By Petar Todorovski
Juventus failed to keep the lead and lost two points playing a dramatic draw in Verona against Chievo. The Old Lady earned a first half lead with Fabio Quagliarella’s wonder goal, but it wasn’t enough to win and keep second place on the table after the late equalizer by Sergio Pellissier following big pressure by the Chievo attack in the second half.
Juventus tried to put early pressure in attempt to get close to leaders Milan after their loss with Roma. However, we couldn’t see any clear chances created by Krasic and his team mates. Chievo was the team that although played less with the ball, managed to be more dangerous to the opposition’s goal.
Flying Donkeys worked hard as always on home turf and created two nice opportunities. First, Andrea Mantovani’s header finished wide, before they had chance to take the lead from penalty kick.
Davide Moscardelli had a clear view to the goal before he was tripped by Giorgio Chiellini. Referee Bergonzi pointed to the spot, but didn’t send Juve defender off, although he could do that with clear conscious. Michele Marcolini stepped up and failed. His shot was too indolent to be a problem for first class keeper like Marco Storari.
Bianconeri didn’t wait too long to punish their hosts for their mistake. Frederik Sorensen had the first scoring opportunity when he hit the bar after goalie Sorrentino’s slight fingertip touch.
Juventus took the lead in the 31st minute with an amazing goal by Fabio Quagliarella. The ball was put into the penalty area with a lot of players of both teams trying to do something with it, but the foxy striker reacted best and smashed the ball into the net with beautiful overhead kick.
Juve took the lead, but Chievo didn’t give up and continued to battle hard. Nevertheless, until the break nothing happened.
Second half continued just like the first one finished and it lasted until the next major change in the game. Youngster Manuel Giandonato was sent off after the immature tackle on Kevin Constant while the Chievo player was running toward the goal.
Del Neri’s men started defending and were playing only with intention to keep the lead. In that period the Flying Donkeys had most of the possession, but Bianconeri were those who had the best chances. Vincenzo Iaquinta missed a great opportunity before one of the best moments of the game. Milos Krasic ran through the whole pitch, passing by few opposition defenders in the process, passed by the keeper and managed to miss the empty goal in the end.
As it often happens in football, when one team misses a lot, the other one punish them. Finally, the constant pressure paid off and Chievo scored a dramatic equalizer in 93rd minute. Sergio Pellissier’s shot from the penalty area finished in Storari’s net leaving fans in Verona delighted by the point that this goal secured.
Understandable, after the game both coaches reacted different. Stefano Pioli from Chievo was thrilled by his boy’s attitude. “The side played in a positive manner and it paid dividends today. It would have been easy to drop our heads following the early penalty miss, but we kept plugging away and are delighted with the point,” he said.
Luigi Del Neri’s side missed the shot to close the gap behind Milan and was disappointed. However, in his opinion the luck is guilty. “It wasn’t easy playing almost all of the second period with ten men and fortune simply wasn’t on our side today. This is football however, and last weekend when we were rewarded at the death, this time it is our turn to stomach the disappointment,” he said.
Juventus dropped two positions and they’re in fourth place now. They have collected 31 points so far, five behind Milan, two behind Lazio and leveled with Napoli, but with worse goal difference. Next challenge for Bianconeri is in 2011 against Parma.