Paolo De Ceglie saw his goal wiped out by Boukary Dramè as Chievo pegged Juventus back to a 1-1 draw in Turin.
These results could start to tell in the Scudetto race, as Juve have now drawn 12 games – precisely double those of Milan. It is also their fourth stalemate in the last five Serie A rounds.
The Bianconeri tried to put the controversy of the last week behind them and focus on Chievo, who had never conquered Turin before. All-time top scorer Sergio Pellissier was suspended, so Alberto Paloschi and Cyril Thereau led the line. Gennaro Sardo pulled out during the warm-up, replaced by Nicolas Frey. Juve had Arturo Vidal and Simone Pepe on bans, but switched to a 4-3-3 system with Simone Padoin and Emanuele Giaccherini stepping in.
The home side almost scored after 70 seconds when Alessandro Matri sprung the offside trap from a Giaccherini pass, but his lob was beaten out for a corner. Mirko Vucinic pulled back for Giaccherini, who fell under a Luciano challenge, but the referee waved play on as contact was minimal.
Juventus did take the lead when Andrea Pirlo’s free kick was knocked on to the far post by Giorgio Chiellini, but back into the path of Paolo De Ceglie for a header from close range. There were some suspicions of offside for the full-back.
Chievo immediately had a chance to equalise, but Cyril Thereau was caught with his back to goal on Chiellini’s error and Gigi Buffon sprinted out to charge down from nine yards.
A Francesco Acerbi glancing header was off target, as was the Vucinic angled drive. Giaccherini set up another chance that Vucinic had charged down. The Montenegrin is struggling for form and wasn’t quick enough to make the most of a promising opportunity. Giaccherini lobbed a ball over the defence, but again Vucinic didn’t get much power on the header. Andrea Barzagli picked up an injury and made way for Leonardo Bonucci before half-time.
A fierce Padoin angled drive found Stefano Sorrentino at full stretch to palm off the line. Chiellini got back in time to stop Michael Bradley completing a counter-attack from Juve’s corner.
Paloschi pulled across from the right for Paolo Sammarco, who got in front of his defender only to fire just past the far top corner.
Giaccherini’s run split the Chievo defence, but his scuffed volley was wide from a long ball. Vucinic turned a corner over at the near post at the start of the second half.
Boukary Dramè risked a second yellow card for his challenge on Stephan Lichtsteiner, but the visitors went close to an equaliser. A free kick was touched on for the powerful Acerbi low strike that Buffon beat away, while the follow-up was a little too long to take advantage.
At the other end, Padoin did well to earn some space in the box, but Sorrentino stuck out a foot to parry his angled drive and some desperate Frey defending managed to clear from both Matri and Vucinic at the back post.
A crucial Bradley sliding tackle stopped Vucinic on a dangerous counter-attack. Davide Moscardelli rose at the back stick and his header only hit the side-netting from six yards.
Chievo were turning up the pressure and it paid off 15 minutes from time. Moscardelli pulled back from the by-line for Dramè who beat Buffon with an angled drive, but in his attempts to clear off the line, Bonucci only prodded it into his own net.
The momentum was with the Flying Donkeys and Moscardelli blasted over from distance. Alessandro Del Piero was Conte’s last throw of the dice and he had penalty appeals for a tug on the arm, but the contact from Perparim Hetemaj was again fairly minimal.
Del Piero exchanged smart flicked passes with Vucinic to burst into the box and he was just about closed down for a corner by Frey. From that set piece, Sorrentino was caught in no man’s land and Dramè desperately hoofed it clear.
It had turned into a siege on the Chievo box and Pirlo hit a swerving screamer from the D that Sorrentino did brilliantly to beat away in stoppages.
Chievo also tried from midfield with an audacious Thereau lob that landed on the roof of the net.
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