Juventus Vs. Cesena, 2011 Serie A: Fulltime, An Easy 2-0 Victory Takes Juve Top Once More

It took over 70 minutes for things to finally get going in the Juventus - Cesena match, but once stuff started happening, it just didn't seem to stop. Alessandro Del Piero came on for Mirko Vucinic, only to be carried off eight minutes later, blood streaming from his face. Claudio Marchisio took advantage of the Seahorse guilt to score a great goal. And then, with eight minutes of normal time remaining, Francesco Antonioli was shown a straight red, forcing Guillermo Rodriguez to take over in goal. Arturo Vidal converted the resulting penalty, but Juventus were unable to score again, resulting in a 2-0 victory.

The Seahorses managed to hold Juventus to a 0-0 draw going into the break, primarily by packing ten men behind the ball and frustrating the home side into taking foolish shots. It was clear that relegation-dwelling Cesena wanted nothing more from this match then to grab a point, but it was also reasonable to expect they could actually contain the giants.

In response to Alessandro Matri's ineffectualness up front -- a few of his shots still haven't returned to earth -- Antonio Conte brought on Fabio Quagliarella in his place. Just minutes later, Mirko Vucinic made way for il capitano, completing Conte's shakeup -- or so he thought. Instead, Del Piero experienced a nasty clash with the boot of Marco Rossi, earning him the eternal hatred of the bianconeri faithful. Just eight minutes after coming on, Del Piero was carted off on a stretcher, blood staining the hands covering his face. Emanuele Giaccherini replaced him, and all Juve's subs were used.

Cesena, meanwhile, held off on the substitutes until after the deadlock was broken. Marchisio performed a beautiful turn in the area, shifting the ball to his left foot and firing it near post, scoring his sixth goal of the season. Shortly thereafter, Seahorse substitute Dominque Malonga also left with injury, replaced by Eder, while Daniele Arrigoni took that opportunity to make his last substitute at the same time, putting on Antonio Candreva in place of Raphael Martinho. Arrigoni would soon regret that decision.

Minutes later, Giaccherini received a pass from Stephan Lichtsteiner and, rushing toward goal, took a tumble over Antonioli, coming out to stop the shot. There was really nothing wrong with the play, but Daniele Doveri pointed to the spot anyway, issuing a straight red to Antonioli. With no substitutes left, Cesena had no choice but to move defender Guillermo Rodriguez into goal. Needless to say, he was unable to save the penalty shot from Arturo Vidal. Surprisingly, however, he was able to stop a shot from Quagliarella, and the match finished 2-0.

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