Thursday, March 30, 2023

Serie A: Juventus beat Fiorentina 1-0

First-half goal by midfielder Adrien Rabiot earned Juventus a 1-0 home win over Fiorentina in Serie A on Sunday, stretching the visitors’ winless run to five games.
Juventus, which has now kept one more clean sheet this season (14) than it did in the entire 2021-22 campaign, moved up three places to ninth on 29 points from 22 games. It sits one point behind eight-placed Udinese and Torino in seventh.
Juve had a good chance to take the lead in the 12th minute when Angel Di Maria’s cross bounced off a Fiorentina defender to reach Filip Kostic inside the box, but he shot narrowly wide of the far post from a tight angle.
The Serbia defender could have given Juventus the lead once more when he connected with a lofted pass but his shot was saved by goalkeeper Pietro Terracciano.
Rabiot put the host in front in the 34th minute with a close-range header from a delightful cross by Di Maria. Terracciano initially parried the ball away but goalline technology proved it had crossed the line.
Fiorentina barely troubled the Juventus defence in the opening 45 minutes and continued to offer little threat after the break.
Juve striker Dusan Vlahovic thought he had made it 2-0 in the 59th minute when he lobbed the goalkeeper, but what would have been his first goal against his former club was ruled out by VAR due to an offside in the build-up.
Substitute Moise Kean had two good chances for Juventus after coming on for Vlahovic but his first effort was saved by the alert Terracciano and the other was off target.
Substitute Gaetano Castrovilli filled Fiorentina with hope in the closing stages when his powerful low shot sped past keeper Wojciech Szczesny, but VAR ruled out the effort for offside.
Juventus, which hosts Nantes in the Europa League on Thursday, travels to Spezia on Feb. 19 in Serie A. Fiorentina, which dropped to 14th on 24 points, hosts 12th-placed Empoli the same day
Elsewhere, Napoli took revenge on Cremonese for their Coppa Italia exit with a 3-0 drubbing thanks to goals from birthday boy Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, Victor Osimhen and Eljif Elmas.
With the sixth consecutive win, Napoli lead the table with a commanding 16-point advantage over second-placed Inter Milan who visit Sampdoria on Monday.
Also on Sunday, Monza beat Bologna 1-0 on Giulio Donati’s solo effort, while Udinese shared the spoils with Sassuolo at 2-2.


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