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Thursday March 27 2014
Streaks were made to be broken

It was one for the statistician’s as in-form pair Juventus and Parma clashed in Turin, considers Luca Cetta in Week 30’s wrap.

The irresistible force meeting the immoveable object. That’s what greeted the Juventus Stadium crowd in the showpiece Round 30 encounter on Wednesday. In one corner was a Bianconeri outfit which had not dropped any points at home this season and won six successive games. In the other was Roberto Donadoni’s Parma. The last time they walked off the pitch defeated was in November, when Juve were in town. A club record 17 matches unbeaten later, the two would meet again.

Carlos Tevez did his best to keep Juve’s streak afloat with a deadly seven-minute salvo. The Argentine held off countryman-turned-Italian-international Gabriel Paletta, before firing across Antonio Mirante’s goal. And when Arturo Vidal’s shot was saved by the former Juve custodian in the 32nd minute, El Apache was there to turn in the rebound.

Two of Parma’s five ex-Juventini took centre stage after the interval. Firstly, Cristian Molinaro shocked the home crowd with a sweetly struck volley just past the hour mark. A stunned stadium was left wondering whether this really was the same Molinaro who once wore the Bianconeri shirt. In truth, Molinaro may well have finished with a hat-trick. Amauri was next to hit the headlines when his elbow connected with Giorgio Chiellini. A red card followed, and with it Parma’s hopes looked extinguished.

A man down, the Gialloblu gave Juve a mighty scare. The aforementioned Molinaro came agonisingly close as the clock ticked away, with Ezequiel Schelotto unable to prod home the loose ball metres from goal. Parma’s run may have ended, but Donadoni can rightly be proud of his team. Europe remains a possibility.

Antonio Conte acknowledged they passed a stern test: “This was a wonderful, important victory against a team that was unbeaten in 17 rounds and they showed their strength again this evening. You don’t put up a run like that if you don’t have quality.”

The win means Juve surpass the mark set in 1975-76 by cross-town rivals Torino, recording their 15th consecutive home victory this season. They remain on course for a 100-point season. Meanwhile, Tevez reclaimed top spot in the Capocannoniere race. The double takes him to 18 goals, one-upping Toro’s Ciro Immobile.

The pair clashed in the Derby della Mole and this week traded scoring blows. It was a case of ‘anything you can do, I can do better’. After his weekend triple Immobile roared into contention, before Tevez responded in Catania. On Tuesday, the Italian netted a Marco Van Basten-esque volley against Roma, only for Tevez to wrest top spot away 24 hours later.

One interested onlooker at the Stadio Olimpico was Azzurri boss Cesare Prandelli - Immobile’s goal will give him something to think about. Other’s hoping to impress the CT and stake their claim for a place in Brazil did their chances no harm. Mattia Destro grabbed his ninth goal of an injury-hit campaign, while Alessandro Florenzi secured a last-minute winner beneath the Curva Sud.

“Last night I saw some youngsters who finally dared to dream and this bodes well for the future,” commented Prandelli on Wednesday.

For Torino, it was another heartbreaking loss. They suffered the same fate against Napoli recently and have won just once in six matches. The door to Europe has been firmly shut.

Another to see continental aspirations vanish is Verona. Andrea Mandorlini’s Gialloblu fell to a fourth successive defeat away at Cagliari, hot on the heels of Sunday’s drubbing against Sampdoria. Worryingly, Hellas have not netted in five games. The three points aid Cagliari’s hopes of survival.

The race for third took another twist, with the Champions League train seemingly headed for Naples. The Partenopei could afford to take their foot off the pedal after blitzing Catania in the opening 45 minutes, netting four times - Duvan Zapata bookending the scoring as Henrique hit a screamer. The Elefanti clawed two back, but Serie B is on cards if they cannot return to the winners list.

Having been knocked from pillar to post over the past month, Milan recorded a much-needed – and surprise – victory at Fiorentina. The Viola had hoped to build on Sunday’s win over Napoli and further reduce the gap. Instead, Philippe Mexes and Mario Balotelli sealed Milan’s first win since February 23 and with it, may have saved Clarence Seedorf’s job. His ‘two game ultimatum’ has resulted in four points. Will that be enough to appease the Rossoneri top brass?

Chievo recorded a decisive win over fellow relegation candidate Bologna, as Atalanta continued their purple patch against Livorno. The sum of those results sees the Flying Donkeys and Amaranti trade places. Livorno now occupy the final relegation spot.

