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December 9, 2012
• Stadio Renzo Barbera, Palermo
Referee: A. De Marco
• Attendance: 17000
S. Lichtsteiner 50'
Time for me to bid you all a fond farewell, it was a wild ride down in Sicily. I've been Daniel Edwards, and I'll see you for the next one.
In the end a deserved victory for the away team, who will now watch with interest events at San Siro to see what kind of lead they will take away from the 16th round of fixtures. Palermo, meanwhile, hover perilously close to the drop zone and will need to lift themselves if they want to stay in Serie A.
90' + 3'
And that, as they say, is that! The final whistle rings out in the Renzo Barbera, and Juve pick up all three points thanks to a 1-0 victory over Palermo.
90' + 1'
The home team pump the ball into the box, and Chiellini heads out for a corner. This could be the last roll of the dice here, but once more Chiellini clears.
A frenetic end to proceedings in Sicily, Palermo's eagerness to equalise is leaving holes all over the pitch. Juve, however, have failed to capitalise.
Vucinic is clean through, this has to be all she wrote, 2-0. NOOOOO!!! The striker is denied one-on-one by Ujkani, another clear chance goes awry.
The ball comes in from the right and Juve try the spectacular through Pogba who goes for the bicycle kick. He can't make contact though.
Bonucci finds himself clean through, just the keeper to beat and... An absolutely pathetic dive. Hang your head in shame son, that well deserved a yellow.
Yellow Card Leonardo Bonucci
Miccoli swings the ball in and......... it's cleared! Bendtner puts in a perfect header to clear.
Viola gets past Pogba, but the Frenchman rather cynically takes him out down in the corner. Can Palermo do anything from this set-piece?
Hard to see what Palermo can do here to turn round their fortunes. They're one man down, have made all their subs and the Juve defence is stubbornly refusing to give them any decent chances.
Palermo break quickly, and it is Miccoli alone up front who has to try and shrug off Bonucci's attentions. The defender isn't going anywhere, and Miccoli is forced into a shot that causes Buffon no trouble at all.
The corner flashes across goal, and it is Pogba who puts in a big boot to clear it for a throw.
Chiellini saves his side, lunging in heroically to stop the cross and send the ball out for a corner.
GOAAAAA.... Hang on. Bendtner had strayed offside before receiving a sumptuous chipped pass, and his effort will not count.
Yellow Card Andrea Pirlo
Garcia is pole-axed by Pirlo, who played the ball first. Apparently though the conditions make that a dangerous challenge, and the midfielder picks up a yellow.
Palermo try to raise the tempo, but their passing is imprecise and ruins the tempo of the attack. Ilicic is the target for a long ball, but the Juve defence is in close attention.
Oooooooh lovely stuff from Pirlo. The bearded wonder somehow keeps the ball glued to his feet and squeezes between two men, but he cannot release the shot.
Yellow/Red Michel Morganella
Morganella tries to rugby tackle Asamoah with absolutely no danger or pressure, and a second booking quickly follows. Bone-headed from the midfielder, and Palermo are now down to 10 men.
The rhythm has gone out of the game a tad, mostly thanks to conditions that more closely resemble a Tuesday night in Hull than the Sicilian capital. Substitute Bendtner almost makes an impact, however, firing inches to the left of Ujkani's post.
Young Argentine Paulo Dybala marks his first touch with an interesting shot across the face of goal, but it flies just wide.
Vucinic tussles with Garcia down by the corner flag, and thinks he has won a corner as his rival goes over. A foul is called though, accompanied by an agonised groan from the Montenegro international.
Yellow Card Michel Morganella
Marchisio is comprehensively felled by Morganella, who earns a yellow for his troubles. Pirlo tests from the free-kick, but the home team clear.
Palermo try to advance on the right but progress is painfully slow as they dodge the puddles and play on the deck. Chiellini eventually mops up and Juve are back in possession.
Goalscorer Lichtsteiner enjoys an enthusiastic send-off from the away support as he is withdrawn, Simone Padoin is the man chosen to enter the action.
