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Italy - Serie A
February 18, 2012
• Juventus Stadium, Torino
Referee: C. Brighi
• Attendance: 31000
A. Pirlo 22'
G. Chiellini 74'
F. Quagliarella 81'
P. Barrientos 4'
The full time report and player ratings are coming right up, so keep it here at Goal.com! That's my cue, from me, Keeghann Sinanan, it's been a blast!
A masterclass in midfield from Pirlo has sent Juventus back to the top of Serie A. The veteran midfielder scored one, and assisted two others in one of the best performances that I've seen from any player in the league this season. Fantastic play all around, and he continues to make Milan fans sick to their stomachs.
90' + 5'
It's all over!!!
90' + 3'
Barzagli called offside from the resulting delivery by Pirlo.
90' + 2'
Yellow CardNicola Legrottaglie
90' + 2'
Late booking for Legrottaglie for bringing down Vucinic near the corner flag. The match well and truly in its dying embers now.
Izco trying to pick out Bergessio in the area, but the Catania forward has no stamina or will to get on the end of the ball and its goes out for a goal kick.
Five minutes of added time signaled...a lot of that down to the red cad by Motta.
Juventus come forward once more, with decidedly less endeavor given that the match is all but over. Quagliarella feeds Pepe outside the box, but his effort sails off target.
Izco leads the charge for the deflated visitors, takes aim from 25 yards but drags his shot wide.
Juve have settled down now. The points are in the bag, they're heading back to the top of the table, as Catania have been torn a new one by the world class play of Pirlo. Are you watching, Milan?
3-1!!! GAME SET MATCH!!! Quagliarella peels off into space towards goal and has the ball placed perfectly ahead of him by, you guessed it, Pirlo. His shot is touched by the onrushing Kosicky, but that is not enough to prevent it from bouncing into the net! Game over!
Great play by Giaccherini out wide once again, he sends a low ball in towards Quagliarella but the excellent Bellusci blocks him on the turn! The defender has hurt himself, let's hope it's not too serious because he's been a one man rock at the back all game.
Yellow CardMirko Vučinić
In fact, Vucinic has been booked for diving after a moment of deliberation by the referee.
Vucinic is again put through on goal and goes down theatrically in the box after a challenge. The referee is unconvinced and wisely tells him to get to his feet.
Vucinic!! The former Roma man is picked out in the area by Pirlo, he cuts inside brilliantly but fires his shot straight into the keeper's arms!
GOAL FOR JUVE!!! A free kick from the right is played in by the majestic right boot of Pirlo. Kosicky strides off his line but is caught in no man's land as the ball sails over his head, allowing Chiellini time to head home into an unguarded net!!!
Pirlo is just on another level to everyone else on the pitch right now. He sends a delightful through ball into Marchisio, but the midfielder's shot from 12 yards out goes into Kosicky's arms!!
Close again from Juve! It's another set piece, and another peach of a ball from Pirlo which evades a few bodies and finds Bonucci a little surprised at the far post, leaving the defender to mis control and send the ball out.
Vucinic side netting! Pirlo sends in another teasing free kick that finds the substitute close to the goal on the left, but he blasts his finish just off target!
Paolo De Ceglie
Now Almiron sees yellow for a rough challenge on Quagliarella.
Yellow CardSergio Almiron
Gomez leads the counter attack and feeds Almiron through on goal, but Buffon is quick off his line to block the shot! Great goalkeeping, not for the first time tonight from the veteran!
RED CARD!!! Catania down to ten men after Motta gets his second yellow of the evening! Quite frankly it was deserved because that was a reckless challenge. The Juventus fans are waving him goodbye.
Motta with a nasty late challenge on De Ceglie on the touchline near the benches. He's already been booked, remember, and the referee strides over...
Quagliarella again has a go from distance, after getting the ball played into his feet by Pirlo. He turns, fires, but bends it out for a corner after a deflection by Legrottaglie. He should really look to pass a bit more.
