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Italy - Serie A
March 9, 2014
• Juventus Stadium, Torino
Referee: D. Orsato
• Attendance: 39105
K. Asamoah 42'
There is still a chance for revenge for the Viola in midweek when the pair meet again in the Europa League, but for today that is all from me, Tom Webber. Have a great day.
FT - Juventus 1-0 Fiorentina: Asamoah's goal on the stroke of half time is enough to give the Bianconeri all three points and temporarily send them 14 points clear at the top of the table. The Viola failed to create enough to warrant taking anything from this game, and now face their grip on fourth place being pried away from them.
90' + 3'
Yellow Card Gonzalo Rodríguez
90' + 3'
There goes the final whistle! Juve secure a slender 1-0 win over their rivals.
90' + 3'
Padoin now wins a free kick for Juve up the other end, down by the corner flag on the near side. Rodriguez is booked for the challenge but surely Juve will just wind down the clock here.
90' + 2'
Fernandez rolls it square for Vargas but Isla closes it down quickly and blocks the Peruvian shots at goal. Wasted.
90' + 1'
Yellow Card Kwadwo Asamoah
90' + 1'
We are into the first of an additional three minutes. Cuadrado wins a free kick in a dangerous area as he is brought to ground by Asamoah. A great opportunity for the Viola late on here.
Just a couple of minutes left to play now. Can Fiorentina fashion one more chance to find the equaliser? They nearly do as Cuadrado's cross almost picks out Pasqual at the back post, but the slightest of touches from Caceres diverts it behind for a corner.
Yellow Card Alberto Aquilani
Brilliant feet from Pogba as he spins away from Aquilani in midfield, drawing a foul which earns the Fiorentina man a yellow card.
Yellow Card Stefan Savic
Fiorentina break dangerously and Barzagli slips as Fernandez clips a long ball over the top for Cuadrado. Buffon is alert to the danger though and races off his line to beat the forward to the ball and deal with the pass. The home fans certainly appreciated that.
Cuadrado shimmies in from out on the left and lashes a right-footed shot towards goal, but he smashes it miles over the top of the goal. That was never going to worry the keeper, but his confidence must be commended.
An error from Pogba in midfield hands the visitors possession and the ball is played straight into Matos who drills an effort just wide of the far post. The young Brazilian was offside when he received it, though.
Yellow Card Ryder Matos
Matos is booked now, as he takes a dive after running across Chiellini inside the area. The referee was not convinced by that at all, but the Juve defence really need to wake up here.
OFF THE BAR! Matos almost finds the equaliser with a free header after Vargas' exceptional run inside from the left, but his attempt loops up off the crossbar before being cleared away. That was the chance!
Conte makes a change of his own now as Caceres comes on to face Lichtsteiner for the final few moments.
Gomez is replaced by Matos for Montella's final change. Gomez has had a difficult afternoon, but interestingly Matri is not given the chance to face one of his former sides by the Viola coach.
Juve are looking to take the sting out of the game now, following the momentum that the Viola have been building here.
WIDE! Clever football from Fiorentina there, as Fernandez is picked out inside the box and rolls a pass back to Wolski. The Pole rifles an effort towards the bottom corner but it skids outside of the post. Buffon looked sure that it was going wide, mind.
Well, this second half has not quite matched the level of entertainment supplied in the first 45 minutes. Juve appear confident that they can see this one out, but that could all change in a second should the Viola find an equaliser.
Pogba whips a teasing ball in from the left but he only manages to bend it straight into the arms of Neto, with Vidal hoping to get his head on it at the back post.
OVER THE TOP! Vargas finally gets a chance to shoot at goal but his effort was always rising and it did not test Buffon. The Italy international keeper has had an unbelievably comfortable afternoon so far.
Another change from Montella sees Pizarro make way for young Wolski. The veteran Chilean was far from his best today as he failed to show his quality on the ball, instead being caught all too often.
Chiellini shows his strength to shield off Cuadrado and shepherd the ball out of play as Fiorentina looked to counterattack following Pogba's poor pass. Once more, though, the visitors fail to worry Buffon.
There is very little urgency from the Viola at the moment, despite having under 30 minutes left to find an equaliser. That Gomez chance a few moments was probably the best they have created all afternoon.
STAT: Fiorentina's last win away at Juventus came back in March 2008. The Viola triumphed 3-2 and the scorer of the winning goal sits on the Bianconeri bench today: Pablo Osvaldo.
SO CLOSE!! Pasqual pushes up on the left flank and swings in a great delivery. He picks out Gomez in the centre and the German gets a solid header on the ball, but he is unable to pick out the corner and instead nods just wide.
WHAT A CHANCE! Fiorentina cede possession on the edge of their own box and Tevez pounces on the loose ball. He cuts in along the byeline but his cutback to Llorente is too weak and Neto dives on top of it to deny the Spaniard a simple finish.
On comes the Chilean midfielder, and it is Anderson who makes way for him.
It looks as though Mati Fernandez will come on for Fiorentina shortly. Montella clearly looking to add some more creativity to his side.
