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March 3, 2012
• Juventus Stadium, Torino
Referee: A. Gervasoni
• Attendance: 39027
That's the end of the game. A tale of two left backs, as Paolo De Ceglie's first half effort is cancelled out by Boukary Drame. Chievo came closer than most to inflicting Juventus' first defeat of the season, but this draw does plenty of damage to their title challenge all the same. Thanks for joining the action here on Goal.com.
90' + 4'
Chievo could really have snatched this. The impressive Hetemaj breaks forward and lays a ball across the area. Nobody in a yellow shirt to meet it.
90' + 4'
Long ball time, as the Juventus defence pump the ball forward, but Vucinic cannot get the ball under his spell.
90' + 3'
Oooohhh! My oh my. Cyril Thereau receives the ball from a throw and unleashes a spectacular, dipping volley at Buffon from over 40 yards. It must have been inches over.
90' + 2'
Chievo win another free kick and are in no rush to take it. More whistles from the home crowd.
90' + 1'
We are into the first of five minutes of added time.
Fantastic save from Sorrentino! Pirlo thinks he's scored with a swerving shot from 25 yards. The keeper showed excellent reflexes to get anything on that. This may not be Juve's night after all.
Andrea Pirlo wins a corner off Frey. Sorrentino dives to punch the ball away. Superb defending from Chievo here at the death.
Things getting quite hostile on the pitch as Chievo look to waste valuable seconds. Every home fan is whistling their side forward. They know how vital a goal is here.
Lovely move from Del Piero, jinking into the area and playing a delightful one-two with Vucinic before Nicolas Frey nicks the ball away from him. Many fans will wonder why the number 10 was sitting on the bench earlier in the match.
Juventus have just over five minutes to keep the pressure on Milan at the top of the table. At present, they are three points behind their title rivals with one game in hand to come on Wednesday.
Penalty?? Del Piero claims a tug on the shirt from Hetemaj as he bursts into the box. Would have been harsh, but you see those given a lot.
The Czech Kamil Vacek is on for Chievo, replacing Paloschi, who has worked hard tonight. Chievo looking like they may settle for a draw.
Alessandro Del Piero
Time for heroes, and luckily Juventus have one on the bench. Here comes Del Piero, in place of Lichtsteiner. The whistles turn to roars.
It's Chievo who are looking the more likely now, and Moscardelli tries a shot that flies just over the bar. Whistles from the home crowd greet that latest attack.
Assist Davide Moscardelli
Goal Boukary Dramé
GOOOAAALL CHIEVO! It's been coming. Moscardelli pulls the ball across the edge of the box and Boukary Drame steams in to drive a deflected shot home. What might that goal mean for the Serie A title race?
I do wonder if Juventus will pay the price for sitting on this one goal lead. The added presence of Moscardelli is causing the Bianconeri defence all sorts of problems, and the chances are coming thick and fast.
Meanwhile, Conte has made something of a defensive change here. Claudio Marchisio is off and the Uruguayan Martin Caceres is on. Not the attacking move I was expecting.
There's a chance for Moscardelli! He gets up well to head down at Buffon, but doesn't direct his effort inside the post. Let off for Juventus.
Tackle of the night from Michael Bradley, tracking Vucinic over 40 yards before sliding in. What a player the American can be.
Perparim Hetemaj is looking lively on the left wing, and his driven cross is looking for Paloschi but the Juventus defence clear. Very threatening stuff, but lacking quality in the final ball.
Moscardelli is definitely the aerial target for Chievo, but the balls into the box are not quite accurate enough yet. The latest effort from Luca Rigoni is far too close to Buffon.
Over on Twitter, @lomton says the game will end 2-0 to Juve with Del Piero and Eljero Elia making the difference. You definitely feel that an attacking change will happen before too long.
Del Piero and Quagliarella are both warming up and look to be coming on soon.
Moscardelli looks to have gone to centre forward, signalling an attacking push from the Flying Donkeys. They have every reason to feel they can get an equaliser here.
Luciano piles forward and is stopped by a sliding De Ceglie. He is then replaced by Davide Moscardelli. Di Carlo makes another change at the same time, bringing on the Finn Perparim Hetemaj for Sammarco.
Chievo are still committing plenty of men forward, and they have another chance from a free kick as the marauding Drame is brought down. Michael Bradley to take.
Chance for Juventus! Vucinic picks out Matri deep in the area, who in turn tees up Padoin at the top of the box. He twists and turns, before eventually firing a shot that Sorrentino manages to save with his legs.
