Player Ratings: Juventus 1-0 Fiorentina
Probably the most important match of Week 20 in Serie A was Juventus hosting Fiorentina at the Stadio Olimpico in Turin.
Both teams were without several key players. Juve had Giorgio Chiellini and Mauro Camoranesi out due to injuries and Momo Sissoko and Cristian Molinaro due to suspension.
The Viola were without star striker Adrian Mutu, who is still out with a dislocated elbow.
A very physical and exciting match saw tons of chances, but only Juve midfielder Claudio Marchisio was able to find the back of the net and see his hometown team win 1-0.
Juve are now joint-top with Inter Milan for at least one night. The Nerazzurri will look to snap out of their current rough spot when they play Sampdoria Sunday night.
S. Frey: 7.5 - Kept the Viola in the game and keep the deficit at one with a great double save on Marchionni in the closing moments of the first half. Was again up to the task on a blast by Grygera and a Giovinco breakaway in the second half.
L. Zauri: 6.0 - Went up against former Lazio teammate Nedved on the flank and had an interesting time of things. Like a lot of players tonight, not his best match, but certainly not his worst.
P. Kroldrup: 6.0 - Not a night to remember for Kroldrup. Marchionni picked him apart the entire night. Can't rely on Gamberini for everything.
A. Gamberini: 6.5 - Fiorentina could've leveled the score during stoppages in the first half if it wasn't for the Italian international getting in the way of his central defense partner. He did do well to keep Amauri and Del Piero off the scoresheet but was one of the two defenders that were split on the Del Piero pass that was on the back end of Marchisio's goal.
M. Pasqual: 7.0 - Took advantage of Grygera's off night and had a field day on the left flank. Was all over the place and was frequently involved in the offense.
F. Melo: 6.5 - With Juve missing Sissoko in the center of its midfield, Melo was able to throw his body around more than usual. Despite picking up a yellow card for a rash challenge, put in a very good game.
R. Montolivo: 5.5 - An off night for the usual creative Montolivo. Had trouble getting any kind of offensive rhythm going tonight and with Fiorentina pushing hard in the second half, not having a player of his caliber playing well hurt their chances of getting any points.
M. Gobbi: 4.5 - A terrible showing. Didn't do anything in the first half and there was no objection to him being substituted at hafltime.
M. Santana: 6.0 - His best chance came when he banged a header off the crossbar at the half-hour mark. Did a good job playing behind the Viola's strikers, but his header was what lead to Gillardino's header being waved off.
A. Gillardino: 6.5 - Looked to have leveled the score 32 minutes in but was incorrectly called offsides by the linesman. Had numerous chances in the second half to score but couldn't put anything away. Certainly a frustrating night.
S. Jovetic: 6.5 - Screamed for a penalty 12 minutes in but the 19-year-old's cries were not answered. Came close to getting an equalizer in the closing seconds of injury time but there was no chance Buffon was going to be beaten in the second half.
Z. Kuzmanovic: 6.0
E. Bonazzoli: 5.5
G. Buffon: 8.0 - Perfect way to return to Serie A action and you could just tell there's a weight lifted off defender's shoulders when Buffon is between the sticks. Coughed up the ball that could've led to the tying goal by Gillardino, but his efforts in the second half showed why he is the best in the business. Super Gigi made several incredible and crucial saves to keep Juve in the lead. Man of the Match.
Z. Grygera: 6.0 - Was back in the lineup after missing the Lazio game and had a great chance to double Juve's lead in the second half. Was not exactly the best defensively and had several suspect clearances.
N. Legrottaglie: 6.5 - He was one busy man in the second half as Fiorentina threw everything including the kitchen sink at him. Although he wasn't with his usual partner Chiellini, he could breathe a little easier having Buffon in the net.
O. Mellberg: 6.5 - Filled in for the injured Chiellini and did well, other than risking a penalty in the 12th minute, did a good job keeping the dangerous Viola strikers off the board. Definitely a better showing than when filled in for Chiellini in Florence.
P. De Ceglie: 5.5 - It had been a while since we have seen De Ceglie at left back and the rust was evident. Made things very interesting on the left side of the defense and his passing was up to his usual standards either.
M. Marchionni: 6.5 - Back to his normal dangerous self on the wing tonight. But how he didn't score twice from point-blank range will have Juve fans scratching their heads for weeks. Had another good chance to score in the 60th minute and again forced a great save out of Frey.
C. Zanetti: 6.5- Didn't have much of an impact in the first half of tonight's match, but came alive in the final 30 minutes. The highlight of his night was when he nutmegged Montolivo just seconds before being substituted for Poulsen.
C. Marchisio: 7.5 - A nice week for the Turin native to say the least. Turned 23 on Monday and scored his first Serie A goal in the 20th minute. His passing was superb and did well to get back defensively when he needed to be. In another big rivalry game, Marchisio showed what he can do when everything is clicking.
P. Nedved: 6.5 - His experience and intelligence was important to help out a struggling De Ceglie on the left. However, you can tell he's getting tired as the season goes on and you would have to think that Claudio Ranieri should give him some rest before Juve meet Chelsea in the Champions League.
A. Del Piero: 6.5 - Instead of scoring a goal, he set it up, putting a wonderful through ball in for Marchisio to get the only goal of the game. Didn't have very many personal chances and showed obvious frustration because of it when Ranieri subbed him for Giovinco with 13 minutes to go.
Amauri: 6.0 - After basically going absent against Lazio last weekend, it was vital that the Brazilian striker got involved early and often against the Viola. That's what he did in the first half but wasn't as involved in the second 45 minutes of the match.
S. Giovinco: 6.0
C. Polusen: N/A
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