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October 30, 2013
• Juventus Stadium, Torino
Referee: M. Guida
• Attendance: 37469
A. Vidal 26'
A. Pirlo 34'
C. Tévez 65'
L. Bonucci 71'
Juventus will look to put more pressure on Roma at the top of Serie A when they travel to Parma on Saturday afternoon whilst Catania face another stern test away to second-placed Napoli on Saturday evening. Thanks for joining me, Max Bentley, on this live commentary. Until next time, goodbye!
FT: Juventus 4-0 Catania. Goals from Arturo Vidal, Andrea Pirlo, Carlos Tevez and Leonardo Bonucci help the Bianconeri to close the gap on Roma to two points. The performance was as comfortable as the scoreline suggests although the visitors should perhaps have found a goal towards the start of the second half. Bologna's win away at Cagliari means that Catania slip into the relegation zone and Luigi De Canio really does have a tough test on his hands.
90' + 1'
Pogba has helped Juventus to dominate the midfield since his introduction and he collects the ball on the left side of the penalty box before his curling effort is comfortably saved by Andujar.
GIOVINCO DENIED AGAIN! The diminuitive striker just cannot find the goal on his 100th Juventus appearance as his left-footed shot is well parried by Andujar. Two minutes of stoppage time to play.
GOOD SAVE FROM ANDUJAR! Juventus are showing no signs of relent and Chiellini feeds Giovinco on the edge of the box who skips past Legrottaglie before stinging the fingertips of the Argentine goalkeeper.
Claudio Marchisio is still searching for his first goal of the season but it seems he will have to wait a little longer as he skies an effort well off target.
Yellow/Red Tiberio Guarente
GUARENTE SENT OFF! Things go from bad to worse for Catania as Guarente is shown a second yellow card for a needless challenge on Marchisio. Luigi De Canio does not look impressed.
Giovinco has looked lively since coming off the bench and he plays a splendid one-two with Marchisio before firing straight at Andujar.
Just under ten minutes to play and Napoli hold a 2-1 lead over Fiorentina. Tonight has done wonders for Juventus' goal difference but it seems they will remain behind the Partenopei.
Giovinco is looking for a goal on his 100th appearance but he cannot replicate Pirlo's earlier effort as his free kick flashes wide of Andujar's left-hand post.
Bergessio is finally back on the field after a sustained period of treatment. Catania have used up all their substitutes.
Antonio Conte has given his side a target to win all their games until the home tie against Napoli on November 10, including the Champions League match against Real Madrid. One down, two to go, it seems.
Yellow Card Giorgio Chiellini
Chiellini is shown a yellow card after a cynical challenge on Bergessio. That was a nasty one.
A final change for Juventus and that is the last of the action for Llorente as he is replaced by Marco Motta who makes only his second appearance of the season.
Juventus are not finished however and they nearly snatch a fifth, only to see Pogba's cross just evade the outstretched boot of Llorente.
Assist Sebastian Giovinco
Goal Leonardo Bonucci
BONUCCI MAKES IT 4-0! Juventus take a corner short and Giovinco skips past the challenge of a Catania defender before calmly cutting the ball back for Bonucci to sweep home his first goal of the season. Impressive showing from Conte's men.
Giovinco looks to make an instant impact but his goalbound effort takes a deflection before going behind for a corner.
A flurry of changes to tell you about. Maxi Lopez and Ciro Capuano are on for the visitors whilst Tevez has been replaced by Sebastian Giovinco who is making his 100th appearance for Juventus.
Assist Fernando Llorente
Goal Carlos Tévez
TEVEZ MAKES IT 3-0! The Argentine has been magnificent today and he combines well with Llorente once again before rounding Andujar and finishing with aplomb. Three goals and three points for Juventus.
SO NEARLY 2-1! Bonucci loses his footing, allowing Almiron to advance through on goal and just as the Argentine looks set to score, Chiellini races across to make a brilliant goal-saving challenge.
Paul Pogba is set to come on for Juventus here in place of goalscorer Arturo Vidal. No player has played more minutes than the France midfielder for the Bianconeri this season, not even Buffon!
TWO GOOD CHANCES FOR JUVENTUS! First, Tevez plays a wonderful no-look pass to send Vidal through but Andujar rushes off his line excellently to sweep up the danger. Then, moments later, Marchisio seizes onto a loose ball and smashes a left-footed shot against the woodwork.
De Ceglie continues to impress down the left and his cross into the box is met by the head of Llorente who can only nod the ball narrowly wide of the post.
Yellow Card Andrea Pirlo
IT SHOULD BE 3-0! Llorente leads a counterattack for Juventus and he waits patiently for Pirlo to join him on the overlap. The Spaniard plays a well-weighted pass to Pirlo who inexplicably decides to take a touch before losing his footing in the box. The referee, somewhat harshly, decides to book the midfielder.
