We paid for this lack of attention, says Juventus coach

AP, Tuesday 10 May 2011

Juventus let a two-goal lead slip at home to Chievo Verona and was held to a 2-2 draw that all but ended its hopes of qualifying for the Champions League next season


Juventus remains in seventh place—outside the Europa League places—and five points behind Udinese in the final Champions League spot.

 Alessandro Del Piero opened the scoring with a penalty in the first half and Alessandro Matri then doubled the lead early in the second.

However, Fernando Uribe grabbed Chievo’s first in the 68th, and with Juventus’ defense in disarray, Gennaro Sardo swept in the equalizer a minute later.

Both sides went close late on and had shots cleared off the line, while Juventus substitute Luca Toni hit the post with a header.

“We failed to stay calm, whereas Chievo Verona kept its head,” Juventus coach Luigi Delneri said. “We paid for this lack of attention and Chievo took its chances very well.”

Juventus took the lead in the 13th, after Marco Motta crossed from right and Sardo wrestled Simone Pepe to the ground. Referee Andrea Gervasoni pointed to the spot and Del Piero fired in his eighth goal of the season.

Alberto Aquilani nearly made it 2-0 moments later with a shot that Stefano Sorrentino had to react quickly to and push over the bar. The midfielder then shot over from Motta’s pullback.

Chievo’s best chance in the first period came in the 25th when Bojan Jokic cut in from the left and shot narrowly over Gianluigi Buffon and the Juventus goal.

Del Piero turned creator 10 minutes into the second half. He slipped the ball through the Chievo defense to his strike partner Matri, who took one touch and shot low past Sorrentino.

Milos Krasic then went close twice in quick succession, before the defensive problems that have caused Juventus to concede 29 goals at home came back with a vengeance.

Juventus failed to clear a corner, the ball fell to Uribe and he nipped in ahead of Andrea Barzagli to scramble home the ball.

Moments later Chievo was level. Sergio Pellissier shot against the post and the rebound fell to Sarbo who swept the ball into the empty net with a first time shot.

Chievo nearly completed an unlikely comeback, but Pellissier sliced his shot wide with only Buffon to beat

Giorgio Chiellini twice came close with headers, the second of which hit the post and was cleared off the line. Chievo nearly took advantage when Buffon was caught off his line by Pellissier. He squared the ball to Uribe, but he shot weakly and allowed Claudio Marchisio to clear.

Toni came on to fire Juventus’ faltering attack and nearly saved the day, but he had to watch his header hit the base of the post and rebound to safety.

“Tonight was a great result for us and I am extremely satisfied with our performance,” Chievo coach Stefano Piola said. “We had a bit of luck at times, but were able to take our chances when we had them.”

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