Parma 1-0 Juventus
Scorers: Jose Mauri 61 (P)
Serie A – Week 30 [Saturday, 11th April – 17:00 GMT] – Stadio Ennio Tardini
The Bianconeri fielded a much-changed starting XI in preperation for their Champions League quarter-final with Monaco next Tuesday. Carlos Tevez and Andrea Barzagli were both rested due to muscular problems while Paul Pogba, Kwadwo Asamoah, Gigi Buffon, Martin Caceres, Romulo and Andrea Pirlo were all out through injury.
Parma began the match the stronger of the two sides with a good spell of possession early on, but failed to capitalise on their few forrays into the Juve half. The Bianconeri gradually found a foothold in the match and Antonio Mirante was forced into a save to deny Roberto Pereyra. Moments later, it was Claudio Marchisio with a chance from distance but his effort was charged down.
Belfodil sprinted forward on the counter and his shot was only just over the far top corner of Marco Storari’s post.
Mirante was bought into yet another save to deny Arturo Vidal’s header at the back post after Claudio Marchisio whipped in a great delivery from his free kick. As the half drew to a close, Kingsley Coman burst into the Parma box but it was Mirante yet again who denied him a definite goal, this time blocking the shot with his legs.
Much credit is owed to Mirante, who made a few excellent kick-saves – aka, with his legs – on the three shots on target that Juve had. The first one came twenty minutes in from Roberto Pereyra, and Mirante knocked it out for a corner. Moments later, Ishak Belfodil had a similar shot versus Juventus, but Storari wasn’t forced to knock it away, as it was traveling out of bounds and across the goal anyway.
These were the first real chances for either side, but Juventus would soon double down. Claudio Marchisio took a free kick, and found Arturo Vidal at the far side of the box. Vidal headed the ball dutifully, but again Mirante saved it. There weren’t many other serious chances for Juve in the game. Marchisio had a few long range but inaccurate efforts, as did some other players.
But the defining moment of the game was of course the lone goal, in the 61st minute, by Mauri. Belfodil got the assist with a lateral pass, and Mauri just pounced on the ball at the edge of the box. It was actually a very well-taken effort, a momentary reprieve from one of the most boring Juve games of the season.
Alvaro Morata, Simone Pepe, and Mattia Vitale all came on, but none could change the game for Juve. To be honest, Juve’s attack was flat all game. There was no intensity, at least until the last few minutes of the match. By then, it was too little, too late.
Clearly the team is more focused on the big Champions League fixture versus Monaco. Luckily, the Scudetto is basically clinched, and this was only Juve’s second loss in Serie A this season. Now, we move onwards to Tuesday, and to another Champions League challenge.
Man of the Match: N/A
Flop of the Match: Fernando Llorente
Pass Accuracy: 87%
Shots on Target: 3
Total Shots: 19
Ball Possession: 68%
Parma: Mirante; Santacroce (Cassani 80), Mendes, Feddal; Varela, Jose Mauri (Lila 82), Jorquera, Nocerino, Gobbi; Ghezzal, Belfodil (Prestia 86)
Juventus: Storari; Lichtsteiner, Chiellini, Ogbonna, Padoin; Vidal, Marchisio, Sturaro (Pepe 66); Pereyra (Morata 63); Coman (Vitale 80), Llorente