SERIE A MATCH REPORT

Serie A Week 1 - 25 Aug 2012 (19.45 UK)
Juventus 2 - 0 Parma
Lichtsteiner 55 (J), Pirlo 58 (J)
Juventus Stadium

Juventus started the season with a controversial win over Parma, as Arturo Vidal’s penalty was saved and Andrea Pirlo’s goal might not have been over the line.

The reigning champions began their campaign the same way as in 2011-12, by welcoming Parma to Turin. This time Sebastian Giovinco was playing for the home side and partnered Mirko Vucinic. Gigi Buffon, Simone Pepe, Lucio, Mauricio Isla and Martin Caceres were injured, so Luca Marrone went into central defence.

Parma had Daniele Galloppa suspended, Amauri, Nicola Sansone, Raffaele Palladino and Fabiano Santacroce sidelined, so Jonathan Biabiany went into attack with debutant Dorlan Pabon. There were fears kick-off could be delayed after a thunderstorm hit 40 minutes before kick-off, but the pitch was drained in time.

Giovinco didn’t have a good start against his former teammates, as he was booked for simulation early on. An Andrea Pirlo free kick was nodded on to the roof of the net by Vucinic. At full stretch the Montenegrin also just failed to get on the end of a Pirlo pass across the face of goal.

On 33 minutes Stephan Lichtsteiner ran on to a ricochet and Antonio Mirante rushed off his line to close him down, but the goalkeeper caught his shin for a penalty. The Swiss wing-back was clearly offside in the lead-up, though. Arturo Vidal stepped up and fired a weak spot-kick straight at Mirante!

Vucinic’s angled drive was somewhere between cross and shot, while Giovinco’s effort was too timid to trouble Mirante.

Straight after the restart Kwadwo Asamoah’s shot took a crucial deflection in front of goal, then the former Udinese man rolled a pass across to the back post where Vidal sliding in just failed to get the final touch.

Vucinic sprung the offside trap on a smart Vidal pass with the outside of the boot, but hesitated and fired straight at Mirante when Claudio Marchisio was clear. From the resulting corner, Marchisio’s volley was charged down.

The pressure was building and Juventus broke through when Asamoa skipped past Aleandro Rosi down the left and rolled across for Lichtsteiner to tap in from five yards, sneaking in between the Parma defenders.

Alessandro Lucarelli was booked for a body-check on Vidal. From that fierce Pirlo free kick, Mirante blocked it with some difficulty, but according to the official behind the goal it was already over the line. Video replays are inconclusive, but Juventus were awarded the second goal.

Parma substitute Sotiris Ninis fell in the box, but the referees did not consider the shove to be enough for a penalty. Moments later Biabiany ran on to a Ninis through ball and forced a save out of Marco Storari.

Giovinco hit the side-netting, but Parma had a great chance on the counter with Biabiany pulling back from the by-line for Ishak Belfodil’s deflected finish inches past the near post.

Another crucial Leonardo Bonucci sliding challenge managed to block a Jaime Valdes shot in the box. Greek international Sotiris Ninis unleashed a rocket from distance that Storari pushed out for a corner.

There were concerns in the final five minutes when Giovinco was stretchered off with an ankle injury.

Storari needed a double save on Ninis from distance and the follow-up at the near post by Massimo Gobbi.


Juventus: Storari; Barzagli, Marrone, Bonucci; Lichtsteiner (Padoin 78), Vidal, Pirlo, Marchisio, Asamoah; Giovinco (De Ceglie 86), Vucinic (Matri 79)
Parma: Mirante; Zaccardo, Paletta, Lucarelli; Rosi (Pelle 80), Acquah (Ninis 58), Valdes, Parolo, Gobbi; Pabon (Belfodil 58), Biabiany
Ref: Romeo

Saved penalty: Vidal 34 (J)