SERIE A MATCH REPORT

Serie A Week 3 - 14 Sep 2019 (14.00 UK)
Fiorentina 0 - 0 Juventus
Stadio Artemio Franchi

Fiorentina had the best chances with Federico Chiesa and Franck Ribery, but Juventus clung on for a point despite losing three players to injury.

The Viola had been without a single point so far this season and winless in 16 Serie A rounds, so switched from 4-3-3 to 3-5-2 with Franck Ribery and Martin Caceres making their first starts. Juve missed Mattia De Sciglio, Giorgio Chiellini and Marko Pjaca, with Blaise Matuidi and Gonzalo Higuain again picked.

It was a special occasion, as Coach Maurizio Sarri sat on the Bianconeri bench for the first time after missing the opening two wins with pneumonia. He did it just a stone’s throw away from his hometown.

There was a disastrous start for Juve, because Douglas Costa immediately pulled up with a right hamstring problem and made way for ex-Fiorentina man Federico Bernardeschi.

Wojciech Szczesny ran two massive risks in a couple of minutes, first his clearance ricocheting off Federico Chiesa to bounce back over the bar, then the goalkeeper had to chase down Ribery and make a clean tackle after a terrible Matthijs de Ligt back-pass.

Ribery tested Szczesny at the near post on a Chiesa knockback and Blaise Matuidi stung Bartlomiej Dragowski’s gloves, as the Fiorentina high press caused problems.

Chiesa mistimed his intervention on a Castrovilli pull-back and German Pezzella turned over, while another of the Italian winger’s shots was smothered.

Dalbert mistimed what should’ve been a free header on Ribery’s floated cross, allowing Szczesny a save at the back post.

There were more problems for Juventus, as before the break Miralem Pjanic limped off with a right thigh issue to make way for Rodrigo Bentancur.

Szczesny was again called into action on a Dalbert low cross-shot, Castrovilli scuffed Chiesa’s pull-back from 12 yards and Dalbert saw a shot charged down.

Ribery secured icon status from the Stadio Franchi crowd, as he sprinted back to stop Cristiano Ronaldo’s counter-attack with a perfectly-timed tackle.

Sarri’s problems intensified with Danilo getting cramp, so Juan Cuadrado was used as a make-shift right-back. Fiorentina kept piling on the pressure, Chiesa’s finish deflected over the bar.

Ribery worked his socks off and was given a standing ovation as he made way for Kevin-Prince Boateng. Juve almost scored against the run of play, Sami Khedira’s roll across for Ronaldo intercepted by German Pezzella, but it remained largely a Fiorentina-dominated performance with Milenkovic nodding a corner straight at Szczesny.

Ronaldo’s audacious bicycle-kick was over the bar and Boateng volleyed off target, as it ended goalless.

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Fiorentina: Dragowski; Milenkovic, Pezzella (Ceccherini 83), Caceres; Lirola, Castrovilli (Zurkowski 89), Pulgar, Badelj, Dalbert; Chiesa, Ribery (Boateng 68)
Juventus: Szczesny; Danilo (Cuadrado 61), De Ligt, Bonucci, Alex Sandro; Khedira, Pjanic (Bentancur 43), Matuidi; Douglas Costa (Bernardeschi 7), Higuain, Ronaldo
Ref: Irrati