Juventus 1-0 Chievo: Vincenzo Iaquinta Downs The Flying Donkeys

VincenzoIaquinta_2 Juventus have made a positive start to the 2009-10 Serie A campaign by defeating Chievo 1-0 at the Stadio Olimpico in Turin, with Vincenzo Iaquinta scoring the winner with an early header.

The Bianconeri came into their seasonal opener with problems in midfield, as Momo Sissoko was injured and Felipe Melo suspended, meaning a rare start for Christian Poulsen.

Sebastian Giovinco and Jonathan Zebina were also sidelined, while all eyes were on trequartista Diego, who made his Serie A debut following his big summer move from Werder Bremen. Alessandro Del Piero failed to shrug off a physical problem, and Fabio Cannavaro played his first competitive game since his return from Real Madrid.

Chievo’s Houdini Act towards survival last term included a famous 3-3 draw in Turin, and The Flying Donkeys were hoping for a similar result this time around. Coach Domenico Di Carlo had a full-strength squad to choose from, with star man Sergio Pellissier, who scored a hat-trick in that game against Juve, spearheading the attack.

Juventus made a positive start and went close to opening the scoring on seven minutes as Giorgio Chiellini turned and shot just wide following a corner.

The crowd were behind the home team, and after 10 minutes the deadlock was broken. Diego curled in a perfect free kick from the right, and Iaquinta bulleted home an unstoppable header into the top corner.

It was almost 2-0 fifteen minutes later as Amauri skinned Santiago Morero down the left hand side and lifted the ball up for Iaquinta at the back post, but Stefano Sorrentino saved brilliantly to deny the striker.

It was not all one-way traffic with Pellissier threatening on the break, but Cannavaro was marshalling the defence superbly, regularly executing the offside trap.

Diego had been taking up some interesting positions in the hole all half, and five minutes before the break he cut in from the left before firing into the side-netting.

Juventus made one substitution at half time, with Paolo De Ceglie replacing Hasan Salihamidizic, who had injured his ankle towards the end of the first half.

Chievo started the second period the better, and Luca Rigoni surged through on a path towards goal but was stopped in his tracks by a simply brilliant tackle by Cannavaro. Pellissier then skipped past Chiellini, but Zdenek Grygera came to the rescue on his cutback.

Juventus launched a counter-attack on 56 minutes and were so close to doubling their advantage as Amauri shot against the post following good work by Diego.

Chievo were threatening more and more though, and but for yet another heroic challenge from Cannavaro they could have found an equaliser just after the hour mark.

Diego volleyed over, but Juventus’ struggles in midfield led Ciro Ferrara to replace Tiago with youngster Luca Marrone. The starlet had a penalty shout soon after for handball by Mario Yepes, but the referee ruled it was involuntary.

The finish to the game was a little more nervy than home fans would have liked but Juventus held on for a 1-0 win. It was by no means a vintage display, but following Inter’s shock draw with Bari earlier no one in Turin will be complaining.


~ by footballdirecta on August 24, 2009.

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