Juventus 3-3 Chievo: Harbinger of B&W Death, Thy Name is Sergio Pellissier (Serie A Matchday 30)

Chievo's Sergio Pellissier reacts after scoring the equalizer in the final minutes of the Italian Serie A soccer match between Juventus and Chievo in Turin's Olympic Stadium, northern Italy, Sunday, April 5, 2009. The match ended 3-3. (AP Photo)

Bye bye Scudetto. Yet again.

There’s no point in denying it: seeing Juventus dig themselves out of their 2nd-place pit, and overtake Inter in a feat of extraordinary sporting grandeur, will not happen. I have ceased to believe in it. As illusory as that concept might have been for the past 2-3 months, I had continued to keep the faith: it was my duty as a Juventino. But after Sunday’s match vs. Chievo I just feel that fate is against us, and that the Serie A standings yo-yo has been going on for long enough. With 8 matches left to the end, Inter only need only 15 points to clinch their title. That’s 5 wins out of 8… you think the Nerazzurri can’t pull that off?

On the upside for Juve, the infirmary ward is slowly emptying itself: Zebina, C.Zanetti, and De Ceglie have all resumed full training and oh yes, there’s that little Ita-Argie guy. One Mr. Mauro German Camoranesi, the player the Bianconeri so crucially missed during their UCL campaign and who can change the face of a match in a flash: three (well, two and a half) assists Sunday, and 70 minutes of healthy playing time. It’s small potatoes, but a good way to recover from Sergio Pellissier’s hat-trick (bravo to him).

Serie A 2008-09 - Juventus vs. Chievo

Serie A 2008-09 - Day 30 - Juventus 3-3 Chievo

The first 25 minutes of the match were rather drab. Tactically, Ranieri had placed Tiago-Marchisio in central mid, supported by Giovinco-Salihamidzic on the wings and Del Piero-Iaquinta up front, but the Juve players struggled to get any type of real play going. Tiago was slow in execution, Giovinco unassisted, Del Piero uninspired. To make matters worse Hasan Salihamidzic picked up a knee injury (an injury? at JUVE?) with 24 minutes on the clock, forcing him off in favor of Camoranesi (whose last appearance had been February’s unfortunate loss at Stamford Bridge).

As the Juve player himself joked after the match, his entrance had the adverse and almost immediate consequence of Chievo taking the lead. As has often been the case this year, Juve’s defense (solid, but often caught too far up the field) was surprised by the speed and execution of the Flying Donkeys’ counter-attack, finalized by lightning-bolt-Sergio-Pellissier: burning Chiellini on the run, the Chievo striker even managed to avoid Buffon’s challenge to deposit into the empty net. 1-0 Chievo.

Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini (C) celebrates after scoring with Juventus midfielder Claudio Marchisio (L) and Juventus forward Vincenzo Iaquinta (R) during their Serie A football match Juventus vs Chievo at Olympic Stadium in Turin on April 05, 2009. (GETTY IMAGES)

It didn’t take very long for the Bianconeri (Chiellini in particular) to redeem themselves however, in pure Juve-pride-reaction style. On the developments of a corner-kick the ball was kept alive inside the Chievo box, and following a marvelous backheel assist by Camoranesi, it was slammed on the underside of the crossbar by the Italian center-back. 1-1, and cue another “Giorgio of the Jungle” celebration for Chiellini.

Juve picked up the pace. Del Piero and Giovinco provided some danger (the former on counter-attack, the latter on free-kicks), and it seemed as if the Bianconeri would slowly build towards picking up an inevitable lead. Not so. Sergio Pellissier (yes, him again) had other plans, and in an almost-xerox-copy of the first goal proceeded to burn the Juve defense (Mellberg in this case) with pace and beat Buffon for the second time, inside the far post. 2-1 Chievo at the half. The Olimpico was livid.

The second half started off with immediate Bianconeri changes (off with Grygera and Del Piero, enter Zebina and Trezeguet) and it seemed that Ranieri’s troops had absorbed their boss’s message quite well. This was a different Juventus, angry and determined, adamant at obtaining an immediate equalizer. And so they did: deep pass by Marchisio on the right wing, header towards the goal by Camoranesi and unfortunate own-goal deflection by Mario Yepes. 2-2. With rage.

Juventus' Vincenzo Iaquinta celebrates after scoring a third goal against Chievo during their Italian Serie A soccer match at the Olympic stadium in Turin April 5, 2009. (REUTERS)

The Bianconeri continued to harass their opponents, particularly through Iaquinta and Trezeguet (who needed no warm-up time to immediately get into the heat of the match) finding only the ready hands of Sorrentino (and little bit of bad luck) to deny them the joy of a goal. Chiellini himself got close to scoring his second of the day, hitting a Tiago cross just narrowly wide of the post. A goal was in the air.

And it promptly arrived. With 11 minutes left on the clock, Zebina launched Camoranesi on the right wing, who after a couple of jukes and dribbles delivered a perfect cross for Vincenzo Iaquinta on the far post: slamming header and 3-2 Juventus, with the first lead of the match for the Bianconeri but a well-deserved one. Game over?

Far from it. Speed decidedly was not Juve’s friend today because right into stoppage time, a sudden burst of pace from Antonio Langella (who had just come on for Marcolini) allowed the on-loan Udinese winger to get rid of Zebina, and cross the ball for an oncoming… yup you’ve guessed it. Sergio Pellissier. Hat-trick for him, and 3-3 final score.

Chievo foward Sergio Pellissier celebrates after scoring his third goal with his team mates during their Serie A football match Juventus versus Chievo at Olympic Stadium in Turin on April 5, 2009. (GETTY IMAGES)


Juventus F.C.
[Match Highlights]
 A.C. ChievoVerona
GOALSCORERS: 25’, 44’, 91’ Pellissier (C), 34’ Chiellini (J), 53’ Yepes o.g. (J), 79’ Iaquinta (J).
JUVENTUS (4-4-2): Buffon – Grygera (46’ Zebina), Mellberg, Chiellini, Molinaro – Salihamidzic (24′ Camoranesi), Marchisio, Tiago, Giovinco – Iaquinta, Del Piero (46’ Trezeguet). (bench: Chimenti, Marchionni, Nedved, Poulsen). Coach: Ranieri.
CHIEVO (4-3-1-2): Sorrentino – Sardo (70’ Mandelli), Morero, Yepes, Mantovani – Luciano, Rigoni, Marcolini (83’ Langella) – Pinzi – Pellissier, Bogdani (65’ M.Esposito). (bench: Squizzi, Scardina, Colucci, Italiano). Coach: Di Carlo.


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Posted in Chievo, Juventus, Serie A |

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  • One Response to “Juventus 3-3 Chievo: Harbinger of B&W Death, Thy Name is Sergio Pellissier (Serie A Matchday 30)”

    1. [...] all extents and purposes, the Bianconeri’s Scudetto dream is over. I know I already said that last week but that was my own personal prediction. This week’s loss, which effectively pushes [...]