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Italy - Serie A
February 9, 2013
• Juventus Stadium, Torino
Referee: P. Mazzoleni
• Attendance: 38000
M. Vučinić 20'
A. Matri 41'
Juventus can now sit back and relax as second-placed Napoli face third-placed Lazio in the late kick-off before the Bianconeri fly to Glasgow tomorrow in preparation for Tuesday's Champions League encounter against Celtic. Thanks for joining me on what has been a comprehensive Juventus victory over Fiorentina. Make sure to check out Goal.com's match report, reaction and player ratings. Until next time, goodbye.
FULL TIME: JUVENTUS 2 - 0 FIORENTINA. Antonio Conte's side extend their lead over Napoli at the top of Serie A to six points with a deserved victory over the Viola. A wondergoal from Mirko Vucinic before a strike from Alessandro Matri was enough to see off the challenge of Vincenzo Montella's side, who have now gone ten games without a win against the Bianconeri.
90' + 3'
Federico Peluso joins the attack and picks out Giovinco at the back post with an inch-perfect cross but the forward cannot make good contact with the ball and it goes out for a goalkick. Full-time whistle imminent.
90' + 1'
Juventus counterattack from the corner with Giovinco but Romulo races back to catch up with the diminuitive forward and makes a wonderful sliding challenge.
Adem Ljajic does brilliantly to dance his way around the challenge of Martin Caceres but Gianluigi Buffon is out quickly to smother ball behind for a corner.
This Juventus defence has been solid today and Pogba joins in the defensive work to prevent Cuadrado from reducing the deficit. Time running out for Fiorentina.
Paul Pogba plays in Marchisio on the edge of the box and the midfielder looks to mark his 200th Juventus appearance with a goal but his shot goes straight into the gloves of Viviano.
Yellow CardDavid Pizarro
Fiorentina look tired and Juventus nearly make it three when Marchisio clips Pogba's lofted cross back towards Vidal on the penalty spot but the Chilean's attempted overhead kick is easy for Viviano. Moments later Pogba shoots from the edge of the box but his effort is deflected wide by Gonzalo.
Sebastian Giovinco collects Pirlo's pass and tries to jink his way past the Viola defence but is thwarted by a challenge from Facundo Roncaglia.
Vincenzo Montella will be disappointed with this second-half display by his side. The Viola look very static in the midfield and are lacking that cutting edge in the final third. It would take something truly special to turn this game around.
Adem Ljajic does well to shift the ball away from Federico Peluso onto his right foot but the Serbian drags his shot just wide of the far post. Just over ten minutes left for the Viola to salvage something from this match.
Emiliano Viviano keeps the scoreline at 2-0 as he makes a brilliant stop to prevent Giovinco's curling effort across goal. He's looked lively since coming on.
Both goalscorers have been withdrawn now as Matri makes way for combative midfielder Paul Pogba.
That's the first we have seen of El Hamdaoui and he combines well with Cuadrado inside the penalty area before forcing Buffon into a smart save.
Yellow CardEmiliano Viviano
Emiliano Viviano is cautioned for a push on Lichtsteiner.
Stevan Jovetic has not has produced the goods today and he is replaced by Serbian forward Adem Ljajic. Can the 21-year-old make the difference?
Juan Cuadrado produces a fine piece of trickery down the right before laying the ball back to the edge of the box for Romulo but the Brazilian's effort is straight at Buffon.
Jovetic looks to latch onto a loose ball in the Juventus box and just as he is about to pull the trigger, Vidal tracks back to make the interception.
Matri uses his strength to muscle off the challenge of Gonzalo but with only Roncaglia to beat, the defender stands firm to produce a timely interception. Juventus are looking the most likely to snatch another here.
Caceres makes a crucial interception to prevent Jovetic from latching onto Pasqual's inviting through pass. Can Fiorentina breach the Juventus backline?
MATRI GOES CLOSE! Lichtsteiner embarks on a lungbusting run through the Viola half before picking out Matri with a glorious outside-of-the-foot pass but the striker's shot across goal bobbles inches past the post.
Alessandro Matri peels off his marker but Lichtsteiner's cross to the back post is just too high for the striker. Montella needs to change things around here because his side are not troubling the Bianconeri in this second half.
Not what Antonio Conte had in mind. Mirko Vucinic signals to the bench and his game is over. Sebastian Giovinco comes on in his place, looking to stake his claim for a starting place against Celtic.
Paolo De Ceglie
A stoppage in play as Vucinic and Valero receive treatment. Martin Caceres warms up on the touchline.