I imagine that if Catania do score a goal then their travelling supporters will erupt. The Sicilians are the lowest scorers in the division with six goals from their opening nine games.
Yellow Card Tiberio Guarente
Guarente picks up the first booking of the game for a mistimed foul on Isla. It's been a very well-mannered affair in Turin.
TAXI FOR BONUCCI! Pirlo opts to float a corner to the edge of the box and Vidal's miskicked volley falls kindly for Bonucci who completely misses his volley and watches the move break down.
Catania have started the second half magnificently and a quick break allows Bergessio space on the right but his shot goes straight into the palms of Buffon.
ANOTHER CHANCE GOES BEGGING FOR CATANIA! With Juventus switching off from a free kick, Almiron plays a clever short pass and Petkovic latches onto the ball and rounds Buffon before chipping the ball over from an acute angle.
Injury concern for Juventus here as Bonucci goes down and requires treatment. It doesn't look too serious however and he should be able to continue.
WHAT A CHANCE FOR CATANIA! It should be 2-1 as a wonderful free kick is floated in from the left but Petkovic can only glance his header wide of the target.
The teams reemerge from the tunnel for the second half and there is a slightly more attacking change for Catania as Lucas Castro replaces Cristiano Biraghi.
HT: Juventus 2-0 Catania. Goals from Arturo Vidal and Andrea Pirlo give Antonio Conte's side a comfortable lead at the break. In truth, it's been a very straightforward 45 minutes for the Bianconeri who have hardly been tested by the visitors. In fact, Gianluigi Buffon is yet to make a save. Luigi De Canio has a big job on his hands if he is to steer this Catania side to safety.
Juventus look to snatch a third goal just before the break but Pirlo's searching ball over the Catania defence is just behind the run of Tevez. These Catania defenders will be relieved when the half-time whistle goes.
CHANCE FOR TEVEZ! The Argentine has caused the Catania problems all game but he cannot add his name to the scoresheet as his shot from the right corner of the box goes straight into the gloves of Andujar.
Pirlo picks out the run of Isla down the right and the Chilean's cross looks to pick out Llorente at the back post. However, Alvarez rises above the Spaniard to make a crucial header clear.
Biraghi has offered little for Catania and he surges down the left before Isla plays the ball smartly off of him for a corner. On this showing, it's hardly surprising that Catania are the league's lowest scorers.
Another cheer goes round the Juventus Stadium as it is announced that Fiorentina have equalised against Napoli courtesy of the league's top goalscorer, Giuseppe Rossi. Not sure the Juventus fans want to be reminded of him.
Goal Andrea Pirlo
PIRLO MAKES IT 2-0! The veteran midfielder curls the ball over the wall with pace and it nestles into the back of the net to give Conte's side a comfortable cushion. Not too sure about Andujar's positioning there, to be honest.
Tevez continues to cause problems with his movement and he is tripped by Almiron centimetres outside the penalty area. This is Pirlo territory.
TAXI FOR CACERES! The Uruguayan defender opts to go for the spectacular scissor kick at the back post but he manages to not only miss the ball once, nor twice, but THREE times. That was special.
Leonardo Bonucci is never shy to stride forward but he shows his defensive nature here as he blazes a shot high over the bar from outside the box.
Juventus have their tails up here and they demand a penalty when Tevez feels he is tripped in the box by Legrotagglie. However, the referee waves away the appeals.
Assist Carlos Tévez
Goal Arturo Vidal
VIDAL PUTS JUVENTUS AHEAD! It's the Chilean's fifth goal of the season and there is a huge slice of fortune about it. Llorente's strong hold-up play allows him to tee up Tevez who then lays the ball off to Vidal on the edge of the box and with defenders backing off, the Chilean midfielder executes a low strike which takes a wicked deflection off a Catania defender and leaves Andujar wrongfooted. 1-0 Juventus!
De Ceglie has looked lively for Juventus down the left and he wins another corner. Pirlo's delivery is teasing but it is well defended by Legrottaglie. Conte will be wanting to see more from Isla who has failed to get forward regularly down the right.
Juventus currently trail Napoli in Serie A on goal difference and Jose Callejon has just given the Partenopei a 1-0 lead away at Fiorentina.
WHAT A CHANCE FOR LLORENTE! The Spanish striker is renowned for his aerial prowess and he should really score here as De Ceglie delivers a brilliant right-footed cross from the left which Llorente can only glance wide of the post from a few yards out.
GYOMBER TO THE RESCUE! Vidal looks to clip a precise ball over the top of the Catania defence and just as it seems Tevez is set to head home, the Slovakian defender makes a crucial header to turn the ball behind.
This is a fantastic spell for Catania and they threaten from a series of corners as Juventus just about manage to survive. Pirlo certainly hasn't got going yet.
