his lone striker role. The hosts may have to look to attack more in the second half if they want to get back into this one.
Juventus' passing around the area hasn't been that great despite looking in no toruble, and after some poor touches from Pogba and Asamoah, Llorente sees a shot blocked. At the other end Vidal is caught in possession by Jankovic but he cannot find any support and the opportunity to test Buffon is missed.
Pogba looks to make room for a shot as Asamoah looks to play the midfielder in, but Cacciatore is strong and sees off the danger. The young France international is yet to really get going in a forward area as yet.
Almost a hat-trick for Tevez as Llorente lays the ball into his path on the edge of the box, but his first-time shot is wild and well over the bar. The Argentine looks so dangerous around the Verona area.
Verona threaten Buffon's goal as Romulo whips in a dangerous free-kick from the right-hand side, but Marques cannot get enough purchase on his header and it hits Caceres before dribbling into the goalkeeper's hands.
It certainly hasn't been a thrilling performance from Juventus thus far, but it has been mightily effective. They continue to dominate possession as Verona chase shadows inside their own half.
Tevez and Llorente combine on the edge of the box, but the Spaniard cannot quite nick the ball away from Cacciatore and instead trips the full-back and concedes the free-kick.
The first half-chance for Verona falls to skipper Toni, but the big striker is crowded out by three Juventus player as Caceres makes the final clearance.
Finally Verona are able to get their foot on the ball and spray some passes around the field, but they cannot break down the Juventus defence as yet.
The home fans finally find their voice, but it is only to make their frustrations known as Iturbe is adjudged to have fouled Chiellini. La Vecchia Signora are taking absolute control of this one and the Verona faithful aren't happy.
GOAL!!! Before today he didn't have a goal in 2014, but now Tevez has two in 21 minutes. The striker is sent through on goal by Pogba and cannot miss from around eight yards with Moras trailing in his wake. Clinical from Juventus.
Better from the hosts as Hallfredsson looks to put Toni through on goal, but Bonucci steps in to clear away. The Juventus back three must be on their toes.
Other than Tevez's early goal, Juventus haven't really had a sight of goal despite their dominance, and Conte will be aware that they must make this period of pressure count. If they continue playing like this the visitors would be hopeful of tying up this match sooner rather than later.
Juventus almost play themselves into trouble as Buffon and Caceres get themselves stuck in a corner. Between them, Toni and Hallfredsson win the ball on the edge of the area, but Vidal is there to take control of the situation and clear.
Tevez has certainly been busy in the opening quarter of an hour, and he almost gets in behind after exchanging passes with Pogba. Verona just about clear their lines this time.
Verona's tactics seem to be to sit back and allow Juventus to have the ball, but at present it isn't working at all. Toni has already been isolated up front and it could be a long afternoon for the big striker.
Yet again Pirlo instigates an attack he looks to chip the ball over the top for the onrushing Lichtsteiner, but the full-back is offside, and the ball dribbles out for a goal kick nevertheless.
Pirlo has been very impressive thus far, and he is again at the heart of things as he finds space on the edge of the box but he drags his low effort wide. Verona cannot live with him at present.
Verona have barely made out of their own half as yet, with Pirlo working hard in midfield to win the ball before playing some of his trademark crossfield passes. Verona will have to find something more than what they have shown in the early stages to get anything from this match.
GOAL!!! What a start for Juventus as Tevez gives the Serie A leaders the advantage. Asamoah was the architect as his low cross was parried away by Rafael, and Tevez was there to poke into the empty net. Too easy for the away side.
First chance for the hosts as Pirlo whips in a free-kick from the right, and Rafael is forced to tip over the top. Good start for Conte's side.
Juventus kick-off and we are underway...
The two teams are ready and we are almost ready to get underway on a chilly Sunday afternoon in Verona.
There is quite an atmosphere inside the stadium as the two teams make their way out onto the field of play. When the champions are in town there is always a special atmosphere, and today is no different.
There are just over five minutes until kick-off at Stadio Marc'Antonio Bentegodi, where Verona have won eight times already this season. If they are to make it nine this afternoon, however, then they will have to produce most likely their best display of the season.
One man who may have a point to prove this afternoon is Verona striker Luca Toni. The Italy striker spent just over 12 months in Turin with Juventus after joining the club in 2011, but made little impact as he made just five league starts. But with ten goals this campaign from just 19 matches, his presence in attack may well be able to unsettle the visitors' defence.
So Conte makes just one change to the Juventus side that beat Inter 3-1 last time out, with Caceres replacing Barzagli in defence. Otherwise their side remains much the same as the one which has seen them move clear at the top of the table.
Juventus: Buffon; Chiellini, Bonucci, Caceres; Lichtsteiner, Vidal, Pirlo, Pogba, Asamoah; Tevez, Llorente.
Verona: Rafael; Cacciatore, Marques, Moras, Albertazzi; Romulo, Donadel, Hallfredsson; Iturbe, Jankovic, Toni.
Before we go any further, the two line-ups have been announced ahead of the kick-off in 20 minutes time...
Andrea Mandorlini's Verona side have surprised everyone this season, having worked their way into fifth in the table and on the tip of a European berth, and will be no pushovers this afternoon. Recent defeats to Napoli and Roma have hit their Champions League hopes somewhat, but after victory over Sassuolo last time out, they will be confident of causing a shock.
Juventus have won 13 of their last 14 Serie A outings, and though Verona's home record has been the cornerstone of their rise up the table this campaign, the Vecchia Signora are heavy favourites to continue their fine form.
Hello and welcome to live coverage of Serie A leaders Juventus' trip to Hellas Verona. Antonio Conte's side are in ominous form heading into this one, sitting nine points clear at the top of the table, and another victory today would leave nearest rivals Roma and Napoli a mountain to climb to overpower them. I'm Tom Maston and I'll be guiding you through all the action.
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