Serie A - Juventus down Inter to go top

Sat, 29 Oct 21:23:00 2011

Juventus beat Internazionale 2-1 at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza to go top of Serie A and leave their rivals languishing all the way down in 16th place after nine games.

FOOTBALL 2011 Inter-Juventus (Sneijder et Vucinic) - 0

Mirko Vucinic opened the scoring after 12 minutes, with Maicon grabbing an equaliser just before the half hour mark.

But Claudio Marchisio popped up almost immediately to score what would prove to be the winner for the visitors.

If ever the cliché rings true, it did so here in what was a classic game of two halves. The first was end to end and littered with opportunities and even more defensive mistakes; the second was a tight affair, with Juventus doing well to restrict Inter to shots from range.

Good work from Andrea Pirlo and Stephan Lichsteiner after 12 minutes set up Alessandro Matri from six yards at the near post. His effort was brilliantly smothered by Luca Castellazzi, but the rebound fell to Montenegrin Vucinic, who slammed it into the roof of the net from close range.

Matri then had two chances to double Juventus' lead, including a one-on-one just a minute later that went inches wide.

It was Inter who grabbed the second goal of the night though. On 28 minutes Juventus scrambled away a corner, but the ball was quickly recycled to Maicon on the right. From a tight angle he hit a ferocious shot that took a slight deflection, deceiving Gianluigi Buffon as it flew past him at his near post.

They weren't to stay on level terms long though. Just five minutes later Claudio Marchisio played a one-two with Matri on the edge of the 18 yard box and stroked a shot into the bottom corner, leaving Castellazzi no chance.

Shortly before half time Inter should have been down to 10 and even further behind. Marchisio broke the offside trap and had only the goalkeeper to beat. He flicked the bouncing ball over the onrushing Castellazzi, who clattered into the midfielder in the box at pace. The referee inexplicably gave nothing to the bemusement of everybody watching.

The second half was short on drama, but massively high in intensity and tension. Six yellow cards in 17 minutes set the tone for the period. Inter huffed and puffed, but never really created anything to trouble Buffon and it was Juventus who should have extended their lead on the break.

The substitute Marcelo Estigarribia was denied when one on one by a fantastic save from Castellazzi, while Juve's other substitute Allessandro Del Piero missed an even easier chance when clean through just five minutes from the end.

The misses were unimportant, however, as Juventus wrapped up three points that leave them two points clear of Milan at the top of the Serie A standings.

Tom Embury-Dennis / Eurosport

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