|They’ve f***ed me! Well, I am going to pay them back.|
An inspired goalkeeping performance from Pavarini prevented Juventus from clinching all three points from tonight’s encounter at the Tardini. The Bianconeri had several chances to break the deadlock but were unable to find a way past Parma’s in-form shot stopper. Juventus had previously found points hard to come by at the Tardini but showed no signs of difficulty in the opening stages, taking the game to their opponents from the very first whistle and almost going in front with barely five minutes played. Pirlo clipped in a free-kick from the right-hand side and Chiellini climbed highest to steer a header goalwards, only to see his effort bounce back off the post. Back came the hosts, who began to string a number of passes together with the intention of getting behind the Bianconeri back three. Chiellini, however, had other ideas and continued to shut down Floccari and Giovinco with some neat interceptions and well-executed challenges.
Vidal, meanwhile, made his presence felt in the midfield battle and almost teed up Matri with a delightful left-footed cross on the turn. The striker craned to plant a headed attempt towards the far corner but failed to get enough power to trouble Pavarini. The next Bianconeri opportunity almost saw Pirlo score his first Juventus goal since his summer arrival, with the Tardini stunned into silence as the midfield general’s curling free-kick whistled narrowly past the upright. Shortly before half-time, Vucinic combined with Matri to send the striker through on goal. The ex-Cagliari frontman’s first touch, however, was a fraction too heavy, giving Pavarini the opportunity to dive at his feet and claim the ball. Parma emerged for the second period with a renewed attacking impetus, looking to cause some danger going forward after failing to trouble Buffon in the first half.
And the goalkeeper was called into action almost instantly, diving to his right to prevent Giovinco’s effort from creeping inside his near post. Conte elected to introduce Giaccherini at the expense of Estigarribia, with the former Cesena midfielder almost having an instant impact as he tumbled in the penalty area under a robust challenge. Mazzoleni, however, adjudged the contact to be legal and waved Bianconeri appeals away. As Juve pushed for a goal their attacking display merited, they were also required to remain focused on the threat posed by Giovinco on the counter. The nimble frontman had previously proved a thorn in his co-employers side and was watched carefully by Barzagli and Bonucci as he latched onto Mariga’s pinpoint ball through the middle. With less than ten minutes remaining, Pirlo aimed to emulate his previous exploits by picking out the corner from range. But just as the travelling faithful were wheeling away in celebration, Pavarini’s outstretched hand managed to turn the ball wide for a corner.
Marchisio and Vucinic then went close in a frantic finale, before Giaccherini was denied by another point-blank save on a night where the goalkeepers appeared destined to come out on top. The draw sees Juventus trail leaders Milan by a single point, with Conte’s men holding a game in hand over the Rossoneri.
PARMA 0-0 JUVENTUS
PARMA Pavarini; Ferrario, Lucarelli, (Santacroce 77) Zaccardo; Valiani (Musacci 54), Mariga, Morrone, Modesto, Biabiany (Jonathan 68); Giovinco, Floccari. Substitutes not used: Mirante, Gobbi, Palladino, Okaka. Manager: Donadoni.
JUVENTUS Buffon; Barzagli, Bonucci, Chiellini; Lichtsteiner, (Caceres 88) Vidal, Pirlo, Marchisio, Estigarribia (Giaccherini 58); Matri (Quagliarella 68), Vucinic. Substitutes not used: Storari, Padoin, Del Piero, Borriello. Manager: Conte.
REFEREE: Mazzoleni ASSISTANTS: Dobosz, Marzaloni FOURTH OFFICIAL: Orsato BOOKINGS: Zaccardo 21, Bonucci 77, Vidal 91, Quagliarella 94