Anyone worried that the match between Cesena and Juventus would be a dull affair, appropriate to the black and white uniforms the clubs are sporting, has already been proven wrong. Alessandro Matri grabbed two goals inside 35 minutes, Emanuele Giaccherini missed from two yards out, Luis Jiménez converted a penalty and Marco Motta got himself sent off. All before the halftime whistle. It's 2-1 to Juventus now, but in this match, it looks as though anything can happen.
Matri, who scored Juventus's last goal, four games ago against Inter Milan, made it clear from the start that he wanted to put his side ahead. Eight minutes in he charged forward to put in a rebound, but the flag went up for offside. No matter, Matri had his first about ten minutes later, after Alessandro Del Piero took the ball halfway up the pitch, guiding it with both his head and his feet on a weaving, bouncing run. Del Piero put the ball through two Cesena defenders for Matri, whose shot found the far corner.
A frantic attempt at an equalizer for Cesena produced one of the worst misses in Serie A this season. Giaccherini, who scored twice last weekend against Sampdoria, broke through the Juventus defense to send a sharp shot in. The ball rebounded off the post and fell again to Giaccherini, who simply needed to tap it into an open net. Instead he somehow sent the ball high and toward the corner flag.
The second Juventus goal was nearly as comedic. Del Piero made every effort to pull a Giaccherini, knocking his shot against the post. In this case, however, Matri was there to save the day, twisting his body and executing a high kick to get the ball into the net.
At the 40th minute, Gigi Buffon was extremely lucky not to be sent off for the second time since his return from injury, charging forward to bring down Marco Parolo. A red card offense, but somehow the goalkeeper managed to get away with just a yellow. Jiménez converted the penalty while Buffon was slightly distracted by a flare burning near his net.
Motta, getting a rare start for Juventus, was not so fortunate as his teammate, seeing his second yellow before the halftime whistle for a high footed challenge on Giaccherini. Whether Juventus will hold on for the win with just ten men remains to be seen.