Serie A - Juventus pegged back by Chievo

Sat, 03 Mar 21:44:00 2012

Juventus were pegged back by Chievo to draw 1-1 at home and leave Milan three points clear at the top of Serie A.

2011-12 Serie A Juventus-Chievo De Ceglie Ap/LaPresse - 0

Paolo De Ceglie's close-range header gave Juve a first-half lead but they were unable to score a second goal.

Chievo improved as an attacking force following the introduction of Davide Moscardelli and were rewarded with a 76th-minute equaliser from Boukary Drame.

Juventus maintain their incredible unbeaten in Serie A this season, but have now notched up 12 draws alongside their 13 wins - the most stalemates of any side in the league, and their fourth in five matches.

Earlier, the Rossoneri had extended their advantage thanks to a Zlatan Ibrahimovic hat-trick to win 4-0 at Palermo.

Chievo were missing Sergio Pellissier, who scored a hat-trick in Turin against Juve in 2009, through suspension. Banned for the Old Lady were Arturo Vidal and Simone Pepe.

Juve built pressure on the away goal immediately following kick-off and it finally told on 18 minutes from an Andrea Pirlo free-kick. Giorgio Chiellini flicked a header backwards from it and the ball came back off the post; this surprised keeper Stefano Sorrentino, who got a weak hand to it to give De Ceglie the chance to react with a header inside the post.

Chievo can feel aggrieved that the left-back was marginally offside from the centre-half's header.

A minute later Chievo striker Cyril Thereau received the ball into feet inside the box and turned, but before he could score Buffon had flown out to block, painfully, at his feet.

Juve threatened on a few occasions amid another raucous atmosphere inside the Juventus Arena, but it was not until the 40th minute that Sorrentino was forced into a full-length stop: Simone Padoin got the ball out of his feet and sent a low drive towards the far corner which the shot-stopper tipped around the post.

Emanuele Giaccherini should have done better before the break with a volley from a dipping ball while all alone in the box but Antonio Conte will have been fairly pleased with his side's first-half endeavours.

Senegalese left-back Drame was involved in all manner of fouls and collisions and seemed suspect at times in the second half, but despite his tendency to leave his position he gave Chievo's attacking play necessary energy.

He was fortunate to still be on the field for the equaliser: having been booked on 49 minutes for diving, referee Andrea Gervasoni took pity on him with the stands baying for blood after he clearly fouled Stephan Lichtsteiner.

Chievo's Brazilian captain-for-the-night Luciano touched a free-kick sideways for Francesco Acerbi to hammer at goal - Buffon beat the effort away - while at the other end Sorrentino saved with his legs from Padoin, who had twisted and turned to earn space for the shot.

On 63 minutes Moscardelli, who has scored four goals this season - all in the last 20 minutes of play, including one against Cesena last Sunday - came on alongside Perparim Hetemaj for Luciano and Sammarco.

Immediately the away team sought his head with balls into the area, but his first proper effort on goal was a thumping strike from way out that Buffon pushed away under pressure from prowling attackers.

He then attacked a cross from the left at the far post - his header flying just wide - before contributing to the goal.

He broke free down the right inside the box and hooked a low ball back for Drame, arriving 20 yards out. Leonardo Bonucci could only clear his low first-time strike into his own net.

Alessandro Del Piero was introduced to acclaim and blotted his copybook by diving inside the box before a brilliant one-two with Mirko Vucinic - in which the Montenegrin flicked up and hooked the ball over his own head - was denied a fitting finish by a brave block.

As five minutes of time added on began, Pirlo forced a full-length save from Sorrentino then at the other end Moscardelli turned with a throw to lob a volley from fully 40 yards over Buffon - and just over the bar.

Chievo are unbeaten in their last five meetings against Juventus in the league, with the teams now sharing four draws in a row.

Jonathan Symcox - on Twitter @Symco_Eurosport / Eurosport

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