Claudio Marchisio left it late to snatch a 2-1 Juventus victory at Siena after a few scares.
Antonio Conte was in the stands and given a warm welcome by his former club, who he took to promotion from Serie B before quitting to follow his Juventus dream. This week the Coach saw his 10-month ban reduced to four on appeal, a suspension awarded due to the same betting investigation that cost Siena a six-point penalty.
Leonardo Bonucci was suspended and Simone Pepe still injured, while the home side missed Gaetano D’Agostino and Matteo Contini. Luca Marrone stepped into the Juve defence, but despite expectations there was no first start for Nicklas Bendtner.
Alessandro Rosina had a great start after two minutes, but scuffed his finish straight at Gigi Buffon.
Juventus took the lead on 14 minutes with an Andrea Pirlo free kick. Sebastian Giovinco was brought down on the edge of the box and Pirlo kept his free kick daisy-cutter low to go under the jumping wall, surprising Gianluca Pegolo at the near post.
Siena should’ve equalised on 22 minutes when Emanuele Calaio exchanged passes with Ze Eduardo, but the Italian pulled his angled drive wide from a very promising position.
Giorgio Chiellini risked a second yellow card on the half-hour, but was given a warning. Mirko Vucinic toe-poked into the arms of Pegolo and Giovinco blasted over.
Pirlo nearly got a second from one of his trademark free kicks, this time curling over the wall to smack against the crossbar.
Pegolo flew to push a Claudio Marchisio screamer out of the far top corner with his trailing hand. Serse Cosmi was sent off from the touchline for dissent, but refused to leave and it took some time to convince the fiery Siena Coach. The red card meant both Cosmi and Conte watched the second half in the stands.
In first half stoppages Siena got their equaliser to drive the Stadio Franchi crowd wild. Angelo surged forward down the right and crossed for Calaio’s cushioned header at the back post to beat Buffon.
Kwadwo Asamoah replaced ex-Siena winger Paolo De Ceglie for the second half and Neto needed a goalline clearance to keep out Giovinco’s shot, which Pegolo had got his hand to. Buffon had to fingertip a wayward Chiellini header out from under the bar to prevent an own goal.
A Mirko Vucinic angled drive skimmed the far post, then Giovinco sprung the offside trap and dribbled round the goalkeeper, but went too wide and his assist to Arturo Vidal was cleared by Cristian Del Grosso.
Pegolo needed a great save to deny Vidal’s angled drive on the half-volley at the near post, practically from the by-line.
Siena wasted a double opportunity to take the lead on 78 minutes, as first Calaio and then Rosina only glanced headers wide when undisturbed in the six-yard box.
Juve laid siege to the Siena box and eventually broke through five minutes from time. Rodriguez cleared a corner to the edge of the box, where Marchisio thumped a scorching volley that left Pegolo rooted to the spot.