Thursday March 5 2015
Coppa: Salah conquers Juve

Mohamed Salah’s brace gave Fiorentina a shock 2-1 Coppa Italia semi-final victory in Turin, ending the Juventus unbeaten home record.

Not only was this a great first leg result for the Tuscans, extending their unbeaten streak to 13 games in all competition, but it also saw Juve end their positive run on home turf after 38 wins and four draws. The last side to win here was Bayern Munich in April 2013.

The second leg of this Coppa Italia semi-final will be played in Florence on April 7. The Old Lady hasn’t won this trophy since 1995 and it’ll be tough for them to break that streak after this result.

Juve were without Andrea Pirlo, Romulo and Kwadwo Asamoah, but Paul Pogba returned from a thigh injury. Khouma Babacar, Stefan Savic, Nenad Tomovic, David Pizarro, Giuseppe Rossi, Ciprian Tatarusanu and Federico Bernardeschi didn’t make the trip.

Arturo Vidal had two efforts off target in the opening two minutes, while Jasmin Kurtic volleyed wide.

Fiorentina took the lead with a sensational solo effort from Mohamed Salah. A Juve corner was cleared and he sparked the counter-attack from inside his own half, sprinting past everyone to fire into the top corner.

Juve equalised when Simone Pepe whipped in a cross from the right for Fernando Llorente’s free header, which bounced in off the inside of the upright.

Marco Storari palmed a Mati Fernandez strike out from under the bar and on the resulting corner a Mario Gomez error turned into an assist for Jose Maria Basanta’s diving header that hit the post.

Kingsley Coman suffered an early knock at the hands of Jasmin Kurtic and eventually limped off for Carlos Tevez. Milan Badelj was booked and will be suspended for the second leg.

Micah Richards forced a desperate save out of Storari at the near stick after the restart, while Marcos Alonso’s looping header landed on the roof of the net.

Fiorentina were dominating possession at the start of the second half and penalised Juve for giving the ball away in the final third, as Salah completed his brace with the inside of his left foot. It was his sixth goal in just seven games for the Viola.

Mario Gomez wasted another good chance, injuring himself in the process, then Norberto Neto performed a stunning reaction save on Tevez from point-blank range. Neto also scrambled to fingertip a Pogba cross-shot over the bar, clattering into the upright as he did so.

Josip Ilicic drilled wide, as did Roberto Pereyra, but Alessandro Diamanti wasted a two-against-one counter when allowing Angelo Ogbonna to close him down.

Juventus 1-2 Fiorentina

Scorers: Salah 11, 56 (F), Llorente 23 (J)

Juventus: Storari; Caceres, Bonucci, Ogbonna, Padoin; Vidal, Marchisio, Pogba; Pepe (Pereyra 72), Llorente (Morata 58), Coman (Tevez 36)

Fiorentina: Neto; Richards, Gonzalo Rodriguez, Basanta, Alonso; Kurtic, Badelj (Aquilani 77), Mati Fernandez; Joaquin, Mario Gomez (Ilicic 62), Salah (Diamanti 75)

Ref: Valeri

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