Giaccherini this time on the left, he sends another ball into the box towards the onrushing Padoin, but he sends it wide.
We have a Gomez sighting! The Catania forward tries to lead a rare break for the visitors, but a superb assertive tackle by Chiellini halts him in his tracks just outside the box!
Yellow CardClaudio Marchisio
Marchisio booked for bringing down Almiron near the centre circle.
Pirlo again!! The goalscorer collects the ball near the D, turns, and tries to bend the ball inside the post! However, Kosicky gets across well to make a diving catch!
Pirlo sends a long free kick into the heart of the box, but Kosicky does exceptionally well to rise through a crowd of bodies and claim the ball.
The corner is dealt with by the defence and pressure is relieved momentarily.
Another Juve chance!!! Some spirited play by Giaccherini on the right flank leaves a Catania defender for dead and allows space for a cross. Quagliarella attempts to control and flick towards goal, but Bellusci blocks his shot! On comes Borriello to the rebound, but it is deflected out for a corner!
Yellow CardMarco Motta
First yellow card, Motta the guilty party for going in hard on Borriello.
Quagliarella over! The forward again finds some space outside the box and lets fly, but Kosicky has less to worry about this time as it sails high and wide.
...OVER THE BAR!!! Pirlo fires in another dipping beauty that just passes over the crossbar by half a foot! So close!!
Free kick some 30 yards from goal, given after Quagliarella is felled on another attempted charge through the middle. No prizes for guessing who stands over it...
A hurried piece of play by Juventus at the top of the box leads to a high ball for Quagliarella, but Legrottaglie gets there first and clears in emphatic fashion.
Great hard-nosed defending by Bellusci, standing up to both Giaccherini and De Ceglie in a tight spot on the left, and denying both the space to cross.
Here we go again!
What an utterly absorbing contest this has been so far! Catania shocked the stadium with a brilliant opener by Barrientos, but Juventus showed the mettle of champions to come back storming! They got their deserved equaliser through a free kick from the inspiring Pirlo, and could have easily had another! Credit to Catania, though they look overwhelmed in defence at times, they have held their ground and have even threatened a few times on the break. Here's to more of the same in the second half! See you in a bit!
The referee blows for the break! Time to catch a breather!
Quagliarella bombs forward through the centre of the park as the Catania midfield parts to let him through. However, his shot is blocked at the top of the box. Half time surely upon us now given that hardly any stoppages have occurred...
Conte's men stream forward once again as Pirlo pumps the ball into the box. Borriello flicks it on, leaving Quagliarella with a race against Kosicky and the byline to get on the end of it! However, he can only hit the side netting!
Izco lets fly from 25 yards out, its a good, hard shot and on target, but straight into the arms of Buffon.
Close call for Catania!! De Ceglie now gets a step on Motta and fires a hazardous ball right across the face of goal! It goes straight through, as it was just ahead of Borriello and seemed to take Quagliarella by surprise!
De Ceglie squares up once again on the left with Motta. The Catania full back wins this time, but it's been an absorbing duel so far.
Quagliarella!!! The rampant Pirlo slips him in on the edge of the box, he fashions an inch of space on the turn and falling over, fires a low shot that Kosicky has to get down quickly to smother!!
Things have settled down somewhat after that chaotic last five minutes or so that left me scrambling to keep up! Juventus have reverted to controlling possession in the Catania half again, without looking for the killer ball.
End to end stuff here!!! it's now Juventus' turn again as Pirlo fires away from 20 yards out forcing Kosicky to parry. Quagliarella races onto the rebound, but the Catania keeper recovers just enough to put him off and force him to shoot into the side netting!!!
CATANIA HIT THE BAR!!! A delightful one-two between Lodi and Bergessio leads to the latter letting fly from near the right byline, only for the fingertips of Buffon to push the ball onto the crossbar and out!!! Splendid keeping!!!
Bergessio, who has plowing something of a lone furrow since the opener, tries to initiate a counter attack but is felled by Padoin. Freekick.
