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31 Oct 2012

Pogba conjures up more last-gasp magic

Juventus go four points clear at the top after the French midfielder sees off Bologna with an added-time winner. 2-1 the final score in Turin

Paul Pogba popped up with another sensational late winner to snatch all three points from a hard-fought encounter against Serie A strugglers Bologna.

After toiling to create clear cut chances throughout a fractious first half, the Bianconeri found a way through ten minutes into the restart when Quagliarella capped off a flowing move by tapping home from close range.

Taider threatened to scupper the hosts' chances of emerging victorious when he drilled a crisp finish past Buffon from outside the area on 71 minutes. But Pogba followed up his exploits against Napoli by finding the target in the dying stages to send the Bianconeri faithful home happy. 

For the visit of the Rossoblu, Conte opted to make five changes from Sunday’s 1-0 win in Catania. Caceres came in for Chiellini at the back, Isla replaced Lichtsteiner on the right flank, Giaccherini deputised for the suspended Vidal and Asamoah was rested in favour of De Ceglie. In attack, Bendtner kept his place following an impressive showing in Sicily, with Quagliarella given the nod as his strike partner.

Juventus started well but were forced to wait until the 15th minute before fashioning their first attempt on goal. Pogba, making his second start in the space of four days, gained space outside the area and was unfortunate to see his left-footed curling shot bounce back off the woodwork.

Quagliarella then tried his luck on goal with a low drive which was saved by Agliardi, before Bendtner stung the goalkeeper’s fingertips with a rasping strike from 35 yards.

The best chance of the first half fell to Pogba just minutes before the break. Pirlo’s inviting delivery picked out the midfielder at the back post, but he planted his header just wide of goal.

It seemed a moment of magic was required to unlock Bologna’s resilient rearguard, and the fans were treated to just that when Giaccherini headed Pogba’s sublime pass into the path of Quagliarella, who made no mistake with a tap-in on 55 minutes.

The deficit appeared to spark Bologna into life, with the visitors abandoning their defensive tactics in favour of a more positive approach. And their increased purpose was rewarded when Taider picked up a stray ball to lash an unstoppable drive past Buffon with 71 minutes played.

It looked like being another one of those nights for Juventus who fought valiantly from start to finish but often lacked the required precision in the final third to breach a well-marshalled backline.

But the hosts – bolstered by the introductions of Giovinco, Asamoah and Vucinic – continued to knock on the door and reaped the rewards with Pogba’s last-gasp header.

The win is the Bianconeri’s first home success over the Rossoblu in three years and takes Conte’s men four points clear at the summit of Serie A.

JUVENTUS 2-1 BOLOGNA

GOALS: Quagliarella 55, Taider 71, Pogba 90+2

JUVENTUS
Buffon; Caceres, Barzagli, Bonucci; Isla (Vucinic 76), Giaccherini, Pirlo, Pogba, De Ceglie; Quagliarella (Giovinco 72), Bendtner.
Substitutes not used: Storari, Rubinho, Lucio, Chiellini, Lichtsteiner, Marrone, Padoin, Pepe, Matri.
Coach: Alessio

BOLOGNA
Agliardi, Motta (Pulzetti 66), Sorensen, Antonsson,  Cherubin, Morleo; Kone, Pazienza (Krhin 66), Taider; Gabbiadini (Paponi 89), Gilardino.
Substitutes not used: Stojanovic, Lombardi, De Carvalho, Radakovic, Garics, Abero, Guarente,  Riverola, Pasquato.
Coach: Pioli

REFEREE: Romeo
ASSISTANTS: Barbirati, Padovan
FOURTH OFFICIAL: Viazzi

BOOKINGS: Pazienza 9, Pirlo 47, Motta 61, Pulzetti 83