SERIE A MATCH REPORT

Serie A Week 38 - 19 May 2018 (14.00 UK)
Juventus 2 - 1
Rugani 49 (J), Pjanic 52 (J), Cerci 76 (V)
Juventus Stadium

Gianluigi Buffon and Stephan Lichtsteiner waved goodbye to Juventus with a 2-1 victory over relegated Hellas Verona.

Not only was it the chance to celebrate a seventh straight Scudetto and fourth edition of the Coppa Italia in a row, it was also the farewell match for Juve legend Buffon after 17 years at the club. Stephan Lichtsteiner and Kwadwo Asamoah are also making their final appearances.

Buffon had to make his first save of the match after 15 minutes, beating away a curler after Mohamed Fares squirmed between two defenders.

Stephan Lichtsteiner also tried to mark his farewell match with a goal, but fired over the bar, and Mario Mandzukic and Paulo Dybala aimed too close to Nicolas.

Dybala also drilled just wide, but Lichtsteiner risked an own goal by nodding a corner past the near post. Nicolas kept out both a Douglas Costa angled drive and fingertipped the Mario Mandzukic volley out from under the bar.

Dybala was unlucky not to open the scoring on 39 minutes with a delightful lob from a very tricky angle, but it bounced off the underside of the crossbar.

Mandzukic continued to waste chances, scuffing off target with only Nicolas to beat, but Stefano Sturaro limped off with an injury.

Juve opened the scoring at the dawn of the second half, as Douglas Costa’s low drive went through a sea of legs and Nicolas could only parry it into the path of Daniele Rugani for the tap-in.

Soon after, Miralem Pjanic curled a trademark free kick over the wall and in at the near post to double their advantage.

The moment everyone was waiting for came at the 64th minute. Carlo Pinsoglio made his Juventus debut and Buffon left the field wearing this jersey for the last time. He went to hug every teammate, every member of staff, waved at the crowd until he got to the bench, rested his head back and sighed with eyes close. His work at Juventus is done.

Gonzalo Higuain came on and his header looped over the bar from a smart Dybala assist, but Verona weren’t there to be sacrificial lambs.

Alessio Cerci ruined their chances of making history by becoming the first side to keep 23 clean sheets in a single Serie A season. He got in front of Rugani to redirect a low Romulo cross from the right into the far bottom corner.

Marchisio’s snapshot was beaten away and Bearzotti charged down a Mandzukic effort with his arm for a penalty. The crowd called for Lichtsteiner to take it, but his spot-kick in his final game for Juventus wasn’t quite up to scratch and parried by Nicolas.

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Juventus: Buffon (Pinsoglio 64); Lichtsteiner, Barzagli, Rugani, Alex Sandro; Marchisio, Pjanic, Sturaro (Bentancur 44); Dybala, Mandzukic, Douglas Costa (Higuain 66)
: Nicolas; Romulo, Caracciolo (Bearzotti 46), Ferrari, Souprayen; Aarons (Zuculini 62), Fossati, Danzi, Fares; Matos (Petkovic 80), Cerci
Ref: Pinzani

Saved penalty: Lichtsteiner 84 (J)