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December 12, 2011
• Stadio Olimpico, Roma
Referee: D. Orsato
• Attendance: 60000
It's been an end-to-end game tonight, and you have to say, a point apiece is probably a fair assessment of the match. Juventus remain unbeaten, and go back to the top of Serie A, whilst Roma go back into the top half. I've been Alex Mott, thanks for joining me. Night.
90' + 5'
And that's it! The referee blows for full time with both sides going home with a point. It finishes 1-1 here at the Stadio Olimpico.
90' + 3'
A foul by Simplicio on Vidal means a free kick for Juve inside the Roma half: the set piece though is really poor from Pirlo, and the ball runs through for Stekelenburg to pick up easily.
Yellow Card Daniele De Rossi
Pirlo whips in a free kick from the left-hand side, but the deep ball to Chiellini is in the air too long, and the referee blows up for a foul from the Italian defender.
Ohhh. And another chance for Juve. Quagliarella receives the ball inside the box, and tries to chip the oncoming Stekelenburg, but the Dutchman keeps his cool, and stands up, pushing the ball wide.
Pablo Daniel Osvaldo
Giaccherini should have done better with that. The youngster receives the ball 10 yds from goal, and cuts back from the left onto his right foot. The shot, aimed towards the far post, is relatively poor though, and Stekelenburg saves.
Ohh. And the Juve fans thought they had scored. A low cross, cut back from the by-line finds Lichtsteiner, but the Swiss international's shot hits the side netting. Agonising.
Quagliarella has his first shot at goal. Receiving the ball on the left-hand side of the box, he tries to catch Stekelenburg out at his near post, but the Dutch 'keeper is not fooled, and gather with ease.
Totti draws a foul from Pirlo 25m away from goal, but the subsequent free kick is a disaster as it's tried to be played short, only for Simplicio to lose the ball straight away.
Roma look a lot more assured in this half as Perrotta and Greco combine to set up Simplicio on the left-hand side of the box. His shot-cum-cross is poor though, and Juve clear.
Taddei does brilliantly well to keep the ball from going out for a goal kick to Juve, and manages to flick it back from the by-line to Pjanic. The Bosnian then pumps forward into the box, but can't find a free man inside the area, and ends up smashing it to no one in particular, as Juve clear.
Yellow Card Fabio Quagliarella
Yellow Card Leonardo Bonucci
A poor pass from De Rossi is cut out by Quagliarella, but Pjanic manages to track back the Italian, and tackles him well 25m from Roma's goal.
Yellow Card Leandro Greco
What an absolutely crazy couple of minutes there. A great goal by Chiellini is almost made null and void by Totti as he steps up to take a penalty; Buffon though, has other ideas and saves wonderfully. Is that the catalyst for a Juve win?
Penalty save Gianluigi Buffon
Missed Penalty Francesco Totti
Yellow Card Arturo Vidal
And my word. Straight up the other end, Roma win a penalty after a foul by Vidal. Totti steps up, and strikes it low to Buffon's right, but the legendary Italian goalkeeper saves brilliantly.
Assist Marcelo Estigarribia
Goal Giorgio Chiellini
GOOOAAAALLL JUVE. And it's Chiellini with the strike. A miss hit shot from Vidal finds Estigarriba at the far post, and with his first touch, he finids the head of Chiellini, who flicks it over Stekelenburg. 1-1.
Simplicio comes on for Viviani, and it has to be said, the debutant has been brilliant tonight. Not just one for the future, but one for right now as far as Luis Enrique's Roma are concerned.
Fabio Henrique Simplicio
Pirlo strikes the free kick towards goal, but Greco jumps, and heads the ball away from the wall.
It's a young upstart vs old guard battle in central midfield as Pjanic battles Pirlo for the ball, but the young Bosnian fouls the Italian 35m from the Roma goal.
Estigarriba and Matri work wonders outside the area, but the Italian forward handles the ball, and the referee blows for a free kick.
Yellow Card Miralem Pjanic
Ohhhh. Barzagli blocks an almost certain goal. Totti, on the left wing, plays a beautiful ball to Osvaldo inside the area, but Barzagli throws himself in front of it, and the ball runs away for a throw in. Well done that man.
Again, much like in the first half, the corner is woeful.
@baba_eric is expecting more from Juve this half, and his prediction is brought immediately to fruition as Pepe puts in a fantastic ball low across the Roma box. Heinze clears though for a corner.
And there's a flare on the pitch, directly in front of Buffon's goal. Of course, I'm obliged to say that's disgraceful behaviour; but that is some throw from the stands!
And we're off. Juve get us under way, kicking from right to left.
1-0 to Roma it is then, and it's difficult what to make of that half. I want to say Juventus have been the better side, but I can't remember them really threatening the Roma. Really. As always, @alexjmott is the place to go on Twitter if you want to comment on tonight's game. Otherwide, see you in 15.
And that's it. Half time. It's 1-0 to Roma at the break.
Well. That was the moment for Juve. Pepe, free on the right wing, tries to play in Matri who's all alone inside the area, but the ball is underhit, and Jose Angel clears. Dear me.
Pirlo strikes a free kick from right on the edge of the area, but the low shot is saved by Stekelenburg rather easily. You'd have expected Pirlo to do a bit better there.
The Juve defence does brilliantly there. Osvaldo, on the right-hand side of the area, tires to get a shot in. But a combination of Barzagli, Bonucci and Chiellini shut him out.
Ohhhh. And Pepe probably should have scored. Vidal plays him through on the edge of the area. and the Italian, with his first touch, shoots straight at Stekelenburg.
