Juventus loses perfect record with Fiorentina draw
FLORENCE, Italy (AP) — Serie A champion Juventus lost its perfect record Tuesday after being held to a scoreless draw at fierce foe Fiorentina in a heated atmosphere at the Stadio Artemio Franchi.
Fiorentina had the better chances and midfielder Adem Ljajic should have put it ahead when through one-on-one with goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon.
Fiorentina forward Stevan Jovetic, Serie A's top scorer, hit the crossbar while his team also had a penalty appeal turned down.
Juventus didn't have a decent shot on goal all night and seemed to be feeling fatigued following its last-minute draw at Chelsea in the Champions League last week and Saturday's Serie A victory over Chievo Verona.
"We probably deserved to win and would have done if we had been better in front of goal and maybe luckier," Fiorentina coach Vincenzo Montella said. "I can only congratulate the squad and the fans who behaved impeccably. I'm really happy with our performance, but it would have been nice to win because they deserved to be really happy."
Juventus extended its unbeaten streak to 44 games and moved three points ahead of Napoli, which hosts Lazio on Wednesday. Fiorentina is fifth in the standings.
"We faced a great Fiorentina side, trained well, set out on the pitch well and in the best conditions," Juventus assistant coach Massimo Carrera said. "You can't always crush your opponents, you also have to be good at reading the match, containing them, which is what we did tonight.
"We didn't manage to do what we had prepared. But I repeat, the merit for that goes to Fiorentina, it's not our demerit. It's a really great merit to the Fiorentina players who ran for 90 minutes.
Fiorentina and Juventus have had a fierce rivalry for decades, and the atmosphere in Florence was predictably hostile with Juve being loudly jeered throughout the game. There were also several banners about Juve coach Antonio Conte, who is currently serving a 10-month ban for his role in a match-fixing scandal.
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