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Serie A

  • December 12, 2011
  • • 19:45
  • • Stadio Olimpico, Roma
  • Referee: D. Orsato
  • • Attendance: 60000

Roma 1-1 Juventus: Totti misses penalty as second-half Chiellini header clinches point to send Antonio Conte's side back to Serie A summit

The Old Lady leapfrogged leaders Udinese in the table after coming from behind to secure an away draw in Rome on Monday night

Juventus moved back to the top of Serie A after coming from behind to secure a 1-1 draw against Roma at Stadio Olimpico on Monday night.

Left-back Giorgio Chiellini was the Old Lady hero as he headed home a second-half equaliser to grab a share of the spoils after Daniele De Rossi had fired the hosts into an early lead.

However, the visitors also had experienced goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon to thank for sending them back to the summit when he flew to his right to parry a 62nd-minute Francesco Totti penalty.

Although they secured the point needed, the match didn’t go according to the expected script as the hosts surged into a shock fifth-minute lead, when Totti worked a short corner with Miralem Pjanic before picking out De Rossi with a precise clipped pass.

The midfielder, who was playing as a makeshift central defender, hooked the ball back across the face of goal, and although Arturo Vidal was handily placed to clear, he took a fresh-air swipe at the ball, allowing it to trickle into the net.

The goal proved something of a false dawn for Roma, however, as Juventus immediately seized the initiative and surged forward on wave after wave of attack for much of the remaining 40 minutes of the half.

However, despite their dominance, Juve struggled with the quality of their finishing, and only managed to force Maarten Stekelenburg into a string of routine saves.

In the 25th minute, Marcelo Estigarribia fired in a low drive after Rodrigo Taddei had failed to clear, but the Dutch custodian plunged to his left to block.

Vidal then attempted to make up for his earlier mistake. Firstly, with a swerving strike from distance which agonisingly swung wide of the upright at the last second, and then with an intelligent sliderule pass to Simone Pepe. But the winger failed to get any power behind his shot and Stekelenburg smothered with ease.

Pepe’s first-half frustration was complete when, with one minute left on the clock and Alessandro Matri free in the centre in a two-on-one counterattack, his under-weighted centre was easily cut out by the impressive Gabriel Heinze.

The visitors were not quite as dominant in the second period, but they managed to restore parity just after the hour when Chiellini arrived right on cue to nod home Estigarribia’s miscued volley from close range.

After eventually getting on level terms, Antonio Conte’s side had Buffon to thank for preventing them from throwing it all away within 60 seconds after Vidal clumsily tripped Erik Lamela inside the box.

The Italy international goalkeeper sprung to expertly block Totti’s powerful spot-kick and ensure his side remained on level terms.

And while the save proved enough for the point needed to leapfrog Udinese, Juventus could, and probably should, have taken all three points, but Stekelenburg made important late saves to deny substitutes Fabio Quagliarella and Emanuele Giaccherini.

The table-toppers return to league duty on Sunday afternoon when they host strugglers Novara at Juventus Stadium. Luis Enrique’s side, meanwhile, journey south to face Napoli at Stadio San Paolo later that night.