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Fiorentina v Juventus Live Commentary, 25/04/2021

1 - 1
D. Vlahović (29 pen)
Morata (46)
Stadio Artemio Franchi


That is all from this Serie A fixture, until next time!
Juventus, who have won just three away games this Serie A campaign, move up to third with the point but could drop down to fifth over the weekend if Atalanta and Napoli win their game in hand. Pirlo's men next go to Udinese, while Fiorentina, who gain a valuable point to move further towards Serie A safety, next travel to Bologna.
The Viola started brightly and deservedly went in as half-time leaders, courtesy of Vlahovic's cool penalty after Rabiot was adjudged to have handled the ball by VAR. In the second half, Pirlo's double half-time change was immediately rewarded as Morata curled in a wonderful left-footed strike from a tight angle to level things up. Juventus pushed forward and had the better of the second 45 but couldn't beat Dragowski again, which is why this game ends 1-1.
90' + 3' Referee Massa almost immediately blows for a foul on Cuadrado from the free-kick. Down the other end, Ronaldo fails to beat Caceres and Bentancur is forced into fouling Kouame to stop the counter-attack.
90' + 2' Vlahovic buys his side some more time and a breather as he goes down under the pressure of Chiellini in an aerial challenge. The home side may have a chance to steal a winner late on to further push them towards confirmed Serie A safety.
90' + 1' There will be three minutes of added time as Dragowski claims a loose ball above Ronaldo after an inviting cross by McKennie from the left-hand side.
89' Cuadrado and Ronaldo try a clever set-piece with the former driving a low pass to the Portuguese forward on the edge of the area. The hosts, however, are alert to the danger and rush out to block before Amrabat clears away.
C. Biraghi
Yellow Card
88' For his reaction to the referee's decision and the foul on Cuadrado, Biraghi becomes the next Fiorentina player in Massa's book.
88' McKennie arrows a perfect pass out to Cuadrado on the right and the right-back goes down under the challenge of Biraghi. The referee sprints across to award the visitors a free-kick in a dangerous area in the right-hand channel.
87' Cuadrado twists and turns on the right-hand side, racing inwards to feed Morata into the area. The Spaniard fakes to shoot before firing a shot towards the near post, where Dragowski saves with ease. However, none of this would have counted as the assistant then flags for offside in the build-up.
V. Eysseric
G. Castrovilli
85' Castrovilli wanders off the pitch and he is replaced by Eysseric.
84' CLOSE! Kulusevski rushes down the right flank, reaching the byline before drilling a cross into Martinez and out for a corner. Cuadrado plays short to Kulusevski, who angles a teasing, left-footed delivery towards the back post. Ronaldo throws himself at it and he is inches away from turning into an empty net. Fortunately for the hosts, the Portuguese forward doesn't connect and they get a goal-kick.
83' Fouls are coming from all angles as the Viola attempt to stop Juventus' counter-attack. They manage it and have a chance of their own down the other end but Castrovilli strikes straight into the legs of Bentancur.
82' Ronaldo has scored three goals against Fiorentina in Serie A – all of them coming from the penalty spot. Against no other Italian side has he netted more Serie A goals via penalties (also three versus Genoa). Can he find a late winner for the visitors here?
81' Biraghi dances around Kulusevski and goes down on the left-hand touchline. Pulgar whips in the wide set-piece but Bentancur jumps the highest to head away the danger.
80' Chiellini again powers forward as the visitors encourage him to carry the ball. The Italian rolls a pass to McKennie, who chips a poor pass over the top and out of play when looking for Rabiot. The away side have 10 minutes to find a winner or they will drop more ground in the race for the Serie A's Champions League spots.
78' Much like Pezzella's challenge on the halfway line, Amrabat gets away with one with Massa as he smashes the ball away after the referee had blown his whistle. Pirlo and his coaching staff display their annoyance on the touchline but nevertheless the referee's decision doesn't change.
77' Bentancur coasts past two or three tackles, surging into the area and making it to the byline before cutting back for Kulusevski. Amrabat, however, flies in to make up for his initial mistake and wins back possession.
76' Chiellini carries possession up the pitch before feeding Ronaldo. The Portuguese forward runs at Caceres but wastefully whips a left-footed cross over all of his team-mates and out for a goal-kick from what was a fairly good attacking position.
