Torino 0-1 Juventus: Chiellini Clinches Derby della Mole, Stadio Olimpico Now Waiting for Chelsea (Serie A Matchday 27)

Juventus' Giorgio Chiellini celebrates after scoring against Torino during their Italian Serie A soccer match at the Olympic stadium in Turin March 7, 2009. (REUTERS)

They may not play stellar soccer, they may not score lots of goals, but Juventus know just what it takes to win games. With a single goal by Giorgio Chiellini the Bianconeri got the better of Torino in Saturday’s Derby della Mole, keeping their distance to league leaders Inter at 7 points. Torino’s good performance (especially with regards to motivation -derbies can do that to ya- and goalkeeping technique) was not enough to breaking a Granata losing tradition which has now extended to 14 derby years.

But speaking of Juventus, one could almost say it was good night for Claudio Ranieri as well, the Bianconeri manager being able to rest a good number of his starters (Del Piero, Trezeguet, Tiago and Marchionni) and see some welcome returns (Zebina) in preparation of their UCL return leg against Chelsea Tuesday.

Yeah. Almost.

Serie A 2008-09 - Torino vs. Juventus

Serie A 2008-09 - Day 27 - Torino 0-1 Juventus

Tactically, it was pretty obvious Ranieri was thinking of Chelsea for this match, leaving ADP-Trezeguet on the bench and fielding a rather unusual right-wing line: Zebina (back from a very long convalescence) and Salihamidzic. On other end, Novellino went for a more “classic” formation with Dzemaili operating as playmaker behind Stellone-Rosina.

The first half was intense and very entertaining to watch. The match was played at a fast pace, with neither team content with a merely static, counter-attacking strategy: Torino applied their short passing game while Juve, aiming for their strikers Amauri and Iaquinta, operated on long penetrating passes down the pitch.

The first 45 minutes ended with two scoring opportunities per side, Stellone (short-range header over the bar) and Barone (long-range effort parried away by Buffon) for Torino, Vincenzo Iaquinta for Juventus. The latter’s chances were in fact the most spectacular, but the Juve striker found his one-time instep finish (receiving a good pass from Giovinco) and powerful header stopped by a Matteo Sereni in super-mode. At the break the score was 0-0.

Torino's Matteo Sereni, safeguarding the Granata net.

The pace fell off in the second half: Juve began to play better, taking advantage of the inevitable slowdown by Torino (who until then had really run their hearts out), and eventually began to monopolize scoring chances as well. Right after kick-off Amauri had a left-foot effort denied by Sereni; minutes later a a Giovinco free-kick just missed Torino’s left post. After that, a good cross by Nedved (on for Giovinco) found Mellberg inside the box for the header, Sereni parried onto the feet of Salihamidzic who saw his rebound effort denied yet again by the Granata keeper. A shining moment for Sereni, no doubt.

Until the 81st minute, that is. Exploiting yet another good Nedved delivery, Giorgio Chiellini got rid of his marker and headed from point-blank range, finally beating Sereni and putting his team up by one. 1-0 Juventus and goal nº3 for Keyser Giorgio this year, a tally which virtually sealed the game and by extension, Juve’s three points. As the Stadio Olimpico of Turin awaits Chelsea’s arrival, the Bianconeri’s attention can now fully shift to European matters.

Torino 0-1 Juventus: Chiellini Clinches Derby della Mole for Juve, Stadio Olimpico Now Waiting for Chelsea (Serie A Matchday 27)


Torino F.C.
[Match Highlights]
Juventus F.C.
GOALSCORERS: 81’ Chiellini (J).
TORINO (4-4-2): Sereni – Colombo, Natali, Dellafiore, Pisano – Abate, Corini (75’ Saumel), Dzemaili, Barone (71’ Gasbarroni) – Rosina (50’ Ventola), Stellone. (bench: Calderoni, Ogbonna, Rivalta, Bianchi). Coach: Novellino.
JUVENTUS (4-4-2): Buffon – Zebina (60’ Ariaudo), Mellberg, Chiellini, Molinaro – Salihamidzic, Poulsen (84’ Sissoko), Marchisio, Giovinco (68’ Nedved) – Iaquinta, Amauri. (bench: Manninger, Tiago, Trezeguet, Del Piero). Coach: Ranieri.


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