JUVENTUS HIT THE BAR!!! Oh it would have been a special goal too!! Quagliarella gets the ball on the turn at the edge of the area, takes aim but smacks his shot off the woodwork with Kosicky beaten!!!
The home side are dominating possession now, a sea of pink breaking upon the white of Catania in waves. Pirlo tries a snap shot from 25 yards out that bends about a foot wide.
Quagliarella and Boriello try to get something going on the edge of the area, but the assistant's flag is raised for offside.
You can't say it hasn't been coming, Juventus have run things since the early Catania goal. More pressure as Marchisio charges through the middle, only to be halted just outside the area.
...AND HE SCORES THE EQUALISER!!! Pirlo completely wrongfoots Kosicky, beating the wall with his free-kick and bending it low into the left corner!!!
Free kick to Juventus, after Bergessio downs Pirlo just outside the area, and the veteran midfielder steps up to stand menacingly over the ball...
Juventus starting to attack with purpose, as they begin spreading the ball out nicely to Giaccherini and De Ceglie out wide, while Marchisio looks to make late runs into the box.
This time, Catania defend the set-piece with more conviction as Legrottaglie heads clear.
It's all happening in the Catania penalty area at the moment!!! A corner once again finds Borriello, but his effort on goal is blocked near the line by Izco!!! A mad scramble ensues, leading to a snap shot by Marchisio that is deflected out again for another corner!
Half chance for Juventus!! Once again, Conte's men take the aerial route as an overlap down the left by De Ceglie leads to a cross that is headed into Kosicky's arms at the near post by Borriello!!
Catania certainly not looking fazed by facing the giants from Turin. They win themselves a corner after some enterprising play by Gomez on the flank. Juventus, however, manage to clear the resulting delivery.
Motta called back on a attempted break for a foul in the centre of the park on Pirlo.
Giaccherini tries to aim a cross towards the head of Borriello, but Kosicky comes out assertively to claim the cross and calm things down a tad.
Padoin, who looks the most eager of the Juventus players in the early goings, feeds Borriello on the turn, but the striker's angle is soon closed down and the visitors recover the ball.
Pirlo spots Kosicky with his head turned on the goal line and tries to bamboozle him with an audacious free kick from the halfway line. Sails high and wide.
Juventus shellshocked and are slow to react from kickoff. Catania, buoyed by that strike, are pressing them relentlessly in midfield.
WE HAVE THE FIRST GOAL!!!! What a quality strike it is too, courtesy of Barrientos, who curls a delightful 20-yarder into the bottom corner! 1-0!!!!
Early chance for Juve! Padoin wins a rebound and sticks a cross onto the head of Marchisio, who sends it over! Good start!
Here we go!!!
So will Juve re-ascend the summit of the Serie A table and further their unbeaten season? Can Catania pull off an upset against a team that has recorded scoreless draws in their last two games? The next 90 minutes will tell...
Catania meanwhile make one change from the 4-0 humbling of Genoa last weekend, Bellusci coming in at the back for Spolli. The visitors have only lost twice in their nine matches against Juventus since their 2006 return to the top flight, but conversely, have won only once in that span.
So Juventus stick with the 3-5-2 formation that was deployed midweek against Parma. With Vidal suspended, Giaccherini takes his place in midfield. If they draw today, Juve can draw level on points with Milan, while a win will send them top of the league outright.
Catania (4-3-3): Kosicky; Motta, Legrottaglie, Bellusci, Marchese; Izco, Lodi, Almiron; Gomez, Bergessio, Barrientos
Juventus (3-5-2): Buffon; Bonucci, Chiellini, Barzagli; De Ceglie, Pirlo, Padoin, Marchisio Giaccherini; Quagliarella, Borriello.
The teams are in...
Greetings one and all, and thank you for tuning in at Goal.com for the Live commentary of the clash between Juventus and Catania at the Juventus Arena!!! Keeghann Sinanan here, delighted, as always to take you through the blow by blow of another Serie A matchup!
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