Bodies are flying across the pitch thanks to the slippery conditions, the surface has the consistency of a skating rink and is fast taking on the appearance of a potato patch.
Vucinic finds himself out on the right and crosses, the ball is rejected but only as far as Pirlo. The veteran shoots, but directs his effort comfortably into the keeper's grateful hands.
If Juve can hold on here, they will temporarily open up a five-point lead over Napoli at the top. Their challengers face a trip to Inter directly after this match.
Donati is robbed on the edge of his area, and Matri again has the chance. Oh dear, he blasts wide and it stays at 1-0.
Matri gets behind the Palermo defence and the offside flag stays down. He rushes his effort, however, and row Z is the ball's final nesting place.
Bonucci is putting in a massive shift at the back, Garcia tried to cross but the defender masterfully controls with the chest and clears the danger.
Miccoli so close to breaking away when possession breaks down for Juve, he scurries roughly 40m but a combination of Bonucci and the slippery surface scupper his efforts in the box.
The game has picked up a bit of an edge, Morganella and Barreto both put the boot in for Palermo and look aggrieved that the referee saw it.
The goal is shown again, pure poetic simplicity from the Turin team who carved open Palermo for one of the first times in the game. The break was caused by Arturo Vidal, who took a knock and will come off for Paul Pogba.
You can see the effect of that hail on the pitch, the ball is holding up as Palermo strive for an equaliser. Miccoli looks to break free, but he has no way past Bonucci.
Assist Mirko Vučinić
Goal Stephan Lichtsteiner
GOAAALLL!!!!! What a move by Juve, Pirlo's long ball is controlled expertly by Vucinic who heels into the path of Lichtsteiner. The midfielder takes his time, and fires in low to open the scoring.
Ilicic tries to wriggle through at the other end, but he cannot release the shot and Juve clear.
They very nearly do! Vucinic surges forward and fires just wide of the left post.
Juventus get us underway for the second half, can they find a way through?
A hailstorm breaks out in Sicily, peppering the pitch with stones. Shouldn't affect play though, as the two teams emerge from the tunnel.
A well-matched half for most of the duration, although Juve gave strong indications towards the end that they could pull away. Unfortunately for the leaders, Palermo have been bullish in defence and Ujkani is stopping everything thrown at him.
Two corners for Juve, but Donati finally clears and, to the relief of the home fans, the referee blows for half-time.
45' + 2'
Andrea strikes well, but Garcia bravely sticks his head in the way to divert for a corner. That one stung a bit.
This is danger. Vidal is hacked down by Morganella inches outside the box, and we have a set-piece with Pirlo's name written through it like a stick of Brighton Rock.
What a save!!! Vidal does brilliantly to retrieve possession in the Palermo area, and he slides the ball across the area. Matri is there and pokes goalbound, but Ujkani gets down perfectly to cover.
The hosts are giving Juve far too much space out wide. Lichtsteiner wins another corner for his side, it goes short but from the set-piece, Palermo are impeccable and clear once more.
I wouldn't be surprised if Chiellini follows Miccoli into the Palermo dressing room at the break. The No. 3 hasn't given his rival a moment's peace throughout this half.
Risky, risky stuff from the Sicilians who let Marchisio advance unchallenged on the edge of the area. The shot is inevitable, but it is dragged wide of the left post.
The game has suddenly shifted up a gear, Juve make the difference with much more purpose and pace in attack. Donati goes in heavy on Vucinic just outside the area, but to the forward's chagrin no foul is signalled.
And now Asamoah breaks loose for the first time, and fires a wicked cross to the near post. Ujkani claims impeccably down low.
Yellow Card Stephan Lichtsteiner
OOOOOOHHH!!! Juve's best passage of the match, Vidal crosses for Matri who knocks down, Marchisio releases the shot. It is saved and Vucinic is on hand for the rebound, but the striker somehow only finds the post with the goal gaping. Should be 1-0.
Ilicic is bemused to be called up for a foul on Barzagli, but it's a free kick and Pirlo will fire it in. No, it's short, but Palermo are resolute and there is no way through.