Meanwhile, it was a good night for both Genoa clubs. The Rossoblu downed Lazio, with Alberto Gilardino another to give his World Cup dream a shot in the arm. Sampdoria moved into the top half after a battling win at Sassuolo. Consecutive losses leaves the Neroverdi five points from safety.

The midweek action continues tonight, with Inter looking to atone for Sunday’s upset loss. President Erick Thohir has flown in from Indonesia to watch their contest with Udinese.

Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's tipster competition - £5,000 monthly.

Have your say...
What is it with the Juventus being helped, it has become a tired old excuse for other teams, fans, managers to justify their defeats, Juve got punished for their hand in calcopoli, those days are gone, they suffered, they worked hard and now they are back, succeeding in a league that lacks the quality of old. But it is time to let go of the Juve get help idea, they are the more consistent team, maybe toe for toe, Napoli and roma etc are just as good, but not with the consistency.
on the 28th March, 2014 at 4:59pm
@Interista

I wonder why Statutory of limitations existed ... now we have criminal club who'll never get punished, fake titles and yet fans acting like a saint ... INcheaTER MILAN !!!

Anyway karma is a *****! hahahahahahahaha
on the 27th March, 2014 at 8:44pm
Oh he's back again and no doubt the medication has worn off!

As a Napoli fan I have to say I'm dreading the game against Juve. They are by far in a league of their own in Serie A.

But then some of you with little intelligence (and with the help of medication) may think different.
on the 27th March, 2014 at 8:23pm
i can't take my eyes off serie a. such a damn intersting league. heard bradley after leaving roma is ripping up mls. no wonder tevez wanted to play in italy. nowhere, is the level of competition as fierce.
on the 27th March, 2014 at 7:31pm
Maldini's Heir, also think if Balotelli was at Juve the difference he would be with guidance of Conte. While Prandelli is doing wonders with Italy I think Italy would win a world cup or euors with Conte as manager.
on the 27th March, 2014 at 4:43pm
Trapattoni..Juventus this year have been incredibly consistent but, in terms of the quality of their play, they are not 20 points better than Napoli.

Is his guy on planet earth? yes trap they are 20 points better lol guy going mental. I bet he thinks Italy weren't much better than Ireland
on the 27th March, 2014 at 4:40pm
Yes, we finally have a super Coach that we can be proud of. I cried for Lippi's days, only to live to see Conte's Juve. I hope he remains as long as possible. If he for any chance were to leave, I would love to see him taking over the Azzurri.
on the 27th March, 2014 at 4:25pm
Juve are having it easy, Napoli Inter Fiorentina and Roma are teams either close to their own level or are reaching for it. Juventus will struggle from next season on. Roma, Napoli and Fiorentina will be there next year and the old lady is prone to crack under pressure. Away from italy, the struggle to beat a mid table danish team. Reality checks are always useful for Juve IMO. Conte has done well, but he is doubt when it comes to Europe.
on the 27th March, 2014 at 3:55pm
The referees sure are extending their streak of helping Rubentus.
on the 27th March, 2014 at 3:10pm
maldini's heir

Tevez has always been class. Factor in players that come from other leagues, where the football is actually competitive, and come to italy, wich is not competitive are obviously going to be a big fish in a small pond.

Consider also that tevez was not the main guy in man city and also was kicked out of the team by mancini.

Conte hasnt exactly made the other strikers class has he? Just tevez. That was why we signed him.
on the 27th March, 2014 at 2:37pm
@Maldini,

I think it's a variety of things that make Juve so strong. Conte is a great coach but they have champion players. I'm sure Juve would be first with most coaches at the helm. It's not 100% Conte. I sometimes hear Juve fans voice their displeasure with him. Juve are a superior team in a not very strong Serie A. That's not a knock on them. I still say the Juve of the mid 90s was a true powerhouse. Serie A was much stronger then. I believe this I causing a lack of success in CL.
on the 27th March, 2014 at 2:29pm
Quite simply this is down to Conte in my view. He's not just getting the best of his players he's surpassing all expectations. Personally I believe this group of players with a different manager might win the league but there's no way they'd dominate the way they are. Tevez scored a total of 15 goals in 41 league appearances in his last 2 seasons at Man City and look at him now. The difference is if he had signed for Milan he'd probably have struggled and we'd be talking about how he was a waste
on the 27th March, 2014 at 11:45am

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