74' Alex Sandro, who has been fairly quiet this game, plays a diagonal pass which sails over the head of Biraghi and finds Cuadrado. The Old Lady work it inside but the hosts stand firm to defend deep as the game approaches its final 15 minutes.
C. Kouamé
F. Ribéry
72' Ribery goes down inside the area and Iachini withdraws the Frenchman, who has appeared twice already this week, sending on Kouame in his place.
C. Biraghi
72' Julio, who was struggling on a booking against Cuadrado, makes way for Biraghi.
72' Ribery and Vlahovic link-up as the latter slides to his left and fires a low strike towards the near post. Szczesny saves with ease and Ribery displays his frustrations as he wanted the return pass into the area from his strike partner.
71' The Old Lady have won only one of their last five Serie A away matches (D2 L2), after having won four of their previous five (L1).
70' Cuadrado finds more space down the right-hand channel, drilling a cross looking for Morata at the near post. Dragowski manages to dive down on the loose ball but Iachini may need to make a change to deal with the Colombian's threat, given Julio is also on a booking at left-back.
W. McKennie
A. Ramsey
69' McKennie, as has been the case for much of Pirlo's reign, appears as a second-half substitute for Ramsey in the middle of the park.
68' Pezzella clatters into the back of Morata on the halfway line and Juventus feel the centre-back should be booked. Referee Massa thinks different and just awards the visitors a free-kick instead, much to the annoyance of the Old Lady's captain Chiellini.
67' A rare spell of possession comes for the hosts as they work it about in the left-hand corner. Julio takes an age over a throw-in, perhaps to buy some time and a breather for his team, but the away side intercept through Rabiot.
65' Ronaldo goes through on goal but hesitates too long and sees his right-footed attempt blocked. Ramsey manages to recycle the chance back to the edge of the area, where Ronaldo sees his second effort deflected behind for a corner.
64' The second half has been one-way traffic with Fiorentina rarely escaping their own half barring Pulgar's strike. Kulusevski is the next to have a go at Dragowski's goal but he pushes his left-footed effort well wide.
63' Another free-kick comes on the opposite flank and again Cuadrado takes. This time, however, the Colombian overhits his delivery and that isn't going to trouble the hosts' defence as it sails out for a throw-in.
62' POST! Cuadrado hovers over the visitors' set-piece wide on the left before delivering towards the back post. Dragowski misses it and Chiellini has an open goal to head into but he can only direct his headed attempt into the right-hand post and the Viola then manage to clear.
M. Cáceres
Yellow Card
61' Ronaldo invites the challenge of Caceres before knocking the ball around the centre-back. The defender smashes into the Portuguese captain and rightfully gets booked by referee Massa.
59' Pulgar carelessly gives away possession, which allows Ronaldo to drive through the left-hand channel, evading the attentions of Caceres. With Ramsey and Morata waiting in the middle, the Portuguese forward's right-footed strike trickles wide of the target, much to the frustration of his team-mates.
58' Juventus have scored the most goals following a cross in Serie A this season (14), in addition, the Bianconeri have conceded only five goals from these situations, the joint-fewest in the division.
57' Cuadrado again attempts to cross from deep, this time looking for Ramsey at the back post but Julio is there to slide in and clear. With Pirlo's change of formation, Cuadrado is getting even more space as the Fiorentina defence now have an extra attacker to think about in the form of Kulusevski.
56' SAVE! Martinez cuts back for Puglar, who from outside the area curls a low, right-footed attempt towards the bottom right corner. Szczesny moves across, pushing around the post before screaming at his defence for allowing Pulgar so much time to shoot and pick his spot.
55' Cuadrado has acres of space to cross from the right-hand channel after being found by Bentancur. The right-back, however, fails to beat the first man, wasting the opportunity as he allows Caceres to head away.
54' Ribery beats Cuadrado with ease as his wonderful drop of a shoulder sends the Colombian the wrong way. Szczesny is then called upon to punch away as Chiellini and the goalkeeper nearly fail to communicate with one another inside the Old Lady's area.
53' CLOSE! Pulgar takes charge of the central set-piece instead of Vlahovic, whipping a right-footed strike just over the bar via a deflection off Juventus' four-man wall. Szczesny remains unmoved as he watches the midfielder's effort go out for a corner.
