Italy Serie A: Juventus end losing streak despite sending off

Posted on by SoccerPunter

Juventus ended a three-match losing streak despite playing more than half the game with 10 men as they were held 2-2 at lowly Cesena on Saturday.

A brace from Alessandro Matri had given the Turin giants a two-goal lead but their hosts hit back through a Luis Jimenez penalty and Marco Parolo after Marco Motta was sent off.

The point did nothing to help Juve’s hopes of securing European football next season as they remain seventh, while Cesena are still hovering just above the drop zone.

After a slow opening the game sparked into life on 19 minutes as Alessandro Del Piero burst forward from halfway and slipped in Matri, who shot back across goakeeper Francesco Antonioli and into the corner.

It could have been two when a clever Del Piero backheel set up Simone Pepe but he scuffed his volley into the ground, the ball bouncing tamely into Antonioli’s arms.

Emanuele Giaccherini should have equalised for Cesena on 27 minutes but instead produced probably the miss of the season.

He ran onto a ball over the top and slotted a crisp finish past Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon only to see the ball come back off the post.

He’d continued running, though, and with an open goal to aim at from three yards, he somehow shot towards the corner flag, the ball not even going out of play.

Cesena were made to pay on 35 minutes after another astonishing miss as Del Piero somehow crashed a volley from eight yards against the post but Matri acrobatically headed home the rebound.

Buffon was lucky to stay on the field just before the break as he risked a second red card in four games as he brought down Parolo inside the box as the midfielder rounded him.

He was shown just a yellow card but Jimenez dished out suitable punishment as he stroked home the spot-kick.

Having given Buffon a reprieve, the referee was less generous when he showed Motta a second yellow card on the stroke of half-time for a high boot.

On the hour mark the hosts again looked set to score but Buffon saved well from a Jimenez volley before Giaccherini went down under a Giorgio Chiellini challenge and Leonardo Bonucci slid in to block Erjon Bogdani from slotting home the loose ball.

Buffon saved Juve 14 minutes from time as he changed direction quickly to keep out Dominique Malonga’s deflected strike.

But he could do nothing about Parolo’s low effort three minutes later.

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