Back on the bench, Antonio Conte looks far from happy with what he has seen so far and he screams instructions to his charges.
The game is starting to open up, with Asamoah weaving his magic in the Palermo half before being stopped effectively by Donati. Vucinic and Matri also look to get in on the act, their one-two only just thwarted in a dangerous position.
Lichtsteiner fires into the box and Donati clears, but the ball strikes Kurtic and it will be a corner. Bonucci cannot connect well, and Marchisio fires over with his first-time effort.
The ball is cleared, and a foul on Asamoah by Pisano signals the end of the attack.
Kurtic directs Palermo as they rush forward and the midfielder fires in a low cross. Chiellini arrives first, but can only knock behind for a corner.
Matri is not happy, he is pulled back for a marginal offside after controlling well in the area. That was very close indeed.
Ilicic also suffered in that clash, and both players have ice packs on the head as they woozily come off for treatment.
But again, Palermo cope well. The counter could be on, but play is brought back after Lichtsteiner takes a heavy knock challenging for a header.
Pirlo swings in another corner, and Ujkani fists away. It'll be another for the old master.
Barreto clips Pirlo from behind, and a free-kick will give the Bianconeri a chance to regroup.
All Palermo right now, knocking the ball around with authority as Juventus retreat.
Juve at the moment have no way through, they are controlling possession but cannot break Palermo down. The three-man defence is struggling against the counter as well.
GOA.... NO!!!!!! Miccoli latches on to a lofted pass and finishes with class on the volley. But the captain started his run a fraction early, and his effort is ruled offside.
Still no way through for Juve, they try on the right with Lichtsteiner's cross, but Donati is there with a towering defensive header.
The Sicilians can be happy with their start here, they've been very organised in defence and dangerous on the counter. Another example: the team in pink rush forward, and Miccoli is robbed by Barzagli just as he shapes to shoot.
Kurtic winds up and releases a bomb from distance, Buffon had to be strong to direct that ball away with his fists.
Matri causes all sorts of problems in the box, and there is confusion after Ujkani claims the ball. It appears Juve will have an indirect free-kick due to a backpass, but after fierce Palermo protests it is the striker who is penalised. Bizarre.
Morganella has the ball 40m out, he shapes to shoot but instead exchanges a couple of passes with Pisano to burst into the box. Barreto receives, but cannot get the shot off.
Chiellini is down after a heavy challenge from Morganella, the magic spray is out and the defender should be fine to continue.
Pirlo takes a tumble and wins a dangerous free-kick, this is going straight into the box. Munoz is there though, and clears the cross with a strong head.
Palermo enjoy their first extended spell of possession, and Miccoli has the chance to open the game up in the Juve half. A wayward pass from the captain though, and the visitors take back control.
Chiellini advances from his own half and probes forward looking for Matri. The cover is good though from Donati, and Palermo regain the ball.
Pirlo looks for Matri at the near post, but Barreto gets there first and it's another corner. Another Andrea delivery comes perilously close to finding a head, but it passes out for a goal kick.
Straight away Juve take the ball and press forward, they force a corner.
And we're off! Palermo get us started on their own turf, can they pull off a big win?
Today is a big day for Antonio Conte too, who takes the field again after serving a three month suspension. The Scudetto-winning coach is getting a gracious reception from both teams.
And now, for the league leaders... Buffon; Barzagli, Bonucci, Chiellini; Lichtsteiner, Vidal, Pirlo, Marchisio, Asamoah; Matri, Vucinic.
The teams today will look a little something like this. The Sicilians first... Ujkani; Munoz, Donati, Von Bergen; Pisano, Morganella, Barreto, Kurtic, Garcia; Ilicic; Miccoli
Sunday afternoon brings together two teams with distinctly different necessities to pick up three points. Juve need victory to stay clear of Napoli at the top, while languishing in 17th Palermo could do with a triumph to ease relegation worries.
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages, hello and welcome to Goal.com's live coverage of Palermo vs. Juventus. My name is Daniel Edwards, and I'll be here to guide you through 90 minutes of vintage Serie A action.
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