M. de Ligt
Yellow Card
51' For the foul on Ribery, de Ligt becomes the next name in Massa's book for a late tackle on the Frenchman outside the area. More importantly, Fiorentina get a free-kick in a wonderful position which Vlahovic or Pulgar will take.
51' De Ligt smashes into Ribery outside the area and the hosts get a free-kick in a great position. The Frenchman just nipped in front of the Dutch centre-back, who slammed into the forward with a strong and late standing tackle.
50' The away side appear a completely different side. Ronaldo powers down the left-hand channel, reaching the byline before standing up a cross towards the far post, where Morata flicks a header wide of Dragowski's goal.
48' Morata's goal has given Pirlo the instant response he wanted from his side. Just minutes into this half, the Spanish forward looks more intent and dangerous than Dybala as the visitors also switch to a four-man defence, courtesy of Bonucci's removal at half-time for Kulusevski.
P. Dybala
46' Dybala also makes way for Kulusevski at half-time as Pirlo looks for an immediate second-half response from his side.
J. Cuadrado
46' Cuadrado claims the assist for clipping into the right-hand channel but Morata deserves all the credit for an incredible, whipped effort into the top left corner from the tightest of angles from the right of goal with his left foot.
46' GOALLLLL! 1-1! Morata makes an instant impact from the bench, ghosting into the right-hand channel before cutting in and whipping a left-footed effort into the top left corner from an almost impossible angle. Dragowski get the slightest of hands on the curling effort but he can’t stop it. VAR checks for offside for the initial pass into the channel by Cuadrado before allowing the Spaniard’s wonderful strike to stand.
46' Referee Massa gets the second half underway!
Lucas Martínez
L. Venuti
46' Iachini brings off Venuti for Martinez at half-time.
Pirlo's side appear out of ideas, while they have dominated possession, they have rarely tested Dragowksi's goal barring Ramsey's late chance on the stroke of half-time. The Italian coach may introduce Morata, Bernardeschi or McKennie as the Old Lady search out an equaliser. Iachini, in contrast, will be delighted with his side's first-half performance and will be demanding more of the same.
Vlahovic and Milenkovic both forced early saves from Szczesny as the Viola started the brighter of the two sides in the first half. Pulgar then saw his deflected effort hit the post before Fiorentina were awarded a penalty for handball against Rabiot, courtesy of an intervention from VAR. Vlahovic duly converted, chipping coolly down the middle to send his side in at the break as deserved 1-0 leaders.
45' + 1' There will be two minutes of added time as Castrovilli stalls in possession in midfield, however, he does well to dance around the pressure of Rabiot and keep the ball.
45' As has been the case all half, Bonucci seeks out Cuadrado with a long, diagonal pass over the top of the Viola defence. The Colombian races forward but on this occasion the pass is too strong and races out of play.
44' WIDE! Dybala drives forward through the middle, slipping a pass to Bentancur, who sends Ramsey into the area with a smart throughball. The Welshman has just Dragowski, who rushes off his line, to beat but he can only poke a right-footed effort wide of goal to the right. Ramsey should be scoring there and the amount of time he stays on the ground after seems to confirm he knows that too.
43' Alex Sandro swings in a hopeful cross from the left flank and, with the ball hanging in the sky for an age, Dragowski does well to claim above the head of Cuadrado at the back post.
41' Cuadrado delivers the set-piece from wide and both de Light and Bonucci end up on the ground. The Old Lady appeal for a penalty but the assistant flags for offside against Ronaldo and Massa goes with that decision. The centre-back pair surround the referee but he doesn't change his mind unsurprisingly.
Yellow Card
40' Referee Massa flashes the first yellow card of the game to Julio after the left wing-back hacks down his opposite man Cuadrado with a late sliding tackle.
38' Cuadrado sneaks in behind Caceres and de Ligt feeds the run of the Colombian in the channel. The right wing-back looks to cut inside and cross for Ronaldo but doesn't get the chance as the assistant flags for offside.
37' Vlahovic and Pulgar stand over the set-piece but it is the the former who strikes with his left foot. The forward's effort beats the away side's three-man wall but it also sails high and wide of Szczesny's goal.
36' Vlahovic forces Rabiot into another mistake as the Frenchman drags him down 25 yards from goal. A needless foul offers the hosts a free-kick in a good position just to the right of goal.