CATANIA COULD BE AHEAD! Keko's superb dummy deceives Bonucci to set up a counterattack for the visitors and the Spanish midfielder squares the ball for Bergessio who sees his deflected shot go narrowly wide of the post, with Buffon diving the other way. A few anxious reactions in the home crowd.
CHANCE FOR CATANIA! Bergessio and Petkovic combine brilliantly on the edge of the Juventus box and the young Croatian surges into the box, only to be denied a goal by a desperate challenge from Chiellini.
Tevez's movement is causing Catania problems early on and he skips past Rolin down the right but his cross towards Llorente at the back post is well collected by Andujar.
WHAT A GOAL THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN! Juventus continue to apply the early pressure and Tevez escapes from Gyomber to meet Bonucci's long ball but he can only lob the ball straight into the arms of Andujar.
Another chance goes begging for Juventus as Pirlo finds space on the edge of the box before dragging his shot wide of the post. Andujar yet to be tested by this star-studded Juventus attack.
Pirlo looks to play a clipped ball out to the left for De Ceglie but his pass is uncharacteristically poor and Rolin makes the interception. The visitors will just be happy to keep it tight for the first twenty minutes or so.
Juventus are certainly looking for an early goal here but Vidal, who scored against Genoa at the weekend, can only drag his shot well wide of the left post.
Juventus manage to diffuse a promising Catania attack before De Ceglie races down the left wing to earn the home side a corner. Pirlo plays it short and Almiron clears the ball at the hear post.
NEARLY THE PERFECT START FOR JUVENTUS! Llorente does well to pick out his strike partner on the edge of the box and Tevez shifts the ball onto his right foot before sending an effort narrowly over the top. Juventus applying all the early pressure.
The referee blows his whistle and Juventus get the game underway. Can Juventus keep up the pressure on Roma or will De Canio earn his first victory as Catania coach?
The two teams emerge from the tunnel with captains Gianluigi Buffon and Pablo Alvarez leading out their respective elevens. Juventus are in their traditional black and white strip with Catania in their alternative red jerseys. The Juventus anthem booms around the stadium, great atmosphere here.
Here's a stat for you: Antonio Conte actually worked as Luigi De Canio's assistant when the pair were together at Siena in the 2005/06 season. Not impressed? Well, don't worry because kick-off is less than five minutes away.
The omens do not look good for Catania as they have not tasted success against Juventus in seven meetings - since a 2-1 win back in 2009. However, the Sicilians have proved far from pushovers and it took a stoppage-time winner from Emanuele Giaccherini to earn Juventus a 1-0 win when the sides last met back in March.
As for Catania, Luigi De Canio is faced with a selection headache as Jiroslav Plasil, Nicolas Spolli, Giuseppe Bellusci, Monzon, Kingsley Boateng and top goalscorer Pablo Barrientos are all missing. Nicola Legrottaglie starts against his former club whilst Mariano Izko is only fit enough for the bench. 19-year-old Bruno Petkovic is handed a surprise start up front.
Antonio Conte is still without Stephan Lichtsteiner, Mirko Vucinic and Fabio Quagliarella who remain sidelined by injury whilst he decides to hand rests to Andrea Barzagli, Kwadwo Asamoah and Paul Pogba. Martin Caceres, Mauricio Isla and Paolo De Ceglie enjoy rare starts whilst Sebastian Giovinco will make his 100th Juventus appearance if he comes off the bench.
CATANIA (3-5-2): Andujar; Rolin, Legrottaglie, Gyomber; Alvarez, Guarente, Almiron, Keko, Biraghi; Petkovic, Bergessio
JUVENTUS (3-5-2): Buffon; Caceres, Bonucci, Chiellini; Isla, Vidal, Pirlo, Marchisio, De Ceglie; Tevez, Llorente.
Bringing you all the action from the Juventus Stadium tonight, my name is Max Bentley. Without further ado, here are tonight's lineups...
As for Catania, they languish just above the relegation zone courtesy of a better goal difference than Bologna and Sassuolo. One win in the first eight league games witnessed Rolando Maran replaced by Luigi De Canio at the helm and the new coach will be determined to help the Elefantini surge back up the table.
Antonio Conte's side were stunned by a Giuseppe Rossi-inspired Fiorentina two matchdays ago and a defeat to Real Madrid raised the usual questions that Juventus are not yet one of Europe's best club sides. However, credit is due to the Bianconeri who responded well to beat Genoa 2-0 at the weekend and the Old Lady will be hopeful of closing the gap on Roma, who play tomorrow, to two points.
With Roma racing away at the top of the table with maximum points from their nine Serie A matches, Juventus can ill-afford to drop many themselves and tonight's test against a goal-shy Catania is a game that in all honesty they should have no problem winning.
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