Yellow CardFederico Peluso
Federico Peluso is the next man in the book after a foul on Borja Valero.
Mounir El Hamdaoui
It's an unhappy return to Turin for Luca Toni and he is replaced by Moroccan striker Mounir El Hamdaoui who has recently returned from the African Cup of Nations.
Yellow CardClaudio Marchisio
Claudio Marchisio is the first Juventus player to be cautioned after a rash, mistimed challenge on David Pizzarro. That is his fourth booking of the season which means that he will be suspended for the game against Roma.
Vucinic does well to slip in Lichtsteiner on the right-hand side of the box but the Swiss international cannot pick out a black and white shirt in the middle with his cross. Juventus are stepping it up here.
Andrea Pirlo looks to give Juventus some breathing space when he lines up a strike from distance but the veteran's arrowed shot soars over the crossbar.
Yellow CardJuan Cuadrado
This has been one of De Ceglie's better performances in a Juventus jersey and he draws the first yellow card of the game when his mazy dribble is halted by the combination of Cuadrado and Gonzalo. The Colombian winger duly receives the first caution.
IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN 3-0! Paolo De Ceglie does brilliantly to burst down the left flank before he cuts the ball back for Arturo Vidal who cannot keep his effort down and watches the bal fly just over the crossbar. With the form Vidal has been in, you expect to see the net bulging there.
Andrea Barzagli, in his customary banana-yellow boots, stands strong to hold off the physical challenge of Luca Toni in the box. Good defending.
Fiorentina have opted for a change at the break with Nenad Tomovic replacing Stevan Savic.
Fiorentina haven't scored against Juventus in the last two meetings, a run which stretches back to October 2011 when Jovetic found the net.
HALF TIME: Paolo Mazzoleni calls time on a tremendous 45 minutes of attacking football which has seen table-topping Juventus storm into a two-goal lead. It's been a thrilling end-to-end affair with Mirko Vucinic opening the scoring with an absolute corker from distance before Matri made it two after good work from Vidal just before the break. It's a big mountain for Fiorentina to climb now. Can Vincenzo Montella's side fight back? Let me know your thoughts via Twitter @MaxBentley1.
David Pizzarro wriggles away from the challenge of Lichtsteiner to pick out Romulo on the edge of the box but the Brazilian miscues his effort and watches the ball slice out for a goalkick.
MATRI EXTENDS JUVENTUS' LEAD! Vidal is the architect as he skips around several Fiorentina challenges before showing great composure to look up and slip in Matri on the left-hand side of the box, who finishes across Viviano with aplomb. 2-0 JUVENTUS!
It's been a splendid first-half display of attacking football and it shows no signs of letting up as both sides continue to throw bodies forward. Will we see a second goal before the half-time whistle?
Vidal clips a cross towards Matri in the Fiorentina box but the forward's touch is heavy and Savic makes a vital interception.
Arturo Vidal looks to latch onto Pirlo's clever chipped pass over the Viola defence but the Chilean had made his run just too early and is flagged offside.
He can score from 25 yards but not from five! Vucinic dispossesses Gonzalo and with nobody around him, all the Montenegrin has to do is place the ball either side of Viviano but he delays his strike and fires straight against the goalkeeper. Real lack of confidence from the striker there, he was looking to play in Matri when he really should have scored.
Pirlo looks to extend his side's lead with an effort from the edge of the box but it takes a deflection and goes behind for a corner.
Stevan Jovetic has not got his shooting boots on yet and he watches another effort from distance sky over the crossbar.
Pirlo plays a wonderfully-disguised pass to slip in Lichtsteiner on the right side of the box and with the goal at his mercy, the Swiss wing-back's touch lets him down and he then fails to pick out a teammate with a cross. Let-off for Fiorentina.
Romulo looks to restore parity with a volley from the edge of the box but the Brazilian's strike ricochets off of a Juventus defender and Buffon saves comfortably. Good response from Montella's men.
Fiorentina win a freekick in a promising area outside of the box but Stevan Jovetic's effort is poor and fails to beat the Bianconeri wall.
Fiorentina have not performed well on their travels this season and have only won three of their eleven away matches. Can Vincenzo Montella's side find a way back?
Borja Valero whips in a teasing freekick for the Viola as they look to strike back immediately but Alessandro Matri gets back to perform his defending duties and rises highest to head the ball clear.
WHAT A STRIKE FROM MIRKO VUCINIC! The Montenegrin striker opens the scoring for the Bianconeri, capitalising on Savic's headed clearance and unleashing a dipping thunderbolt from distance. Absolute peach of a goal, his sixth in the Serie A this season.