35' Bentancur and Amrabat collide in a tackle in the middle of the park and the visitors' midfielder ends up on the floor. McKennie watches on from the bench but he won't be required as Bentancur returns to his feet without requiring any treatment.
33' The Viola look good value for their lead as Vlahovic, Pulgar and Milenkovic had all gone close before the opener. Pirlo's men look uncomfortable and out of ideas when they go forward, while looking defensively frail at the back with the pace the hosts have to offer on the counter-attack.
31' That was Vlahovic’s 17th goal of this campaign. The last player to score 17+ goals in a single Serie A campaign before turning 22 years old was Mirko Vucinic in 2004-05 for Lecce.
D. Vlahović
Penalty Goal
29' GOALLLLLL! 1-0 FIORENTINA! After Rabiot’s handball, Vlahovic wanders up to the penalty kick, coolly chipping it down the middle with his left foot as he watches Szczesny dive down to his left. The hosts deserve their lead as the Old Lady haven't settled into this game at all as of yet.
28' PENALTY TO THE VIOLA! Rabiot gets caught in between Amrabat and Vlahovic inside the area and the Frenchman ends up handling the ball. The referee doesn’t originally see it but once VAR has been consulted, Massa awards the penalty and indicates Rabiot’s arm was in an unnatural position inside the area.
27' A loose ball cannons all around the Juventus area, with Chiellini and Rabiot both attempting to clear. Fiorentina are adamant the ball has struck Rabiot's arm but the referee disagrees. VAR takes a quick look and suggests the referee goes over to the monitor on the touchline.
25' The hosts send in a free-kick from the right-hand channel and it seems to be going comfortably through to Szczesny. The goalkeeper, however, makes a mess of it and luckily Bonucci is there to hook away a clearance inside the six-yard area with Ribery ready and waiting to tap-in.
23' After the 3-0 win in the reverse fixture, Fiorentina could win two Serie A matches in a row against Juventus for the first time since 1998.
22' Vlahovic goes down at the near post under the pressure of Bonucci and the Viola bench appeal for a penalty. Referee Massa shakes his head and demands play goes on with the ball in Szczesny's grasp at the back.
21' OFF THE POST! Julio drifts inwards from the left flank, teeing up Puglar, who optimistically shoots from 30 yards out. Two Juventus bodies get in the way to block and the strike flicks off them, redirecting the effort towards the bottom right corner. Szczesny remains motionless as he fortunately watches Pulgar's deflected attempt hit the right-hand post before bouncing into his hands.
20' Castrovilli's fourth corner gets headed away once more, falling to Venuti on the edge of the area and the right wing-back rushes his shot to skew it well wide of the target.
19' CHANCE! Bentancur feels he is fouled in midfield but the referee waves play on as the Viola intercept high up the pitch. The Juventus defence invite Milenkovic to drive forward and the centre-back obliges, racing forward before powering an effort from outside the area towards the bottom left corner. Szczesny scrambles across and pushes it around the post.
17' Consecutive corners come for the hosts but on both occasions Castrovilli doesn't beat the first man. A third corner in as many minutes comes and Ronaldo heads clear at the near post.
16' CLOSE! Ribery ventures through the middle, feeding Julio, who from the left flank whips in a teasing delivery to the near post. Castrovilli produces a smart flick at the near post and with Vlahovic inches away and waiting to pounce at the back post, Alex Sandro has to turn behind for the first corner of the game.
15' De Ligt clips a long pass over the right of the Viola's defence and Ronaldo looks to be in one-on-one with Dragowski. The goalkeeper, however, is surprisingly quick off his line and rushes out to intervene before the Portuguese forward can strike.
14' The game briefly stops while referee Massa checks Szczesny is fine after his collision with Vlahovic before dropping the ball and allowing the Old Lady to restart play.
13' SAVE! Ronaldo gets dispossessed on the left flank, allowing Ribery to drive over the halfway line with possession before reaching the edge of the area. The Frenchman tries to slide in his strike partner, Vlahovic, but Szczesny races off his line to parry away a clearance before the forward can capitalise.
11' Fiorentina have failed to score in their last three Serie A home matches against Juventus, only once in their history have they had a longer run at home against a single opponent - four versus Lazio between 1952 and 1955.