Smart save! Acerbi's drive is hard and low, and Buffon gets down well to push the ball away.
This may be a chance for Chievo as Lichtsteiner concedes a foul 30 yards out. Acerbi standing over it...
Another foul from Drame who cynically brings down Stephan Lichtsteiner. That could have been his second booking of the evening quite easily.
Another corner from Pirlo and goalscorer De Ceglie fancies his second of the night. This time, his header is deflected away.
Credit to Chievo for a combattive start to the second half, but they will need to stop giving away free-kicks in dangerous areas. Vucinic goes close from the latest ball whipped in from Pirlo.
Yellow Card Boukary Dramé
Poor ball into the box. Sorrentino goes up with bost fists to punch the ball away.
How to win the ball from Mirko Vucninic? Pull him back. Drame has a fistful of his shirt and, seconds, later, does the same to Padoin on the near touchline and is booked. Free kick to Juventus...
Clearly Mimmo Di Carlo told his side for more of the same. If Boukary Drame's drive forward is anything to go by, we are going to see a lot of energy from the visitors in the next 45.
The teams are back out at Juventus Stadium. No further changes for either side, so the likes of Alessandro Del Piero will have to wait just a little longer.
Reminder - if you want to see your thoughts up on the live feed get your tweets over to me at @woodstome. Which way do you see this game turning?
The half time whistle blows. Juventus capped an electric start to the game with Paolo De Ceglie's goal, but Chievo have shown some real pace going forward and may feel they could have had a penalty, or at least forced Buffon into some more saves. Things set up nicely for the second half. Don't go anywhere.
45' + 1'
What a ball from substitute Bonucci. At least sixty yards over the top, and Giaccherini meets it with a volley that is, unfortunately, scuffed wide. Goal of the season contender disappears in a puff of smoke.
We will have two minutes of added time at the end of the half.
Close again from Chievo. Paloschi sends over a hopeful cross and Sammarco meets it with a half volley, which flies just over the top. The latest in a number of chances that the Flying Donkeys have created this half.
Barzagli is having to come off here, he doesn't look comfortable as he does so. Leonardo Bonucci is on.
Good save! Giaccherini again makes things happen, driving across the Chievo defence, and he releases Padoin 30 yards out. His drive is heading for the corner, but Sorrentino is a full stretch to tip the ball around the post. So very nearly a spectacular second goal.
Andrea Pirlo has, by his high standards, had quite a sloppy game in terms of passing. However, he shows a sign of his undeniable quality, firing a 50-yard ball forward that Vucinic almost wins ahead of Sorrentino.
Nice defensive work from Luca Rigoni there, winning the ball from a standing Pirlo, and then clearing the ball from under the noses of two Juventus forwards. Very calm under pressure.
Giaccherini is proving the home side's best outlet going forward. More good work on the wing finds De Ceglie in space, but his cross is hopelessly over hit. Must do better from positions like that.
Pirlo and Buffon were a little lazy there, exchanging sloppy balls that almost let Chievo in. Not sure what's happened to Juventus after that lightning start.
Chievo are really pushing here. They have numbers forward this time, and Sammarco's cross is cut out the defence. The home side looked very stretched there.
Blimey, that was close. A delicious cross from Bradley is just over the head of Paloschi. If he were an inch taller, he would have been in.
Vucinic's shot is deflected over the top after great work from Giaccherini to set him up. The corner is easily cleared.
Cyril Thereau has looked lively so far, and hurdles a couple of challenges on another surge forward. Chievo will have to add more support to those attacks if they are to make an impact though.
Another chance for Chievo. Francesco Acerbi gets on the end of a Sammarco cross, and his flicked header is not far away. Juve will need at least another goal to kill this one off.
He has his doubters, but I think he's class. Mirko Vucinic is looking dangerous every time the ball arrives at his feet, and the Chievo defence are really struggling to get the ball off him. Top centre forward play from the man on loan from Roma.
Now, is that a penalty? Cyril Thereau turns Chiellini too easily in the box, and although he is backing into the Juve centre back, he looks to be pulled down. Bit of a let off for Juventus, who have been absolutely dominating here.
Now that has got the tails up. Juventus pouring forward with Giaccherini and Vucinic looking particularly sharp in attack. Chievo holding on at the moment.
Goal Paolo De Ceglie
GGOOOAAAALLL JUVENTUS! Pirlo whips a ball in from a deep free kick, the ball flicks off Chiellini, bounces off the post and is side-footed home by Paolo De Ceglie. The Old Lady into the lead.
