Thursday December 8 2011
Juve edge past Bologna

Juventus overcame an inspired performance by goalkeeper Federico Agliardi and extra time to knock Bologna out of the Coppa Italia.

After a slow start to the match, the second half of the Last 16 clash in Turin proved lively, but where Emanuele Giaccherini’s run and finish looked like being enough for Juve, Andrea Raggi’s dramatic stoppage-time equaliser forced extra-time. It was down to Marchisio’s well-taken effort in that period that decided the gruelling encounter.

Antonio Conte made nine changes to the team that started the weekend’s game with Cesena, with only Leonardo Bonucci and Andrea Barzagli in the heart of defence keeping their place. Alessandro Del Piero started just days after requiring several stitches to a head wound, supported by Fabio Quagliarella, Milos Krasic and Emanuele Giaccherini in attack.

Opposition Coach Stefano Pioli took the opportunity to experiment slightly. Robert Acquafresca was given a chance to try the lone-striker role in attack that Marco Di Vaio has been first choice for whilst Henry Gimenez was given a rare start too. Left-back Jose Angel Crespo was tested at right-back, Andrea Raggi, who played at the weekend at right was used at centre-back and centre-back Gyorgy Garics was tried as a left-back.

Del Piero, wearing a protective bandage to protect his injury, went close on nine minutes with a 35-yard free-kick that went a yard wide. The No 10 proved to be Juve’s most active player in attack in the first half and went on to provide a highlight midway through it with a clever movement of the ball to make space for a shot at goal.

In an otherwise uninspired, speculative first period, free-kicks proved to be the best opportunities for either side, but both proved wasteful from some otherwise advantageous situations. The first real chance for Bologna came from a set-piece as Daniele Vantaggiato’s 30-yard curler forced a mid-height save from Marco Storari.

Soon after this Quagliarella’s neat work down the left saw him fashion a cross to the opposite wing, but Krasic’s run had taken him over the flight of the ball, ending the move. The Serb had the ball in the net a few minutes later to finish off a quick counter-attack for Juve. However, in receiving a 20-yard cross-field ball before his side-foot finish, the winger had drifted a few yards offside.

Quagliarella then had a golden opportunity to find his 100th goal in professional football when Krasic’s through-ball took a deflection off Raggi to wrong-foot Simone Loria and find its way through to him. However, Federico Agliardi between the sticks saved well at his feet to keep the score level.

Immediately after the break Krasic had an even better chance to break the deadlock, but opting to finish a cross with his weaker left foot, he failed to even find the target from five yards out.

Krasic contributed more positively with a marauding run from the right wing across three Bologna defenders. Del Piero took over possession in the penalty area, reversing the direction of the ball and taking a quick shot that forced a save from Agliardi’s legs. Soon after, Quagliarella tested Agliardi after another faster Juve move.

Close to the hour mark, Del Piero brushed off Raggi’s attempts to win a 50-yard ball from the halfway line, bringing it down with an excellent first touch. Then turning on to his left foot to make space for the shot, the playmaker pulled his effort from 14 yards just inches wide of the opposite post. A minute later a neat one-two with Quagliarella then proved more comfortable for Agliardi to stop.

Against the run of play, Bologna almost took the lead. Vantaggiato’s clever work on the left produced a low cross that Acquafresca got a toe to. Storari was on hand to reflex and push it behind for a corner.

Del Piero forced a low save to Agliardi’s right from a 35-yard free-kick 20 minutes from time whilst a few minutes later, the veteran almost set up Giaccherini for a spectacular goal. Estigarribia’s cross was laid off by Del Piero for his diminutive teammate to bring out another save from Agliardi with a rasping half-volley from outside the area.

With 10 minutes to go, Estigarribia’s cross forced Agliardi to clear with his feet after a deflection from Loria whilst the goalkeeper was there four minutes later to deny Elia from point-blank range after the ball broke to the Dutchman after another set-piece. Meanwhile, Acquafresca stung Storari’s gloves to remind Juve of the score-line with four minutes of normal time to go.

Giaccherini’s moment of magic as the clock struck 90 looked to have proven the difference. Picking up possession 40 yards from goal, the former Cesena man rode two tired challenges before edging into the area and confidently finished past Agliardi for his first Juventus goal.

However, Raggi’s header in the sixth minute of added time pulled the visitors level. The defender was unmarked from a corner.

Extra time proved too much for the Rossoblu’s tired legs, with Juve creating several chances and ultimately settling the tie.

Juve had a penalty shout turned down, but it was soon forgotten as substitute Claudio Marchisio’s goal put the home side in front again. Elijero Elia’s clever pass from the right-hand side found the No 8 in the box for his turn to open up the space for a neat finish to the ‘keeper’s right.

A few minutes later, Del Piero thought he had secured the result with his first goal at the new stadium, but he was denied when he was correctly ruled offside. Meanwhile, the second half of extra time saw Giaccherini go close for a second goal, his effort from the edge of the D just a yard wide of the post. Giaccherini then had a volley disallowed when Del Piero, who again cushioned the ball down for his teammate, was ruled offside.

Del Piero was then involved in another good move, flicking on a long ball into space for Elia, whose chipped effort wasn’t enough to fool Agliardi. It proved to be the last notable moment in extra time as Juve eventually secured passage to the quarter-finals.

Juventus 2-1 Bologna

Scorers: Giaccherini 90 (J), Raggi 90+6 (B), Marchisio 102 (J)

Juventus: Storari; Sorensen, Barzagli, Bonucci, De Ceglie; Marrone (Marchisio 79), Pazienza; Krasic (Elia 65), Quagliarella (Estigarribia 68), Giaccherini; Del Piero

Bologna: Agliardi; Crespo, Raggi, Loria, Garics (Morleo 56); Pulzetti, Perez (Krhin 65), Taider; Gimenez (Paponi 84), Vantaggiato; Acquafresca

Ref: Peruzzo di Schio