It was honours even in a hard-fought encounter in Turin...Juventus missed a chance to gain ground on leaders Milan as they needed a late goal from Simone Pepe to salvage a 1-1 draw against Fiorentina at the Stadio Olimpico in Turin.
An own goal from Marco Motta stunned the home side and the Bianconeri wasted a plethora of chances until Pepe’s late goal salvaged a draw in one of Italy’s most fiercely contested rivalries.
Fiorentina wasted no time silencing the Bianconeri faithful as the visitors took a shock lead in the third minute. Gaetano D’Agostino’s free kick delivery was headed out on the left flank to Juan Manuel Vargas, who took a touch and blasted a cross that Marco Motta inexplicably headed into his own net.
It was a dream start for the Viola and an unwelcome early sucker-punch for the hosts. It took the Old Lady ten minutes to recover from the early blow but chances for Leandro Bonucci and Milos Krasic went begging.
Juventus then had their best opportunity of the match as Motta’s low cross into the area was met first time by Claudio Marchisio but his shot was hit straight at Artur Boruc.
Juventus should have levelled matters in the 27th minute when Felipe Melo’s shot ricochet off a Fiorentina defender and fell to Alessandro Del Piero with only Boruc to beat. But the 36-year-old blasted his shot over the bar instead of playing the ball across to Krasic who would have been left with a simple tap-in.
Del Piero tried to atone for his miss eight minutes later when the home side were awarded a free kick in a very dangerous area but his wicked shot was punched away by Boruc.
It was all Juventus as the first half was coming to an end and once again some poor finishing let the Bianconeri down. Del Piero did well to cut the ball back to Marchisio but the midfielder poked the ball wide from six yards out.
Fiorentina held on to take a slender one-goal lead into the interval.
Juventus pushed forward looking for the equaliser in the early moments of the second half and had a chance when Del Piero beat the offside trap but he could only drag his shot wide of the mark.
Mario Santana then had a marvellous opportunity to double the Viola’s lead but he couldn’t keep his shot down from 15 yards after taking the ball down on his chest.
Del Neri tried to shake things up by making a double substitution on the hour mark bringing on Vincenzo Iaquinta and Simone Pepe for Del Piero and Aquilani.
The visitors dodged a bullet when Krasic's cross deflected off Alessandro Gamberini and straight into the grateful arms of Boruc.
Fiorentina were content to sit back and hit the hosts on the counter and they did just that in the 70th minute through Vargas but he was unable to dribble past Bonucci.
Juventus had two excellent chances to level matters but Boruc made two excellent stops. First he kicked out Iaquinta's toe poke from eight yards out then somehow got his finger to Chiellini's shot that seemed destined for the bottom corner.
It looked as if it wasn't going to be Juventus' night but Pepe stepped to the plate in the 82nd minute when his free kick delivery from the left side drifted over the outstretched arm of Boruc.Incredibly substitute Felipe received his marching orders two minutes from time after he chopped Krasic down from behind.
It was a frantic final few minutes in Turin but Fiorentina held on and did enough to head back to Tuscany with a point in tow.