Simone Padoin pulls out the most blatant handball you will ever see, putting both arms out to bring the ball to his chest. He looks surprised as the free kick is awarded.
Every yellow shirt is back inside its own half. Definition of one way traffic.
The crowd inside Juventus Stadium are starting to make themselves heard, as Juventus start to exert their dominance on the game. So far, Chievo are dealing well with the balls that are being fired into the box though.
Superb play from Mirko Vucinic on the edge of the area, and the Montenegro man plays an excellent ball around the corner for Giaccherini, who goes down under a challenge from Luciano. He screams for a penalty, but the appeals are rightly waved away by Gervasoni.
Michael Bradley, fresh from inspiring the USA to victory of Italy in the week, has made a few nice early touches. Pirlo and Marchisio, who were in the team that night, should well remember not to allow him too much time to pick a pass.
Now THAT is a tackle. Luciano slides in to win the ball from left back De Ceglie and takes all of the ball, with some of the man too. Great combattive efforts from the Flying Donkeys, who are not allowing their opponents to settle.
Andrea Pirlo gives the ball away, for a change, and considering he was on the edge of the area, that could have been dangerous. Bit too casual from the midfield maestro there.
First effort on goal from Chievo, and it's close! Sammarco meets a cross with a bullet header, but Gianluigi Buffon is well placed to make the save. Things are very open at present. Good signs.
Giaccherini plays an audacious chip into the box and the Chievo defence switches off, allowing Alessandro Matri to nip in and poke the ball towards goal. There isn't enough on the shot however and the defence is able to clear.
Some early zip in the Juve passing, barely giving their opponents a touch. It really is a glorious surface out there.
The teams are out. Home colours all round, black/white from Juventus and vibrant yellow and blue from the visitors. Referee Andrea Gervasoni blows his whistle and we are underway.
As always, you can tweet your thoughts on the game to me via @woodstome. Be good to hear from you.
For Chievo, key forward Sergio Pellissier is out through suspension, leaving 22 year-old Alberto Paloschi, on loan from Milan, leading the attack. He will be supported by Frenchman Cyril Thereau and Paolo Sammarco in a 4-3-2-1 formation. Full lineup: Sorrentino; Frey, Andreolli, Acerbi, Drame; Bradley, Rigoni, Luciano; Thereau, Sammarco; Paloschi Bench: Puggioni, Dainelli, Frey, Cesar, Cruzado, Hetemaj, Moscardelli.
Tonight’s lineups, then. For Juventus, Simone Padoin comes into a three-man midfield, while Emanuele Giaccherini looks to be part of triple-pronged attack containing Alessandro Matri and Mirko Vucinic. Full lineup: Buffon; Lichtsteiner, Barzagli, Chiellini, De Ceglie; Padoin, Pirlo, Marchisio; Giaccherini, Matri, Vucinic. Bench: Storari, Caceres, Bonucci, Marrone, Elia, Quagliarella, Del Piero.
On top of that, Chievo are on a decent run of form, winning their last two finding themselves sitting in the relative safety of the top half. Recent results against the Bianconeri have gone well for Chievo, who secured a 0-0 draw at home in October, and staged a great comeback to secure a 2-2 result at Stadio Olimpico last season. In fact, the visitors have secured thoroughly entertaining 2-2 and 3-3 draws in two of their last three visits. More of the same tonight would certainly make for a good watch.
So to the business of tonight’s game. We have the league’s second-lowest scorers taking on the division’s meanest defence, with Juventus still unbeaten this season. So what chance for the Mimmo Di Carlo’s side? Well here’s a nugget of hope. The four times that Juventus have dropped points at home this season, it’s been against sides currently sitting in the bottom eight places of Serie A. Might they take their foot off the gas again?
Currently four points behind Milan after the Rossoneri’s thumping win over Palermo earlier today, Juve will be keen to move back within touching distance of their title rivals. Victory tonight followed up by a win in their game in hand against Bologna, and the Old Lady will sit top of the pile.
After a somewhat fortunate, or even very fortunate, draw in Milan last week, Juventus showed they have the ability to grind out results when not playing well. The stuff champions are made of. Of course, champions also dispose of the smaller sides with efficiency; so Antonio Conte’s men will be looking put on the kind of performance that underlines their credentials.
Welcome to Goal.com’s Saturday night game from Serie A, as Juventus take on Chievo. There’s a league title to be won come May, and many of the home fans here at Juventus Stadium are daring to believe that the prize could be theirs. Join me, Tom Woods, to find out if a truly excellent tussle for the Scudetto can maintain its momentum. You weren’t thinking of going out were you? Course not.
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