SERIE A MATCH REPORT

Serie A Week 14 - 22 Dec 2020 (19.45 UK)
Juventus 0 - 3 Fiorentina
Vlahovic 3 (F), Alex Sandro og 76 (F), Caceres 81 (F)
Allianz Stadium

The day started badly for Juventus and got progressively worse, as they lost their unbeaten record, falling 3-0 at home to Fiorentina with Juan Cuadrado sent off.

Watch the highlights here

The Bianconeri missed Giorgio Chiellini, Merih Demiral and Arthur Melo, while Adrien Rabiot sat out a last-minute suspension after Napoli won their appeal against the decision to award Juve a 3-0 victory on October 4. That Week 3 fixture will now be played in January, so Juve went from 27 points to 24 with a game in hand. The Viola were in crisis, although back-to-back 1-1 draws had stopped the rot under Cesare Prandelli.

It was the perfect start for Fiorentina, as Franck Ribery’s through ball sent Dusan Vlahovic running, he out-sprinted Matthijs de Ligt and kept his cool to dink the finish over on-rushing Wojciech Szczesny. It was Vlahovic’s third goal in as many games, but also the first Viola goal from open play since December 7 against Genoa.

There were several other dangerous Fiorentina counter-attacks, including one that saw Vlahovic catch Leonardo Bonucci napping only to then misplace the pass.

It went from bad to worse for Juventus, as Juan Cuadrado went in very late and extremely high, studs-up on Gaetano Castrovilli’s shin. The referee booked him, but after viewing again on VAR, the decision was inevitable for a straight red, the fifth dismissal Juve had in Serie A this season.

Bonucci gave it away cheaply again, so Castrovilli forced a fingertip save from Szczesny at the near bottom corner. Cristiano Ronaldo turned Nikola Milenkovic inside out only to then hit the side-netting, then failed to make the most of a poor Milenkovic back-pass and also stung Bartlomiej Dragowski’s gloves from distance.

Another ex-Fiorentina player, Federico Bernardeschi, was introduced in place of Alvaro Morata for the second half. Cristiano Ronaldo’s diving header found the back of the net, but he was flagged offside.

Ronaldo also went down in the box under a Castrovilli challenge, but the referee waved play on and VAR did not intervene.

Chiesa stung Dragowski’s gloves at the near post, as Juventus increasingly took the initiative despite being down to 10 men. However, they shot themselves in the foot yet again with a comical own goal.

Biraghi’s cross from the left for Christian Kouame at the back post found Bonucci for a fresh-air clearance, so the ball instead bounced off Alex Sandro and into the net to double Fiorentina’s lead.

Moments later, Juventus had penalty appeals rejected when Dragowski spilled the ball, Bernardeschi tried to pounce and went down in a sandwich with the goalkeeper and defender. VAR decided not to intervene and the referee was confident again that he’d seen it.

Fiorentina made it 3-0 with Ribery robbing Bonucci to spark the counter, Biraghi rolling across from the left and Martin Caceres – who had a fantastic game against his old club, both defending and attacking – met it to tap in from six yards.

It went from bad to even worse when Matthijs de Ligt limped off with a muscular problem.

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Juventus: Szczesny; Cuadrado, De Ligt (Frabotta 87), Bonucci, Alex Sandro; Chiesa, McKennie (Kulusevski 73), Bentancur, Ramsey (Danilo 19); Morata (Bernardeschi 46), Ronaldo
Fiorentina: Dragowski; Caceres, Milenkovic, Pezzella, Igor, Biraghi (Venuti 82); Amrabat, Borja Valero (Pulgar 53), Castrovilli; Ribery (Bonaventura 82), Vlahovic (Kouame 75)
Ref: La Penna

Sent off: Cuadrado 17 (J)