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17 Nov 2012

Juve held to goalless stalemate

The Bianconeri kept at bay by the woodwork and Marchetti’s heroics between the posts on a frustrating night in Turin. Honours even against Lazio

A combination of the woodwork and heroics from Lazio goalkeeper Marchetti held the Bianconeri to a goalless stalemate on a cold autumn evening at Juventus Stadium.

After a first half characterised by plenty of endeavour but little end product, Juventus came out all guns blazing after the break and should have clinched the victory their increased efforts merited.

On the hour mark, Vidal saw his long-range drive, deflected goalwards by Quagliarella, kept out by Marchetti’s magnificent instinctive one-handed stop. And Bonucci was next to rue his luck ten minutes later after rattling the crossbar following Barzagli’s fine near post flick-on.

Conte made just one change from last weekend’s 6-1 demolition of Pescara. Pogba replaced the suspended Pirlo at the heart of midfield, with Giovinco continuing to partner hat-trick hero Quagliarella in attack after Vucinic was struck down by flu on Friday night.

The Bianconeri began with plenty of poise and aggression but had to wait until 19 minutes before carving out their first clear-cut goalscoring opportunity.

After receiving the ball in an advanced position from Marchisio, Giovinco swiveled and dispatched a neat strike which forced Marchetti into a diving save. Quagliarella was quick off the mark to sweep in the rebound, but thrashed his shot into the side netting.  

The ‘Atomic Ant’ represented the Bianconeri’s most promising goalscoring threat throughout a lively first period and went close to finding the target on two further occasions.

Having displayed a deft touch to get Isla’s cross under control, Giovinco then dragged a first-time effort marginally wide of Marchetti’s far post on the half-hour mark.

Moments later, it was more of the same from the former Parma frontman, who trapped Bonucci’s raking forward pass with a sublime piece of skill before steering his attempt just wide of Marchetti’s despairing dive.

Juventus cranked up the pressure after the break and went desperately close to breaking the deadlock when Vidal’s long-range shot was turned goalwards by Quagliarella, only for Marchetti to keep the hosts at bay with a miraculous one-handed save.

The goalkeeper continued to frustrate the hosts minutes later, diving bravely at the feet of Marchisio  to prevent the midfielder from steering Isla’s cross goalwards.

With less than twenty minutes remaining, Juventus almost found that elusive breakthrough when Bonucci connected with Barzagli’s near post flick-on after timing his run to perfection. The defender, however, was left holding his head in his hands as the ball rebounded cruelly off the crossbar.     

The draw sees the Bianconeri extend their lead over Inter to five points, with the Nerazzurri in action against Cagliari tomorrow afternoon.

JUVENTUS 0-0 LAZIO

JUVENTUS

Buffon; Barzagli, Bonucci, Chiellini; Isla (Pepe 70), Vidal, Pogba (Bendtner 84), Marchisio, Asamoah; Giovinco, Quagliarella (Matri 66)

Substitutes not used: Storari, Rubinho, Lucio, Caceres, Marrone, De Ceglie, Lichtsteiner, Padoin, Giaccherini

Coach: Alessio

LAZIO

Marchetti; Konko, Biava, Dias (Ciani 20), Radu; Gonzales, Brocchi (Ederson 57), Ledesma, Hernanes, Candreva; Klose (Kozak 81).

Substitutes not used: Bizzarri, Carrizo, Cana, Cavanda, Stankevicius, Onazi, Zarate, Floccari, Rocchi.

Coach: Petkovic

REFEREE: Orsato

ASSISTANTS: Faverani, Stefani

FOURTH OFFICIAL: Padovan

BOOKED: Bonucci 48, Marchetti 52, Vidal 90 +5