Sun | Sep 24, 2017

Fiorentina beat Juve, lead cut to one point

Published:Monday | January 16, 2017 | 1:00 AM
Fiorentina' s Nikola Kalinic (left) and Juventus' Paulo Dybala compete for the ball during the Serie A match between Fiorentina and Juventus at the Artemio Franchi stadium in Florence, Italy, yesterday. Fiorentina won 2-1.

MILAN (AP):

Fiorentina coach Paulo Sousa got his tactics spot on as he steered his side to a 2-1 win over Juventus, which saw the Serie A leader's advantage slashed to only one point yesterday.

Juventus had been seven points clear of second-placed Roma after beating the Giallorossi 1-0 on Dec. 17 and were seemingly on an unstoppable march to a record sixth straight Serie A title.

They have played a match less than most other teams due to the Italian Super Cup, which they lost on penalties to AC Milan.

Juventus have conceded 16 goals in 19 league matches this campaign. It conceded just 20 in the whole of last season.

Fiorentina dominated from the start, with the players winning all their individual battles and imposing themselves physically on their opponents.

Juventus were given an early warning when Matias Vecino, who had already seen an effort saved by Gianluigi Buffon, hit the left post in the 10th minute.

Buffon also had to make another fine stop to deny Federico Chiesa, before Fiorentina took the deserved lead in the 37th as Nikola Kalinic latched onto Federico Bernardeschi's through ball and slotted into the far bottom corner from a tight angle.

Fiorentina doubled their lead 10 minutes into the second half as a throw-in found Milan Badelj 30 yards out and he launched the ball toward Chiesa who attempted to meet it with an acrobatic effort as it bounced in. It was unclear whether Chiesa got a touch or not but his movement was enough to confuse Buffon.

REDUCED GAP

The league's official website, which had initially awarded the goal to Chiesa, later credited it to Badelj.

Juventus reduced the gap three minutes later when Sami Khedira floated in a cross from the left and it came off opponents Stefano Sturaro and Maximiliano Olivera. Gonzalo Higuain was on hand to slot it home.

Juventus almost leveled in the 80th but Higuain's header was stopped by the legs of Fiorentina goalkeeper Ciprian Tatarusanu and Giorgi Chiellini's attempt from the rebound was blocked before the ball was finally cleared.

Paulo Dybala also blazed over the bar from a good position minutes from time.

It was only Fiorentina's second home win over Juventus since 1998.