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Italy - Serie A
April 15, 2013
• Stadio Olimpico, Roma
Referee: A. Giannoccaro
• Attendance: 31000
A. Vidal 8', 28'
I'm out of here folks, see you next time!
Six games remaining, 11 point lead for Juventus. The Bianconeri were just a cut above their opponents today, as they have been with the rest of the league, if I'm honest. Vidal got the goals, but it was an accomplished team display from start to finish.
90' + 3'
Klose close Klose close Klose close! The German just cannot wrap his foot around a loose ball in the box and blasts over when he probably should have scored. And that's the last action of the game!
90' + 1'
In all seriousness, it was a comfortable showing from Marchisio, much like the rest of his team. Three minutes added on here to see out the game.
Conte gives Marchisio a big hug on the touchline. He must not have seen that miss from Pirlo's free-kick earlier in the half.
Giaccherini, that man of many talents and positions, is about to make his bow. It looks like Marchisio to make way.
The decisive Vucinic makes way for Quagliarella to make a late cameo appearance. The Montenegrin won the penalty for the first, and flicked in Vidal for the second. I'd say that was decisive.
Solid header out of the danger area from Bonucci, to get rid of a long bomb into the box from Stankevicius. Bonucci, Barzagli and Peluso have been virtually flawless all game long.
Lazio putting pressure on the Juve back four through their front players. Too little, too late. Juve do not lose their cool and keep possession on the ground.
As things stand, Juve will take an 11 point lead on top of the standings. And goodnight Serie A for everyone else as far as I'm concerned. It's been like that for weeks, though, so no surprises.
Juve taking the sting well and truly out of the game, holding onto the ball professionally. Kozak hacks down Padoin near the centre circle, Juve free kick. Yep, that's about as exciting as things are going in the closing stages here.
Ederson leads the Lazio break, fakes to shoot, and slips in Klose on the blindside. The German is too generous though, choosing to forgo having a whack at goal for a cutback that was cut out.
Pogba flicks one over the top for Marchisio, who is immediately flagged by the assistant on the far side.
Stankevicius with poor reading of the rest of the backline, playing Vidal onside from Marchisio's flick down the right. But the full back recovers just in time to cut out the Chilean's dink in towards Vucinic.
ONAZI...wide it went in the end, after he slices a layoff from Klose off target from about 25 yards out. Lazio may be running out of time.
Quite an interesting first touch for Padoin, who inadvertently buries his head into the crotch of Ederson when scrambling relentlessly for a 50-50 ball.
Padoin for Lichtsteiner in Juve's first change, and Crecco for Ledesma in Lazio's final swap.
POGBA WITH AN EXPLOSIVE RUN to get rid of Ciani and Stankevicius, and keeps his balance long enough to square to Marchisio eight yards out...just wide of the post!
Vidal comes oh so close to latching onto a Marchetti spill after Pirlo's long free-kick took a deflection. But the Lazio keeper smothers, eventually.
Get involved with the debate through our Live Match centre chat section, or connect with yours truly on Twitter @keeghann!
Dear Kozak, please at least hit the target when a cross from your fellow sub Ederson fools Barzagli and finds you unmarked at the far post. Timing your jump might be a good start. Regards.
Juve have rather reverted to type after that brief glimpse at closing the game off for good. Lazio stroking the ball around their half with some comfort.
MARCHISIOOOOOO...HOW DID YOU MISS THAT??? Pirlo's free-kick is a beauty as usual, forcing Marchetti to parry right back into the mixer. Pogba and Vucinic are also primed to attack the rebound, but Marchisio tries some sort of half-volley instead of a simple header and pings the ball like a field-goal high over the bar. To quote Chuck Barkley...that was tuurrible...
Finally Juve make some meaningful inroads into the Lazio half for the first time since the restart. Pogba is clipped late by Cana, who conceded a free-kick right on the edge of the box and is probably high-fiving himself mentally for the fact that he is still on the field. That could have easily been a second yellow.