Juve win a free kick out on the near side which Tevez looks to bend in. His delivery is rather poor, though, as the first defender, Pizarro, hooks it straight back out of the danger area.
Fiorentina look to forge something down the right flank but Pogba has other ideas, coming across and taking the ball away before going on a rangey run through the centre of the park to relieve the pressure.
So, an early scare for Juve there. Fiorentina proving that they can get the ball in the back of the net this afternoon so the Bianconeri cannot take it easy while there is just one goal in it.
GOAL... no, it's ruled out! A clever free kick routine sees the ball eventually played into Diakite. He manages to bring it down and lash a shot into the top corner but the referee had already blown his whistle to signal for an offside decision.
We are back underway in Turin!
The teams are back out on the pitch so the second half will begin shortly.
HT - Juventus 1-0 Fiorentina: Asamoah's sublime strike at the end of the half ensures that the Bianconeri take a slender lead into the break. They have been the more impressive of the two sides, with the Viola failing to test Buffon at all in the first half. Stay tuned for the second half.
Tevez looks to ping a free kick into the area for the last chance of the half but the referee blows just as he runs up to take it, signalling for the interval.
You cannot say that Juventus have not deserved their lead. They have controlled possession and have been by far the more threatening side. Montella's men may need to rethink their game plan.
Assist Giorgio Chiellini
Goal Kwadwo Asamoah
GOOOOOOOAL! There is the breakthrough! Asamoah has been dangerous on the left and this time he finds the net, driving a brilliant effort in off the far post after cutting inside of Cuadrado with an excellent piece of skill. There may have been a slight deflection, but it was still a stunning goal.
Carlos Tevez's goal a fortnight ago secured a 1-0 win over local rivals Torino and also saw him move above Rossi to lead the Serie A scoring charts for this season with 15 strikes. Here, though, he is closed quickly by Rodriguez and subsequently fires a shot well over the top from 20 yards.
Lichtsteiner makes a great run in behind the defence and Marchisio clips a decente ball towards him, however the bounce of the ball means it is too high for Lichtsteiner to control at the byeline and it runs out of play. Juve are evidently lacking that quality which Pirlo often provides.
VITAL CLEARANCE! Llorente won a corner for his side as his cross was deflected behind by Pizarro. The delivery is flicked on by Pogba at the near post but Vargas manages to nod it away from the open goal with Vidal lurking to add the finish at the back post.
Montella looks frustrated as another ball up towards Gomez is angled straight through to Buffon. The German striker has not received much service today, and the Viola won't threaten often enough if they cannot supply him.
Juve are currently 11 points clear of second-placed Roma at the top of Serie A. There is potential for them to widen that gap today as the Giallorossi take on Rafa Benitez’s Napoli, who currently occupy third position. However, they will need to create more to do so.
Vidal tries a quick pass into Llorente but he fails to get the direction on it and only finds Neto. The Spanish striker lets his team-mate know of his disappointment, as that was a poor ball.
POGBA! The Frenchman controls Llorente's header inside the box on his knee and has a great opportunity to fire a volley into the top corner, but he leans back and blazes his shot miles over the roof of the goal. It was a great first touch, but the second was nowhere near as impressive.
Fiorentina seem incapable of building anything this afternoon. Too many passes over the top are being overhit, meaning the front three are often chasing lost causes which end up giving possession straight back to the Old Lady.
JUST WIDE! Another effort from Asamoah, again from wide on the left, but this one trickles wide of the far post with Neto scrambling across to ensure his goal is covered.
GOOD SAVE! A corner from the right goes all the way out to Asamoah on the corner of the box. He rifles a volley towards goal which takes a deflection off of Aquilani, but Neto readjusts quickly to palm the ball away for Pasqual to clear.
Asamoah spins away from his marker brilliantly on the half-way line and initiates a one-two with Vidal. Diakite is out of position so the opening is there for the Chilean, but he sends his pass straight to a purple shirt. It hasn't been his day so far.
We are about midway through the first half and the Bianconeri have practically monopolised possession so far. Fiorentina, though, look well-organised and difficult to break down. Neither goalkeeper has really been stretched as of yet, but it is still an intriguing game played at a decent tempo.
Anderson attempts to switch the play out to Vargas on the left but Barzagli gets to it first. The Peruvian will not be happy with chasing such balls all afternoon, and he will instead want it played to feet soon. Not a lot has gone down the Viola left as of yet.
Lichtsteiner with a bit of playacting there. He goes to ground holding his face after Anderson had held him off with a hand to his chest. Not the sort of thing you ever want to see on a football pitch.
The Florence outfit are playing in a very compact manner when Juventus have possession. As soon as the ball enters the final third they step up their pressing and restrict the time and space the hosts are allowed on the ball.
TEVEZ! The Argentine is next in line to have a shot at the Fiorentina goal, but from Pogba's pass he is unable to work Neto and slices his effort high into the stands behind the goal.
