A very entertaining 90 minutes in Rome produced an extremely an extremely heated match between two top Italian sides. There were red cards, penalties, amazing saves, pretty much everything you would want to see in a match between two great clubs. The match finished with the two sides sharing the points in a 1-1 draw. Juventus came into the match scoring 8 goals in the last two meeting with the capitol side, while Lazio were determined to keep their unbeaten run under Edy Reja going.
The match started out fairly evenly matched. Both sides would exchange possession and periodically get to the penalty area, and getting off a shot or two. However, nothing either side could muster was really worthy of talking about. Juventusseemed to play off the wings with Asamoah and Lichtsteiner getting in good crosses and passes, while also cutting in. But they were unable to produce anything, besides a lofted Asamoah strike that missed the goal entirely. Lazio on the other hand, were more fluid, playing anywhere there was open space, and rotating between getting the ball on the wing and working in the middle. They too were unable to produce anything to write home about, except an early chance for Klose. Buffon got a pass back from a Juventus defender, and with Klose advancing, attempted to do a sort of “Cruyff turn” around him, failed, and almost conceded a goal, if not for Klose shooting wide.
But Klose got another chance to score in the 24th minute, and this time things got crazy. Receiving a great pass from Hernanes, Klose ran at Buffon, who subsequently tripped up the veteran attacker. Lazio received a penalty, and Buffonreceived his marching orders in a controversial refereeing decision. The keeper handed his gloves to veteran Marco Storari, who came into the match at the expense of Asamoah. This meant that Juventus were now short an attacking player, and would have to rely more on the center of the pitch for their attacks. Candreva stepped up to take the penalty, and made no mistake, rolling the ball past Storari. Lazio were now a goal and a man up on the Bianconeri.
The rest of the half was spent with the ball mainly in the center of the pitch, with Lazio unable to capitalize on their one man advantage over Juve. Juventus on the other hand were focusing on making sure the ball did not get to a dangerous position, while at the same time trying to get forward. The result was a tactical stalemate, with neither club getting any getting any good opportunites on goal, aside from a Llorente turn-and-shoot that was saved well by Berisha, and a wide attempt by Ledesma. The sides went into the break with Lazio holding a one goal advantage on Juventus.
The second half started well for Juventus. They had several good crosses into the area, and looked threatening around the Lazio box. The possession was steeply in Juve’s favor, and they were makining the best of it. Llorente was at the end of was at the end of a couple of the Juventus attacks, but as unable to muster anything. That is, until the 60′ minute. Tevez went on a great run, released Lichtsteiner on the edge of the penalty area, who then made a run into the box, crossed to Llorente, who finally lopped the ball over a helpless Berisha to level the score at 1-1. Before this, Berisha was having a great evening, snuffing out any Juventus shots that came his way.
Only a couple minutes later, Juventus got close to adding a second goal, this time courtesy of Llorente’s striking partner Tevez. He powered a great ball at goal, and only a magnificent save by Berisha was able to keep it out. A minute later, Lazio almost scored at the other end of the pitch, with Hernanes unleashing a half-shot half-pass at goal, and just narrowly missed the bottom corner. Klose also had an opportunity to poke that same ball home, but was unable to get to it in time.
After that, it took until the 76th minute for another good scoring opportunity to happen. Lazio won a free kick near the Juventus area, and the subsequent ball in was powered at goal by Klose’s head, only for the near-certain goal to be thwarted with Storari pulling a miracle save to tip the ball onto the crossbar and out of danger. But Lazio kept pressing, winning free kick after free kick in dangerous positions. And in the 80th minute, a near carbon copy of the free kick 4 minutes before saw Klose power a header towards goal, only to see Storari catch it. The veteran was doing very well in place of the sent-off Gigi Buffon.
From that point the rest of the match was Lazio’s. They controlled possession and did not allow Juventus any space to work with. Lazio almost scored in the 86th of the match, with substitute Keita Balde weaving his way through the Juventus players following a breakaway, and firing off a shot that hit the post, beating Storari, who then collected the ball in front of the onrushing Klose. A few minutes later, Keita gave a great pass to Lucas Biglia, only for the low shot to be saved by Storari. On the other side of the pitch, Juventus seemed to be unable to stay on target, with their shots either being blocked by defenders or fizzing out into the stands.
After a tense 94 minutes (including stoppage) of play, the referee blew the whistle to end the match, and Juventus’s 12 game win streak. However, the draw meant Lazio have now failed to beat Juve in more than 20 matches.