Yellow CardMichael Ciani
Ciani shoves Vidal to the turf, after the Chilean held onto the ball after a foul and refused to let go. A bit of a punk move from Vidal, but Ciani knows the rules. Yellow card.
Lazio continuing to keep Juve penned back in their own half. Can they get back into this? Let me know on Twitter @keeghann.
CIANI TAKES AIM from almost 30 yards out and makes Buffon earn his corn with a diving save! Suddenly Lazio look all kinds of dangerous. Where was this in the first 45?
A really, really, dangerous run from Klose in from the left byline to the near post, taking on two defenders to boot. He tries to cut back ,but just cannot get enough purchase on the delivery and Juve clear.
Juve looking completely content to hold onto their lead and let Lazio try to break down their defensive ranks. A slow start to the second half.
Here we go again! Ederson on for Mauri and Kozak for Hernanes to start the second half. No Juve changes as of yet.
Professional job from the Bianconeri, who have simply been too good for Lazio here in the Italian capital. Arturo Vidal has been the star of the show with a pair of goals, one coming from the penalty spot, but there have been standouts all over the pitch for Juve. Vucinic has led the line superbly, Marchisio has been comfortable in behind him, while Pirlo and Pogba have given a good display of resourcefulness and running. Any way back for Lazio? Join us for the second half kickoff soon.
45' + 2'
Half time, folks.
45' + 1'
We are into the first of two minutes of added time. The tempo of the game has slowed markedly since Juve doubled their advantage.
Rumors, of course, have been whipped up to link the Chilean midfielder with a move away after slight stalling on agreeing a new deal. His current arrangement lasts till 2016, mind you.
Artuo Vidal is clearly on Beastmode here in Rome. He goes chopping and charging through a trio of Lazio players, and still manages to lay the ball off to Pirlo in a friendly unobstructed position near the halfway line. Who in their right mind would sell such a player?
Yellow CardFederico Peluso
Mauri wins a free kick from about 40 yards out, and CANDREVA...dips it right at goal, forcing Buffon to parry it aside! That one bounced right in front of the six-yard area, never a easy thing for a keeper to deal with.
Where are you Serie A fans? Get in touch on Twitter @keeghann!
Ciani is down on the deck rubbing his tree-trunk legs in some agony. Treatment is needed. From bad to worse for Lazio it goes.
Jeez....Lazio making it too easy for Juve. Marchisio allowed time to slide in a try from 20 yards out, which rolls just past the post.
Ledesma with a searching ball right into the heart of the box. Klose is close to getting a touch on that, at full stretch, but oooomph...he just misses and lands with a thud into the turf.
The game getting kind of scrappy for a minute or two. Lichtsteiner and Mauri both commit back to back fouls in the middle.
Il Guerriero, aka the magnificent mohawk,aka Vidal now has a brace to his name. And Juve are well on their way to an 11 point lead at the top of the Serie A table. Lazio falling apart.
It means nothing now, JUVE 2-0 UP! Vucinic with one masterful touch frees Vidal into the box. And not breaking stride for one second, Vidal stabs past Marchetti into the back of the net.
Wow, Ciani just BAILED Stankevicius RIGHT OUT OF JAIL. The full back's terrible attempt at clearing his lines lets Vucinic in, who squares to Vidal. The Chilean cuts into what should be a goal, but Ciani flings himself to heroically block the ball!
SWING AND A MISS FROM KLOSE! Candreva's corner is not dealt with, but with acres to aim for yards from goal, the German's attempt at a full-on volley on a ball dropping straight down misses embarrassingly.
Get posting in the chat section of our Live Match Centre, or send our comments directly into me on the tweety bird @keeghann, best ones get a mention in the live feed!
WHAT A BALL from Andrea Pirlo, to take everyone in blue completely out of the equation and pick out the overlapping run of Asamoah perfectly. The left wing back plucks it out of the air well, but his half-volleyed cutback is terrible. Lazio back on the ball.
MIRKOOOO...BUT MARCHETTI MAKES THE SAVE! Pirlo's clip is toe-poked by Vucinic ever so slightly, only for the Lazio stopper to make a quite theatrical but still commendable save! The follow-up was there, but everyone in a Juve shirt decided to play dumb for some reason.
The game really starting to become more user-friendly and both sides to back and fourth. Free kick to Juve in a dangerous position on the corner of the box.
Really good interception from Ledesma, who tracked back into the box to boot away a dangerous cross from Marchisio's enterprise down the right flank.
Klose holds up the ball well and slips in Onazi on goal! Lazio primed to draw level but NO! Swoosh goes Onazi's boot and into orbit goes the ball. Bleh.
Yellow CardArturo Vidal
Vidal picks up a yellow card for absolutely flattening Ciani in the middle of the park.
World Cup legends Klose and Buffon both go challenging for a high ball in the box, you can hear the knees creaking from here! I jest, some great camaraderie shown between the two. Just getting my Beckenbauer on for a second.
Suddenly, Lazio look vulnerable. M-V-P is beginning to take over the midfield, and Lichtsteiner crosses into the side netting by accident after a sleek diagonal from Pirlo.
Penalty GoalArturo Vidal
STRUCK WITH PRECISION BY VIDAL! Marchetti is sent the wrong way, a good, hard penalty right into the far side from the Chilean. 1-0 Juve!
Yellow CardLorik Cana
Lorik Cana, the Albanian hothead,does a very stupid thing, going in late on Vucinic inside the area. Yellow card, and up steps Vidal...
LAZIO GIVE AWAY A PENALTY!
His radar may come and go, but Candreva is still being used extensively as an outlet by Lazio in the opening blows between these sides. Asamoah needs to help out at the back a bit more.
HERNANES... good stuff! Slicing and dicing through the Bianconeri on the edge of the box goes the Brazilian, and he squeezes on in from 20 yards that forced Buffon to stretch his legs. Earlier, Candreva had sent a 'cross' in towards the box that was probably seen from space.
First chance for Juve to get forward, Vucinic shows that he's not quite Theo Walcott by allowing Ciani to cut him off on the run.
And here we go! Throughout the game, you can get involved in the discussion through the chat section of our Live Match Centre, or send your comments directly into yours truly on Twitter @keeghann.
The teams are taking care of handshakes, photos and the other pre-match courtesies, and we're getting closer and closer to kick off.
The Serie A has only five European places up for grabs, thanks to the Bundesliga's rise in the Uefa coefficient rankings. Although, after watching Bayern wipe the floor with Juve in the CL, it's increasingly becoming an exercise in futility to defend Serie A's claim to more continental spots.
Far more interesting are the ramifications for Serie A's entrants into European competition next season. Lazio currently sit in the final Europa League place, but with a win, can move to within six points of AC Milan, who occupy the third and final Champions League berth. The Rossoneri, Fiorentina, Roma and Inter will all be watching with interest.
The consequences of failure tonight in Rome do not weigh too heavily on the head of the Old Lady. A loss would still see them hold a robust eight-point lead over Napoli at the summit with six games to play after today.
Both sides are no longer active in European competition this term. Lazio were dumped out of the Europa League by Fenerbahce, while Juve were given quite a lesson by Bayern Munich over both legs of their Champions League quarter-final.
Juventus XI: Buffon, Barzagli, Bonucci, Peluso, Lichtsteiner, Vidal, Pirlo, Pogba, Asamoah, Marchisio, Vucinic.
Lazio XI: Marchetti; Gonzalez, Ciani, Cana, Stankevicius; Ledesma; Candreva, Onazi, Hernanes, Mauri; Klose.
Let's look at our lineups for tonight.
Wherever you are in the world, thanks for tuning in, and welcome to our live play-by-play commentary of the meeting between two of Serie A's big-hitters in Lazio and Juventus. Mouth-watering stuff on paper, and it will be me, Keeghann Sinanan, guiding you through the action to see if the contest lives up to its billing!
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