Heinze waltzes out of defence having put a reducer on Matri outside the area. The Argentine defender then finds Totti out wide on the left, and he pumps a first time ball across the pitch to Lamela; the ball's a tad overhit though, and it goes out for a throw in. NIce thought though.
Viviani has his first shot as a first teamer, and it's one he'll want to forget very soon. From 25m, he catches it with the outside of his left boot, and it curls out for a throw in. Yes, a throw in.
Heinze would have been beheaded if Vidal had of scored that! His poor pass is cut out by Vidal, and the Chielan unleashes a shot from 20m. The ball is swerving towards the top left-hand corner, but at the last minute swerves wide.
Pepe goes past Jose Angel and tries to put in Matri. The pass is cut out by De Rossi though, and the Stadio Olimpico roars like a Gladiators' just been beheaded.
Again, it's Estigarriba who's at the heart of the action, as he wins a corner off De Rossi. Again, the corner's complete tosh.
The corner's not even worth mentioning.
Juve clear, and the ball ends up at Estigarriba's feet on the left flank; he cuts inside and shoots at Stekelenburg's goal. The big Dutch 'keeper saves wodnerfully, and pushes it away for a corner.
A great piece of play from Roma there. Viviani from the centre circle plays it out wide to Taddei, who whips a ball into the box for Osvaldo; Chiellini heads away, but Totti is on the edge of the area, and shoots back towards goal. The shot though, is blocked by Barzagli and Juve clear.
Totti has his first run at the Juve defence from deep, but instead of shooting from 25m, he decides to pass wide right to Lamela. The young Argentine though, can't get his ball in, as Bonucci clears.
Taddei pumps the ball into the box from just inside the Roma half, but Osvaldo is certainly no John Charles in the air, and Bonnuci gets high above the forward to head away.
Estigarriba goes on a mazey run down the left, but the ball runs away from him by the by-line, and goes out for a goal kick. That left flank looks like it could be a real area of strength for Conte's men tonight.
Viviani shows his first moment of class tonight, as he and Greco one-two around Vidal on the centre circle. His through-ball to Lamela is poor though, and the ball runs out for a throw-in.
@moonbyte is a Milan fan, rooting for Roma tonight. He may be happy now, but that looks like it might be short-lived as Juve win their second corner of the game. The ball though, is a poor one from Pirlo and Roma clear.
Juve look full of beans now. A cross from Estigarriba is aimed towards the far post, but Jose Angel heads away. The header is poor though, and Pepe strikes first time, only to see his shot go wide.
Juve go straight up the other end from kick off and win a corner. The ball is pumped in by Pirlo, but the ball is cleared by Heinze and Roma can breathe once more.
Assist Francesco Totti
Goal Daniele De Rossi
GOOOAAAALLLL ROMA! Already. And it's De Rossi, the makeshift centre-back tonight, who scores the goal. A corner from Totti is whipped in, and De Rossi volleys it from the far post. The shot is poor though, and goes straight towards Vidal on the post; but he miskicks and it goes straight into the bottom corner. Unbelievable.
Heinze's momentum has taken him out of touch and straight into the linesman on the near side. The official lives though, and everyone sees the funny side.
Greco tries to tackle Vidal inside the Juve half, but the Chilean international is just too quick for the Italian, and wins a free kick.
Juventus win the ball almost immediately from kick off, and try to release Pepe down the right. The ball though, is poor at Stekelenburg gathers easily inside his area.
Here we go then. Roma, in their traditional red and yellow, kick us off, going from right to left.
Kick off is literally moments away, and the atmosphere here at the Stadio Olimpico is electrifying.
Kick off is in just over 15 minutes, but whilst you're milling around not doing a lot, remember to get involved over on Twitter @alexjmott. I'm also criminally underfollowed.
And for you fact fans: Juventus have lost just the once to Roma in the past 12 meetings. Roma have won only half of their games at the Stadio Olimpico this season. And Luis Enrique's men have lost their last two games without scoring a goal.
Juve, on the other hand, have been a model of consistency over the past few weeks. That back five has been just colossal so far, and the midfield triumvarite of Marchisio, Vidal and Pirlo is about as good anything right now. Anywhere.
I know, right? Roma are playing the only unbeaten side in Serie A, and are starting with only two recognised defenders! De Rossi at centre-back! Partnered by Gabriel Heinze! This can surely only go one way tonight? Surely? And I haven't even got to the 19-year-old making his debut in centre midfield. By all accounts, Federico Viviani looks like quite a prospect, but this has to be too deep, too soon? Oh, and Osvaldo is playing up front with Erik Lamela; ten days after Osvaldo was suspended by the club for punching the young Argentine. Luis Enrique is either a madman or a genius. I guess we'll find out in just over two hours.
And Juve: (4-3-3) Buffon; Lichtsteiner, Barzagli, Bonucci, Chiellini; Marchisio, Vidal, Pirlo; Pepe, Matri, Estigarriba.
The starting XI's are in, and to say they've thrown up a few surprises would be an understatement. Anyway, here's Roma: (4-3-3) Stekelenburg; Taddei, De Rossi, Heinze, Jose Angel; Pjanic, Viviani, Greco; Lamela, Totti, Osvaldo.
I'm Alex Mott, and I'll be your commentator for tonight's game. As always, if you're jumping on the Twitter bandwagon, do send me your comments/predictions/musings/abuse @alexjmott. I know there's another game going on in England somewhere, so just to know I'm not doing this on my own would be great.
Well, here we go. You've been waiting patiently all the weekend for this, but it's finall arrived. Roma vs Juventus is upon us. It's Serie A's new 'project' vs Serie A's most exciting side. It's the former Barcelona legend vs the former Juve legend. It's Totti vs Del Piero. It's Osvaldo vs Matri. It's going to be bloody good.
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