Juventus 2-0 Chievo: Quagliarella keeps Bianconeri on top
Rome: Juventus made it four wins from four in Serie A this season by battling their way to a 2-0 win over a stubborn Chievo side in Turin on Saturday night.
The Bianconeri squandered a number of gilt-edged opportunities, as well as seeing Stefano Sorrentino pull off a couple of wonderful reaction saves, and appeared to be running out of ideas as the clocked ticked past the hour mark.
However, just as he had done in the midweek Champions League clash with Chelsea, Fabio Quagliarella came to the Bianconeri`s rescue, scoring an acrobatic volley and a terrific solo effort to ensure that the home side maintained their 100 per cent winning record.
Juventus made several changes to the side which drew with Chelsea in midweek, the most noteworthy of which was the inclusion of summer signing Paul Pogba in midfield in place of Andrea Pirlo.
However, while the former Manchester United starlet performed promisingly, it was the recalled Fabio Quagliarella, the Bianconeri`s saviour at Stamford Bridge, who made the greater impression on the game.
Indeed, the former Napoli hitman had already had an early long-range header saved by Sorrentino when he drew a fine one-handed stop from the Chievo goalkeeper on 10 minutes, after being played in on goal by Emanuele Giaccherini.
Quagliarella’s strike partner, Mirko Vucinic, was also a constant threat during the first-half and, moments after curling wide following a strong run from midfield, he thought he had opened the scoring when he turned in Mauricio Isla’s low volley across the six-yard box. However, the Montenegrin was left enraged after being flagged marginally offside.
Undeterred, Juve continued to press and Giaccherini twice went close to breaking the deadlock before the interval. In the first instance, the versatile Italy international drew a terrific save out of Sorrentino, with a deft flicked effort from Kwadwo Asamoah`s low cross from the left.
Soon after, Giaccherini was left more frustrated with himself after volleying over the bar from six yards out after being picked out unmarked in the area by a sublime ball from Quagliarella.
Claudio Marchisio then went close with an outside-of-the-foot strike from the edge of the area but Chievo, despite only threatening sporadically during the opening 45 minutes, reached the interval on level terms.
The home side continued to boss things after the break but it appeared that it might not be their evening when Sorrentino produced a stunning save to deny Giorgio Chiellini from point-blank range, after the defender had connected with a corner from the left.
However, despite his best efforts, Sorrentino was unable to keep out Quagliarella`s brilliant scissor-kick from the penalty spot, the veteran shot-stopper succeeding only in pushing the ball up into the roof of the net.
Chievo were still coming to terms with that setback when Quagliarella struck again, in just as impressive fashion. Picked out by Asamoah on the edge of the area, the 29-year-old, with his first touch, flicked the ball past Dario Dainelli, coolly collected it and then calmly slotted it past Sorrentino.
There was no way back for Chievo at that point and Juve`s thoughts had long since turned to their intriguing midweek meeting with great rivals Fiorentina before the full-time whistle finally blew in Turin.