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22 Sep 2012

Quagliarella double downs Chievo

The Bianconeri frontman follows up his midweek Champions League exploits with a second-half brace to see off the Gialloblu at Juventus Stadium

A second-half brace from Fabio Quagliarella was enough to maintain the Bianconeri’s 100 per cent start to the championship season and halt a winless run against Chievo stretching back to 2009.

The visitors have represented somewhat of a bogey side for Juventus in recent times and it appeared history was set to repeat itself as Sorrentino’s heroics between the sticks kept the hosts at bay for 64 minutes. But Wednesday’s goal hero Quagliarella hit a quick fire double to see off the Gialloblu and bag Antonio Conte’s men their fourth straight Serie A victory.

Five changes were made from the side that clinched a 2-2 draw against Chelsea in midweek. Lucio, Isla and Pogba made their Serie A debuts in the black and white stripes at the expense of Barzagli, Lichtsteiner and Pirlo, while Giaccherini and Quagliarella were handed starting roles in place of Vidal and Giovinco.

The Bianconeri began the better of the two sides and fashioned their first goalscoring chance inside the opening four minutes when Marchisio darted down the right hand side and clipped in a cross for Quagliarella. The frontman managed to hit the target with a well-placed header but found Sorrentino right behind it.

Moments later, Quagliarella had his second opportunity to break the deadlock and was unfortunate to see Sorrentino pull off a fine one-handed save after latching on to Giaccherini’s clever through ball and striking a first time left-footed shot on goal.

With the Gialloblu retreating further inside their own half, Vucinic decided to take matters into his own hands and embark on a fine solo run towards goal. After bursting forward and leaving several Chievo bodies trailing in his wake, the Montenegrin almost caught the Gialloblu number one unawares with a delicately chipped effort that sailed just wide of the upright.

The Montenegrin then thought he had put the Bianconeri in front when he tapped Isla’s cross home from close range on 26 minutes. However, the linesman was quick to rule his effort out for offside.

Two minutes later, Sorrentino’s fingertips were stung once again. This time it was Giaccherini who connected with Asamoah’s inviting cross, only to see the goalkeeper fling himself to the ground to make a spectacular stop.

Juventus upped the pressure in the second half and it seemed to be only a matter of time before they found the opener their enterprising play richly deserved.

But they could be forgiven for thinking it was going to be one of those nights after Sorrentino pulled off yet another superb save on 62 minutes, miraculously clawing Chiellini’s header away from goal when it seemed the ball was odds on to cross the line.

However, with substitute Vidal providing added vitality in midfield, the Bianconeri finally edged their noses in front two minutes later. Quagliarella executed a fine acrobatic effort to divert a corner towards goal and, despite managing to get a hand to it, the sheer power of the strike made it impossible for Sorrentino to prevent the ball from wriggling over the line.

Having finally breached the stubborn visitors rearguard, Juventus gained even greater control of the game and doubled their tally shortly afterwards. Asamoah played the ball square for Quagliarella who strolled past the challenge of Dainelli before finding the corner with a neatly-placed finish.  

The two-goal frontman was handed the standing ovation his performance merited when he made way for Bendtner to make his debut with just over ten minutes remaining.

In truth, the visitors failed to seriously trouble Buffon throughout the 90 minutes, and Juve saw out the remainder of the encounter by stroking the ball around comfortably.

Conte will be more than satisfied after his vastly changed starting line-up gelled instantly to put Chievo to the sword – with the likes of Lucio and Pogba staking their claim for a role in Tuesday’s away clash against Fiorentina.


GOALS: Quagliarella 64, Quagliarella 69

Buffon; Lucio, Bonucci, Chiellini; Isla (Vidal 52), Marchisio (Lichtsteiner 73), Pogba, Giaccherini, Asamoah; Vucinic, Quagliarella (Bendtner 80).
Substitutes not used: Storari, Rubinho, Barzagli, Caceres, Marrone, De Ceglie, Pirlo, Matri, Giovinco.
Coach: Carrera

Sorrentino; Frey, Dainelli (Sardo 73), Cesar, Jokic; Vacek, Hetemaj (Cruzado 62), L. Rigoni; M.Rigoni, Thereau (Moscardelli 70); Pellissier.
Substitutes not used: Puggioni, Andreolli, Viotti, Cofie, Papp, Guana, Samassa, Stoian, Di Michele
Coach: Di Carlo

ASSISTANTS: Altomare, Nicoletti