Serie A - Juve beat Viola to go top

Tue, 25 Oct 21:58:00 2011

Juventus went top of Serie A after a 2-1 win over Fiorentina at Juventus Stadium.

Juventus' Leonardo Bonucci (C) celebrates with his teammate Claudio Marchisio (R) after scoring against Fiorentina during their Serie A soccer match at Juventus stadium in Turin - 0

Leonardo Bonucci poked home the opener for Juventus after 13 minutes, as the home side dominated the first-half. Fiorentina levelled just before the hour through Stevan Jovetic’s cool finish, but Alessandro Matri made sure of the points for La Vecchia Signora with an emphatic left-footed finish midway through the second half.

Juventus started with a 4-3-3 system, with Arturo Vidal back to play in midfield, and Mirko Vucinic and Simone Pepe alongside Matri in attack.

Fiorentina also played with three up front, with Juan Manuel Vargas and Alessio Cerci alongside Jovetic. Alberto Gilardino started on the bench, having recovered from a sprained knee.

Juventus attacked from the first whistle, with Fiorentina goalkeeper Artur Boruc needing to be constantly alert as the shots rained in.

First the Polish goalkeeper dealt with a Pepe effort after three minutes, then he palmed a Claudio Marchisio effort over the bar.

Vucinic shot well wide with an effort on 10 minutes, after the ball had run to him on the edge of the six-yard box after a piercing run and cross down the right by Stephan Lichsteiner

But Juventus’ pressure eventually told a minute later, when defender Bonucci poked home from close range, after Boruc could only parry Arturo Vidal’s snapshot from Andrea Pirlo’s corner.

Matri perhaps should have done better with a volley from Vidal's cross, then Boruc made a fine block to deny Pepe as he bore down on goal through the right channel after evading the offside trap.

The former Celtic goalkeeper went on to deny Vucinic twice, with the Montenegrin seemingly able to shake off his marker at will, before Marchisio was too honest after being set up by a Matri flick, when Manuel Pasqual mistimed a tackle in the area. He could have gone down under the contact, but stayed up, earning a thumbs-up from referee Daniele Orsato but nothing more.

Gilardino came on at the start of the second half for Alessio Cerci, and his impact on Fiorentina was immediate.

Viola manager Sinisa Mihajlovic switched to a 4-2-3-1 system, and it seemed a tactical masterstroke, Jovetic headed a corner downwards in the first minute of the second period only to see Juve goalkeeper Marco Storari palm the ball over the bar.

It was different game in these opening moments of the second half, and Fiorentina finally scored their first goal away from home this Serie A season, two minutes before the hour.

Gilardino was the instigator, haring down the right flank and cutting the ball inside to Vargas, who cushioned the ball back for Jovetic to sidefoot home a sumptuous finish past Storari from outside the box.

Juve’s winner came midway through the second-half from the two-goal hero of Saturday’s draw against Genoa, Matri.

The 27-year-old had been caught offside countless times during the evening, but timed his run to perfection from Pepe’s through ball to crash a left-footed finish past Boruc.

Matri deserved a second goal for his workrate and his attitude, but his instinctive curling shot in the latter stages from the edge of the box was well saved by Boruc.

Gilardino almost made a half-chance for himself in injury-time for the visitors, but the Juve defence stayed firm to deny the Italy striker.

Nick Royle / Eurosport

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