Serie A round-up: Buffon the hero as Juve go top | inside World Soccer

Serie A round-up: Buffon the hero as Juve go top

Sunday, January 25, 2009

JuventusJuventus logo
1 - 0
Fiorentina logo
Claudio Marchisio 21

Juventus moved level with Inter Milan at the top of Serie A thanks to Gianluigi Buffon after the returning goalkeeper made a number of crucial saves to give them a 1-0 win over Fiorentina.

Claudio Marchisio grabbed the lone goal of the match in the 21st minute when he ran onto a pass by Alessandro Del Piero and lifted the ball over Fiorentina goalkeeper Sébastien Frey.

Cesare Prandelli's side created enough chances to equalise, but found Buffon returned from four months out to deny them.

The Viola threatened to equalise moments after the goal when Alberto Gilardino stretched to control a long ball forward, but Buffon scampered from his line to block the striker.

Mario Santana then had a header rattled the crossbar before Gilardino had a seemingly-valid goal disallowed for offside.

The drama continued in the second half with Buffon making an instinctive save to punch Manuel Pasqual's powerful shot away.

Buffon made his most important save on 71 minutes to deny Gilardino, who touched a Stevan Jovetić cross towards goal only to see Buffon stick out a leg and lift the ball over the crossbar.

Juve have now won six of their last seven matches, while Fiorentina have suffered three straight defeats to put a serious dent in their European push.

Elsewhere, Vincenzo Italiano scored a spectacular last gasp winner to hand Chievo a crucial 1-0 victory over 10-man Reggina in a battle between two struggling sides.

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