Juventus maintained hopes of a top four finish in Serie A with a crucial win over bitter rivals Fiorentina. Goals from Diego and Fabio Grosso in Florence helped secure a narrow win for the Old Lady against The Viola.
Juve’s preparations were dealt a severe blow when Alessandro Del Piero, the Bianconeri’s captain was ruled out of the game due to an injury that he suffered during the pre-match training.
However, it was the visitors who drew first blood very early on in an hostile atmosphere and credit should be given to Diego, who netted the ball past Sebestian Frey beautifully in the second minute from an intelligent through ball by Antonio Candreva.
The Viola recovered after conceding an early goal and Gilardino very nearly marked his return with a goal, only to be denied by the stand-in Juve keeper Alex Manninger. Juventus should have doubled their lead when Trezezeguet got a wonderful opportunity mid-way through the first half but he couldn’t take advantage of it.
Fiorentina kept up the pressure and just past the half hour mark, Manninger could only watch as he charged out for an aerial ball, only for former Juventus player Marchionni to head in an equaliser. Marchionni got another chance when his right footed shot from the right side of the box failed to be on target just before half-time.
Juventus regrouped at the break and were straight away on the attacke. David Trezeguet made sure he kept Frey on his toes with a volley and it was La Vecchia Signora who took the lead again in the 68th minute when Fabio Grosso found the top corner through a left footed shot from a narrow angle on the left.
The referee was put in the spotlight when he turned down an appeal by The Viola against Chiellini which appeared to be have hit his hand.
Jovetic had a few more decent efforts at goal in the dying stages but he wasn’t good enough to beat Manninger. Juventus could have added more to the scoreline but a superb double save from Frey denied Claudio Marchisio.
TheHardTackle’s PLAYER OF THE MATCH:
Diego (Juventus FC)
The young brazilian was instrumental in this victory for Juve with his tireless efforts, managing to score early and creating a few chances for others.
TheHardTackle’s REFEREE REPORT CARD
Name: Antonio Damato
Grade: C – Horrible.
The ref made some crucial mistakes and to be fair towards the viola the ref certainly wasn’t at his best.
FIORENTINA 1-2 JUVENTUS
Venue: Artemio Franchi, Italy
|1 Sebastien Frey||13 Alexander Manninger|
|16 Felipe||3 Giorgio Chiellini|
|14 Cesare Natali||33 Nicola Legrottaglie|
|19 Massimo Gobbi||29 Paolo De Ceglie|
|25 Gianluca Comotto||15 Jonathan Zebina|
|15 Cristiano Zanetti||4 Felipe Melo|
|18 Riccardo Montolivo||22 Mohamed Sissoko|
|11 Alberto Gilardino||8 Claudio Marchisio|
|8 Stevan Jovetic||17 David Trezeguet|
|6 Juan Vargas||28 Diego|
|32 Marco Marchionni||26 Antonio Candreva|
|Manager: C. Prandelli||Manager: A. Zaccheroni|
|Mario Bolatti for Juan Vargas(57)||Fabio Grosso for Paolo De Ceglie (45)|
|Keirrison for Cristiano Zanetti(72)||Vincenzo Iaquinta for David Trezeguet (72)|
|Lorenzo De Silvestri forGianluca Comotto (79)||Christian Poulsen forMohamed Sissoko (75)|
|Mohamed Sissoko (41)|
|Jonathan Zebina (56)|
|Claudio Marchisio (85)|