Lazio have the upper hand in the Coppa Italia semi-final after a late 1-1 draw in Turin, despite Federico Peluso’s first goal for the club. The second leg is on January 29 and the Biancocelesti have an away goal.
Juve were without Andrea Pirlo, Giorgio Chiellini, Nicklas Bendtner, Simone Pepe, Kwadwo Asamoah and the suspended Fabio Quagliarella, while Mirko Vucinic was rested due to an ankle problem. Antonio Conte completely reshuffled with Luca Marrone in the back three and Claudio Marchisio supporting lone striker Alessandro Matri. Lazio missed Miroslav Klose, Abdoullay Konko, Ederson and the banned Andre Dias.
Federico Marchetti needed a save in the opening 45 seconds as Marchisio rushed in behind Matri to pounce on a ricochet. Leonardo Bonucci then nodded a free kick over from close range and Paul Pogba went close twice from a corner on the day he unveiled a new haircut.
Michael Ciani’s header was also off target from a corner for Lazio, but Juve almost gave a goal away when Marco Storari dropped an easy catch and was fortunate nobody could tap in.
Pedro Luis Cavanda horribly scuffed his shot from an excellent scoring position, then Emanuele Giaccherini rushed back for a crucial interception on Hernanes. The Bianconeri defence was shaky, as Bonucci was hobbling with an injury.
Juve escaped another huge risk on 35 minutes, as Senad Lulic’s cross was mis-kicked into the air by Marrone, but a desperate Andrea Barzagli scramble prevented Stefano Mauri from bundling it over the line from a couple of yards.
At the other end, a dangerous Mauricio Isla cross was turned over the bar. Bonucci could not continue any more and hobbled off before the break, making way for Martin Caceres.
In stoppages, Giaccherini unleashed a powerful strike from distance and Marchetti did well to get a strong catch.
Marchetti performed heroics here in November and he had another glorious save on 54 minutes when Matri ran on to a long cross-field Marrone pass to volley, but the Lazio goalkeeper got his fingertips to turn it out from under the bar.
Juventus finally found the breakthrough when a corner was taken short, then whipped in for Peluso’s towering header into the far bottom corner. It was the January signing’s first goal in a Bianconeri jersey. Curiously, Vucinic was on the touchline waiting to come on in place of Peluso when the goal was scored, but Conte changed his mind after that strike.
Matri threatened a second with a wonderful touch to hook the long pass, but Lorik Cana came sliding in and did just about enough to put him off.
Juve somehow failed to make it 2-0, as Arturo Vidal sprung the offside trap on a Matri pass and went clear, but the prod with the outside of his boot thumped against the base of the post with an open goal. The move continued and Vidal was again unable to turn in amid chaotic scenes.
Vidal was again denied, but this time he got away from defenders for a looping header on Vucinic’s cross and Marchetti flew to claw it away just before it could go over the line. It was a truly stunning save, as the goalkeeper had to change direction and jump at full stretch.
Vucinic went down under a Giuseppe Biava challenge, but Juve paid the price for not taking those chances when Lazio got an equaliser in the final minutes.
An Antonio Candreva corner was flicked on to the back post for Mauri to prod his low volley in from five yards, as Paolo De Ceglie seemed to lose his man.
Matri fired straight at Marchetti, Vucinic dragged a shot wide and the goalkeeper smothered a Giaccherini snapshot, as Juve found it too late to restore their advantage.
Juventus 1-1 Lazio
Scorers: Peluso 63 (J), Matri 86 (L)
Juventus: Storari; Bonucci (Caceres 43), Marrone, Barzagli; Isla, Giaccherini, Vidal, Pogba, Peluso (De Ceglie 71); Marchisio (Vucinic 77); Matri
Lazio:Marchetti; Biava (Radu 83), Cana, Ciani; Cavanda, Gonzalez, Ledesma (Candreva 70), Hernanes (Brocchi 82), Lulic; Mauri; Floccari
Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's World Cup tipster competition - £10,000 to be won!