Stephan Lichtsteiner cuts in from the right flank before unleashing a swerving effort with his unfamiliar left foot, forcing Viviano into a smart save.
Stevan Jovetic is hungry for goals today after he scored his first goal of 2013 against Parma last week and he is denied from close range by Buffon before Barzagli barges Toni out of the way, preventing the tall striker from heading in the rebound.
Fiorentina are nearly undone by a quick freekick with Pirlo feeding in Vucinic but the striker is denied his sixth league goal of the season by the legs of Viviano.
Juventus clear the initial corner but only to the edge of the box where Cuadrado meets the ball with a low strike which is well saved by Buffon.
Cuadrado has seen plenty of the ball in these opening stages and his dangerous cross from the right is diverted behind crucially by Luca Marrone for a corner.
Time for Fiorentina to attack and Toni combines wonderfully with Jovetic but Buffon is out of his goal quickly to deny the Montenegrin striker with his legs.
Marchisio combines effectively with Vucinic on the edge of the Viola box and his fizzing left-footed low drive flashes narrowly past the post. Brilliant opening ten minutes here.
JUVENTUS GO CLOSE! Pirlo clips a remarkable pass over the Viola defence which Marchisio meets on the volley but his effort drags just wide of the far post. Wonderful precision from Pirlo.
Mirko Vucinic collects Andrea Pirlo's pass 25 yards out and with the Fiorentina defenders backing off, the Montenegrin unleashes a long-range piledriver which swerves high and wide of Viviano's goal.
Stevan Jovetic looks to dribble his way to the byline but he is prevented by a well-timed challenge from Stephan Lichtsteiner. The Swiss wing-back was excellent against Chievo last week.
Paolo De Ceglie does well to jink past Cuadrado with a drop of the shoulder but his delivery into the box is headed behind by Gonzalo. Fiorentina clear from the resulting corner.
Juan Cuadrado bursts down the right wing once again and whips a wonderful cross into the box but there is no purple shirt gambling at the back post and Juventus survive.
David Pizzaro is dispossessed midway inside his own half and he has Stefan Savic to thank as the former-Manchester City defender steals the ball off of the toes of Mirko Vucinic.
Bright start from the Viola with Juan Cuadrado causing early problems with his pace. The Colombian winger finds Stevan Jovetic just outside the box but the striker's effort flies over the crossbar.
Referee Paolo Mazzoleni blows the whistle and Juventus get this game underway! Can the home side extend their lead at the top of Serie A?
A wonderful atmosphere here with the traditional home anthem echoing around the Juventus Stadium as the teams take to the field. Plenty of friendly handshakes despite the fierce rivalry between these two Italian giants.
It could be a pivotal weekend in the Scudetto race. Juventus vs. Fiorentina is only minutes away!
Juventus have won 47 of their 73 Serie A home matches against Fiorentina, losing six and drawing 20. Goal difference: 155-62.
Vincenzo Montella makes one change from the side which defeated Parma 2-0 last week with Brazilian midfielder Romulo replacing the suspended Giulio Migliaccio. Alberto Aquilani is also suspended. Former-Juventus striker Luca Toni partners dangerman Stevan Jovetic up front.
Having scored against Chievo, Alessandro Matri retains his place up front for ther Old Lady and he is partnered by Montenegrin forward Mirko Vucinic. Claudio Marchisio has recovered from a leg injury and is restored in place of Paul Pogba whilst Federico Peluso is preferred to Martin Caceres.
FIORENTINA (3-5-2): Viviano; Roncaglia, Gonzalo, Savic; Cuadrado, Romulo, Pizarro, Borja Valero, Pasqual; Toni, Jovetic.
JUVENTUS (3-5-2) Buffon; Barzagli, Marrone, Peluso; Lichteiner, Vidal, Pirlo, Marchisio, De Ceglie; Matri, Vucinic.
The last clash between the two sides ended in a drab 0-0 draw in Florence back in September. Let's hope for a better afternoon of football today!
Juventus have the chance to go six points clear of second-placed Napoli when they entertain sixth-placed Fiorentina at the Juventus Stadium this afternoon. With Champions League action against Celtic on Tuesday night, coach Antonio Conte will be hoping that his side can come through today's contest unscathed and with the three points. The Bianconeri have a good record against the Viola as of late and are unbeaten in their last nine games against Fiorentina in all competitions. Can Vincenzo Montella's side upset the Italian champions? Bringing you all the action from the first Serie A game of the weekend, my name is Max Bentley. Feel free to tweet me your thoughts and predictions on the game via Twitter @MaxBentley1.
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