Juventus edges Fiorentina 1-0 to close in on European spot

AP , Sunday 12 Feb 2023

Still reeling from a massive points penalty, Juventus inched closer to the final European qualifying spot in Serie A on Sunday with a 1-0 win at fierce rival Fiorentina.



Adrien Rabiot netted the only goal of the match in the first half and both sides had a goal ruled out for offside, including what would have been a late leveler for Fiorentina.

Juventus _ which was hit by a 15-point penalty for false accounting last month _ moved to within one point of seventh-place Torino and the Europa Conference League qualifying berth. Fiorentina, which could have leapfrogged the Bianconeri with a win, was five points further back.

Runaway Serie A leader Napoli will be out for revenge against Cremonese later Sunday when top meets bottom. Cremonese pulled off a big upset when it won at Napoli on penalties in the Italian Cup last month.

Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri decided to unleash the superstar trident of Angel Di Maria and former Fiorentina players Dusan Vlahovic and Federico Chiesa.

The match was fiery from the start but it took until the 34th minute for the deadlock to be broken.

A cross was cleared but only to Di Maria on the right side of the area and he floated the ball back in for Rabiot to head in at the back post. Fiorentina goalkeeper Pietro Terracciano clawed the ball away but the goal-line technology informed the referee that it had already crossed.

Vlahovic thought he had doubled his side's lead on the hour mark and he made a big show of not celebrating against his former club but the goal was ruled out as he was marginally offside on Filip Kostic's through ball.

Gaetano Castrovilli had an equalizer ruled out a minute from time. After reviewing the goal on the pitchside monitor, the referee adjudged that Luca Ranieri was offside and interfering with play in the buildup.

Fastest goal

Destiny Udogie netted the fastest goal in Serie A this season but it was not enough for his team to win as Udinese drew 2-2 against Sassuolo.

Udogie scored after just 25 seconds but it was almost immediately canceled out as Matheus Henrique equalized in the sixth minute.

The strike had taken a deflection off Jaka Bijol but the Udinese defender made up for it in the 28th when he slid in to prod Lazar Vujadin Samardzic's free kick home.

However, Sassuolo leveled again on the stroke of halftime as Udinese defender Nehuen Perez turned the ball into his own net.

Udinese moved level on points with Torino. Monza won 1-0 at Bologna to leave both teams a point behind Udinese.

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)

Short link: