Juventus
    Juventus
      21.06.2015 15:44 - in: The team S

      Two fundamental games!

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      The Bianconeri recommence their Champions League journey with a last 16 tie against Borussia Dortmund while also facing Roma in a potential Serie A title decider

      Back in late February, Juventus were about to embark on matches against Borussia Dortmund and Roma, signalling a potentially pivotal week in their 2014/15 season.

      After navigating a safe passage through to the knockout phase of the Champions League, the Bianconeri were handed a last 16 tie versus the German outfit, an opponent they had previously locked horns with on seven occasions.

      The first leg, which was held at Juventus Stadium, saw the hosts begin brightly as they took the lead on 13 minutes through Carlos Tevez.

      Alvaro Morata’s initial driven effort had been parried into the danger area by Roman Weidenfeller, with the Argentinean forward subsequently first on the scene to sweep the ball into an empty net.

      Jurgen Klopp’s Borussia Dortmund were level just five minutes later however, Marco Reus curling the ball past Gigi Buffon after he had stolen the ball from Giorgio Chiellini around 25 yards out.

      And the scoring didn’t stop there as the Old Lady regained the advantage courtesy of the ever impressive Morata, who was on hand to connect with Paul Pogba’s left-wing cross and guide the ball home.

      Chances came and went for both sides in an entertaining second half, Roberto Pereyra having the pick of the bunch four minutes from time, but the Argentine dragged his left-footed strike agonisingly past the post after being sent clear by Morata.

      In spite of failing to build on their advantage, the maturity and determination displayed by Massimiliano Allegri’s men throughout the encounter showed that they once again could contend with Europe’s elite.

      But before the Bianconeri could think about heading to the Westfalenstadion to finish the job they had started, attentions turned to Serie A as they prepared to renew hostilities with Roma in a potential title decider at the Stadio Olimpico in March.

      With a nine-point gap separating the two at the start of play, Rudi Garcia’s men needed a victory to keep the Scudetto race alive as the season edged towards its climax.

      The clash itself was always bound to be a tightly-contested affair, with both teams looking to come out on top in the midfield battle during the opening stages.

      And with the scores still goalless at the break, a moment of second-half magic seemed vital to break the deadlock. Step forward Tevez to provide that sparkle on 64 minutes.

      After Vasilis Torosidis had been sent off for upending Arturo Vidal on the edge of the box, L’Apache bent an excellent 25-yard free kick over the wall and into the back of the net that left Morgan De Sanctis motionless.

      Fourteen minutes later, however, the hosts equalised. Substitute Alessandro Florenzi whipped a venomous set-piece towards the back post where an unmarked Seydou Keita nodded past Buffon to make it 1-1.

      Buoyed by their way back into the contest, Roma pushed for a winner but came up against a strong Bianconeri backline which continued to repel wave after wave of attacks.

      When Daniele Orsato’s final whistle brought an end to proceedings, there were smiles all around the Juventus camp as they maintained their nine-point advantage at the summit of Serie A with 13 games to play. A fourth consecutive Scudetto was edging ever closer.

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