Before Saturday's game against Livorno, multiple members of the Juventus squad demanded that anything less than three points would not be tolerated.
Too many times last season under Claudio Ranieri did Juve drop points that ended up costing them dearly in the standings. Whether it was settling for a draw or losing the game altogether, under the Ranieri regime, too many opportunities to get three vital points against smaller clubs weren't taken advantage of.
Things are a little different under Ciro Ferrara. Wins are the only thing that matter—especially against the lower teir of teams in Serie A.
And that is exactly what happened Saturday as Juventus convincingly beat Livorno, 2-0, on a rain-soaked pitch at the Stadio Olimpico in Turin.
Based on the scoreline, you would expect that Juve had the first quality chance to score, but in fact it was Livorno who came close to opening things up in the first minutes of the match. A Cristiano Lucarelli shot turned into a chance for Francesco Tavano, but Juve keeper Gianluigi Buffon would have none of it, as he raced of his line to deny Tavano's shot.
The Old Lady's first chance came moments later, when Mauro Camoranesi fired a shot just wide of the Livorno goal.
But the Bianconeri took advantage of their next chance, as Vincenzo Iaquinta opened the scoring in the eighth minute. The powerful Italian was on the end of a quality cross from Camoranesi on the right flank and headed it past Livorno keeper Alfonos De Lucia into the bottom corner at the far post.
The goal didn't deflate Livorno's efforts, though; they fought right back with another scoring chance in the opening 10 minutes of play. This time it was Anotonio Candreva with the opportunity, but Buffon again was up to the task, this time tipping it over the crossbar for a corner.
Juve's next chance came midway through the first half, when David Trezeguet, who was given the start ahead of Amauri, couldn't finish a volley in front of the goal.
However, minutes later, the Bianconeri doubled their lead thanks to midfielder Claudio Marchisio. It was again Camoranesi providing the assist and rewarding the 22-year-old Turin native after he made a storming run down the left flank. The finish wasn't too bad either, as Marchisio lobbed it over De Lucia.
Again Livorno attempted to answer a Juve goal and again it was Buffon proving why he is the best in the world. Just a minute after Marchisio scored in the 30th minute, Nico Pulzetti had a excellent chance to score only to be denied by an onrushing Buffon, who saved it with his right leg.
Minutes later, Lucarelli was yet again denied by a spectacular Buffon save—this time off a corner kick. The way Buffon played in the first half, it was hard to see Livorno getting one past the Juve keeper on the night.
Just before the first half ended, Iaquinta could've put the final nail in Livorno's coffin but saw his shot from inside the six-yard box go straight into De Lucia's belly.
As the second half began, Juve were dominating the possession, but it was Livorno who came close to cutting the deficit in half. However, like many times before, it was Buffon who denied it from happening. Candreva spun a cross in but Buffon used every inch of his frame to tip the ball away before it could find the head of a Livorno striker.
Trezeguet came close to scoring Juve's third on the night but his swinging volley was denied only by the woodwark. That seemed to wake Livorno up yet again, and again Buffon was called into action to bail out his defense. Substitute Tomas Danilevicius shot from point-blank range, but Superman was there again with a miraculous save.
The pace seemed to slow a bit as Juve clearly began to fatigue. Fabio Grosso came close with a free kick and Trezeguet missed a shot at the top of the box, but Livorno answered back yet again only to be shut down by the mastery between the sticks known as Gigi Buffon.
Any doubt that Buffon is the man of the match? I don't think so.
Iaquinta came close in the closing minutes to getting his brace but was denied by De Lucia. It would've been a fine finish to end a quality evening in Turin for Italy's Old Lady, but the most important thing is that three points were captured.
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