10' Castrovilli stands over the free-kick, whipping it towards the near post, where Bonucci climbs the highest to head away. The Italian centre-back ends up clutching his knee but he seems fine to carry on without requiring any medical attention.
9' Julio cuts back for Caceres on the edge of the Juventus area but the centre-back miscues his cross and it flies into the hands of the unchallenged Szczesny. Rabiot then needlessly fouls outside the area to offer the hosts a free-kick 30 yards from goal.
7' Cuadrado gets in behind Julio, making it to the right of goal before drilling a cross towards the near post, where Dragowski collects the ball in front of the incoming Ronaldo. The right flank is where the visitors are directing all of their play at the minute, with Cuadrado repeatedly getting around Julio.
6' Pirlo's men have dominated possession in the opening stages here, remaining patient as they work the ball from side to side as they attempt to carve out an opening. As of yet, however, Fiorentina are sitting deep and not offering the Old Lady any chances.
4' Alex Sandro drives down the left flank, reaching the byline before seeing his cross miss Ronaldo at the near post. Julio collects at the back post and hooks away a clearance with Cuadrado waiting behind him.
2' Dybala puts some early pressure on Dragowski but the goalkeeper combines with Venuti to avert the danger and play out from the back with real confidence. The Viola make it down the other end but Vlahovic fails to dance around Alex Sandro in the left-hand channel.
1' Referee Davide Massa gets this game underway!
Following their 3-0 win earlier this season, Fiorentina are looking to complete the top-flight double over Juventus for the first time since 1968-69.
Pirlo shifts back to a three-man defence as he makes four changes from the Parma game. Danilo drops out for Chiellini, Szczesny replaces Buffon in goal and Rabiot comes in for Arthur. The other change sees Ramsey preferred ahead of McKennie in midfield for the Old Lady. Up top, Dybala partners Ronaldo again instead of Morata as the pair continue to battle for the second forward’s spot.
Iachini opts for three changes from last time out. Castrovilli comes back into the hosts’ midfield three to replace the suspended Giacomo Bonaventura. At the back, Milenkovic starts in place of Martinez and Julio will operate at left wing-back as he comes in for Biraghi. Youthfulness joins experience up top as 38-year-old Ribery supports the Viola’s main attacking threat Vlahovic.
SUBS: Federico Bernardeschi, Arthur, Gianluigi Buffon, Weston McKennie, Alvaro Morata, Dejan Kulusevski, Carlo Pinsoglio, Gianluca Frabotta, Felix Correia, Danilo.
JUVENTUS (3-5-2): Wojciech Szczesny; Matthijs de Ligt, Leonardo Bonnuci, Giorgio Chiellini; Alex Sandro, Adrien Rabiot, Rodrigo Bentancur, Aaron Ramsey, Juan Cuadrado; Paulo Dybala, Cristiano Ronaldo.
SUBS: Tofol Montiel, Valentin Eysseric, Christian Kouame, Lucas Martinez Quarta, Pietro Terracciano, Antonio Rosati, Jose Callejon, Maximiliano Olivera, Kevin Malcuit, Antonio Barreca, Cristiano Biraghi.
FIORENTINA (3-5-2): Bartlomiej Dragowski; Nikola Milenkovic, German Pezzella, Martin Caceres; Lorenzo Venuti, Gaetano Castrovilli, Erick Pulgar, Sofyan Amrabat, Igor Julio; Franck Ribery, Dusan Vlahovic.
Alex Sandro turned out as the Old Lady’s unlikely hero to spare their blushes against Parma, who took a shock early lead in midweek before a 3-1 loss. Juventus have won just three of their last six leagues games and their Champions League qualification spot looks to be in danger, with both Napoli and Lazio continuing to ramp up the pressure on Andrea Pirlo’s men.
Fiorentina’s safety is yet to be confirmed but a 2-1 win over Hellas Verona in midweek lifted them up to 13th in the league. The Viola have won only two of their last 10 Serie A games under Beppe Iachini and the hosts are yet to win back-to-back games this campaign. Iachini’s side, however, can take confidence from the fact they recorded an impressive 3-0 win in the reverse fixture with Juventus in December.
Hello and welcome to live coverage of the Serie A fixture between Fiorentina and Juventus.