WHAT A MISS! Llorente links well with Tevez before sliding a pass to Vidal on the right side of the box. He does well to keep the ball in, sliding it behind him for the supporting Lichtsteiner. The Swiss took a touch which put the ball onto his less-favoured left foot and he shanked his shot wide of the far post.
That is good tracking back by Cuadrado! The winger chased back to help Diakite defend against Asamoah and ended up coming away with the ball. As he attempted to race into the Juve half he was felled by the Ghanaian and won a free kick for his side.
Yellow Card Arturo Vidal
Asamoah clips in a decent cross in from the left which nearly finds the head of Pogba, but Neto shows great bravery to come off his line and punch the ball away. As Fiorentina break, Vidal puts in another clumsy challenge - this time on Pizarro - and is shown a yellow card by the referee.
Anderson turns well in midfield and prods the ball away from Vidal, drawing a foul for which the referee awards a free kick. Pasqual pings it to the far post but Diakite heads it closer to the corner flag than the goal.
The Bianconeri are starting to settle on possession now, with Fiorentina only really threatening when they counterattack. The visitors have plenty of bodies behind the ball, but Marchisio is doing his best to supply the raking passes across the pitch, and over the top, that may otherwise go missing with the absence of Pirlo.
Vargas again makes a run in behind Barzagli and it is spotted, but the delivery to the back post has too much power on it and runs out of play for a goal kick.
TEVEZ! The Argentine dispossesses Pizarro inside the Viola half with a great challenge and he is then played in on goal by his team-mate. He pulls the trigger but loses his footing as he does so, and Rodriguez manages to fling a leg in the way to deflect it behind for a corner.
Tevez drives a corner into the middle but Ogbonna is unable to connect at the near post. It subsequently moves on and is met by the head of Llorente, but the Spaniard failed to adjust quickly enough to produce a meaningful effort on goal.
Diakite needlessly gives away a corner with a sloppy pass back towards Neto. Juve take it short but Gomez is back to help his team out defensively, clearing the ball away for a throw.
Cuadrado whips a tasty ball in from the right and Vargas challenges Barzagli to a header at the back post. The Peruvian makes a connection but he is unable to steer the ball anywhere near the target. The Juve centre-back stays down on the ground following that: he felt that one!
We are off! Juventus get the ball rolling.
The sun is shining in Turin this afternoon, but Antonio Conte has still strapped on his neck warmer. The teams are out, and kick off will be upon us imminently.
We are just a few moments away from kick off now, as first place takes on fourth in Serie A. Lets hope this match lives up to the hype.
Defeat for Vincenzo Montella's men today would offer the likes of Inter, Parma and Hellas Verona the chance to close the gap on fourth place and put the Viola's European aspirations for next season on edge.
Fiorentina may have booked a place in the Coppa Italia final last month, but their recent form in the league has seen them fall away from the top three. One win in their last six outings is not the sort of form that could enable them to secure a return to the Champions League.
Juve have won all 13 of their home games so far this season, netting 37 times in the process. The Bianconeri's indomitable home form has seen them go on a run of 22 games in front of their own fans without defeat, a streak which stretches back to January 2013.
Nenad Tomovic and Borja Valero are both suspended today, so Modibo Diakite fills in at right-back while Mati Fernandez is handed a start in the centre of midfield. Juan Vargas is preferred to Joaquin on the wing while Mario Gomez starts a Serie A game for the first time since September.
Andrea Pirlo is suspended today, but Arturo Vidal is back from his ban so slots into midfield alongside Claudio Marchisio. Giorgio Chiellini is also available and makes his first club appearance since early February, joined by Angelo Ogbonna and Andrea Barzagli in defence.
Fiorentina substitutes: Rosati, Lupatelli, Roncaglia, Compper, Bakic, Anderson, Ambrosini, Wolski, Joaquin, Matri, Ilicic, Matos.
Fiorentina (4-3-3): Neto; Diakite, Rodriguez, Savic, Pasqual; Anderson, Pizarro, Aquilani; Cuadrado, Gomez, Vargas.
Juventus substitutes: Storari, Rubinho, Caceres, Bonucci, Peluso, Isla, Padoin, Giovinco, Osvaldo, Quagliarella.
Juventus (3-5-2): Buffon; Barzagli, Ogbonna, Chiellini; Lichtsteiner, Vidal, Marchisio, Pogba, Asamoah; Tevez, Llorente.
The teams have been announced so lets have a look at how they will be shaping up this afternoon.
Juve’s only defeat so far this season was inflicted in the reverse of this fixture back in October. A Giuseppe Rossi hat-trick helped inspire the Viola back from two behind to win 4-2, but the Italy international striker is unavailable today due to a long-term injury. However, Antonio Conte’s men have not lost in the 18 Serie A games that have followed since.
Hello and welcome to the first of the Juventus-Fiorentina trilogy! These two sides will face one another three times in the coming weeks, with today's Serie A meeting being followed by a Europa League last 16 tie. The Juventus stadium is our destination today for what should be another fascinating installment of Italian football. My name is Tom Webber and I will be guiding you through all the action.
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