SERIE A MATCH REPORT

Serie A Week 33 - content); ?>
Juventus 2 - 1 Fiorentina
Milenkovic 6 (F), Alex Sandro 37 (J), Pezzella og 53 (J)
Allianz Stadium

Juventus fought back from a furious Fiorentina first half performance to win 2-1 and celebrate their eighth consecutive Scudetto.

The Bianconeri were still smarting after their shock Champions League quarter-final exit at the hands of Ajax midweek. They had needed only a point last week to secure the Scudetto, but that party was postponed by a 2-1 defeat at relegation-threatened SPAL. Add a massive injury list – including Giorgio Chiellini, Paulo Dybala, Mario Mandzukic, Sami Khedira, Douglas Costa and Mattia Perin – and the mood was somewhat bleak. Fiorentina weren’t in better shape, as Vincenzo Montella’s debut after Stefano Pioli resigned was a dire 0-0 draw with Bologna.

The Viola had lost all seven Serie A games since the Juventus Stadium first opened, conceding 14 goals, so had a notoriously poor record against their old rivals.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s ferocious volley flashed across the face of goal from an Alex Sandro cross in the opening minutes.

However, Federico Chiesa pulled back from the by-line and Wojciech Szczesny was caught in a crowd in the six-yard box, including Daniele Rugani and Emre Can, allowing Nikola Milenkovic to fire in the rebound and give Fiorentina a shock lead.

It was almost 2-0 soon after, as they went on the counter three against two only for Kevin Mirallas to blast inches over the bar.

The same situation occurred again on 20 minutes, this time Leonardo Bonucci made a decisive interception as Giovanni Simeone had rolled across for what would’ve been a Chiesa tap-in.

Juve countered from that corner and Federico Bernardeschi’s low drive was deflected to skim the near post, but Fiorentina again threatened, as Simeone had wandered offside when he tapped in the roll across from Mirallas.

Jeers started to rain down from the stands, as Chiesa was clear on goal from a Marco Benassi through ball when his first touch let him down.

Ronaldo and Miralem Pjanic had hopeful but central efforts from distance straight at Alban Lafont, but the Viola could easily have been 4-0 up by half-time.

Mirallas got down the right, pulled back for Chiesa’s right-foot curler to thump the upright from the edge of the box.

Instead, Juve did equalise from a set play. Pjanic’s corner found Alex Sandro for a stooping header at the near post, surprising Lafont from six yards.

Chiesa rattled the frame of the goal again before half-time, his rocket bouncing off the underside of the bar and back out again with Szczesny stranded.

Juventus were a little more settled after the break and took the lead with a stroke of luck. Ronaldo burst down the right, pulled back from the by-line for Bernardeschi, but German Pezzella got there first to accidentally prod past his own goalkeeper at the near post.

Simeone’s roll across for Chiesa was intercepted by some desperate Joao Cancelo defending, but at the other end Ronaldo’s effort was charged down by Milenkovic and Ceccherini flung himself at the Juan Cuadrado follow-up.

Lafont flew to fingertip a Pjanic scorcher over the bar and, with an eye on the upcoming Coppa Italia semi-final with Atalanta, Vincenzo Montella subbed Chiesa for Luis Muriel.

Nonetheless, in the final minutes Szczesny had to perform a crucial save when one-on-one with Bryan Dabo.

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Juventus: Szczesny; Cancelo, Bonucci, Rugani, Alex Sandro; Emre Can, Pjanic (Bentancur 65), Matuidi; Cuadrado (De Sciglio 86), Ronaldo, Bernardeschi (Kean 74)
Fiorentina: Lafont; Milenkovic, Ceccherini, Pezzella, Hancko; Benassi (Gerson 72), Veretout, Dabo; Mirallas (Edimilson Fernandes 80), Simeone, Chiesa (Muriel 65)
Ref: Pasqua