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13 Jan 2013

Bianconeri held at the Tardini

Juventus pegged back in the closing stages after taking a second-half lead through Pirlo's free-kick

Following the energy-sapping extra-time triumph against Milan in midweek, Antonio Conte’s men were unable to hang on to their 1-0 lead at Parma. Andrea Pirlo put the visitors ahead early in the second half via a deflected free-kick before Nicola Sansone equalised after coming off the bench.

The game began with a relatively even opening period where both sides were largely limited to long range efforts. The best opportunity of the initial exchanges fell to Belfodil who worked himself into a promising position on 20 minutes after rounding a flat-footed Caceres, but he pushed his shot wide of the post. The most notable early chance for the Bianconeri was created by Quagliarella, who won the ball deep in enemy territory and laid it off to Pogba who attempted a curling effort which flashed just wide of the top corner.

The game sparked into life in the latter stages of the first half, with Juventus in particular threatening to break the deadlock. Quagliarella had a couple of efforts from distance early on before he found himself in the opposition box one-on-one with Mirante who did well to rush quickly and narrow the angle. The Parma shot-stopper also thwarted an effort from Lichtsteiner after he latched onto a low cross from Giovinco.

Parma were also looking dangerous through Valdes and Belfodil, who gave Caceres plenty to think about on Juve’s left side of defence. A strong counter-attack saw a shot from Belfodil blocked by some good last-ditch defending with Buffon looking beaten.

Pirlo reclaimed his starting role in the middle of the park and resumed free kick duties in place of his deputy Giovinco. In the first half, the Italian international saw a venomous curler heading for the top corner only to be denied by the outstretched hand of Mirante. However with 51 minutes on the clock, Pirlo made amends by netting for the fifth time from set plays in this campaign, slamming home a free-kick with the aid of a deflection.

Space began to open up for the Bianconeri as Parma pressed for the equaliser. Conte’s men, however, failed to take advantage and were duly punished in the 77th minute. After capitalising on a moment's hesitation in midfield, Paletta threaded a pass into the path of substitute Sansone who slotted his shot past Buffon and into the bottom corner to put Donadoni’s side back on terms.

Juventus threw caution to the wind in an attempt to restore their advantage in the dying stages but were unable to find the winner.

The away draw, coupled with Lazio’s 2-0 home victory over Atalanta, cuts the Bianconeri’s lead at the top of the table to three points.


GOALS: Pirlo 52, Sansone 78

Mirante; Santacroce, Paletta, Zaccardo, Gobbi; Marchionni (Acquah 82), Valdes, Parolo; Biabiany, Amauri (Sansone 69), Belfodil.
Substitutes not used: Pavarini, De Angelis, Rosi, Fideleff, Morrone, Musacci, Ninis, Palladino, Pabon.
Manager: Donadoni

Buffon; Barzagli, Bonucci, Caceres; Lichtsteiner, Vidal, Pirlo, Pogba, Padoin (De Ceglie 65); Giovinco, Quagliarella (Vucinic 69).
Substitutes not used: Storari, Branescu, Marrone, Peluso, Isla, Giaccherini, Beltrame, Matri.
Manager: Conte

ASSISTANTS: Tonolini, Di Liberatore

BOOKINGS: Padoin 24, Paletta 45, Acquah 90+3