Serie A, Week 29: Juventus Beat Inter Milan 2-0 In The Derby D'Italia

Despite Inter's relentless attack in the first half, the visitors couldn't beat Gigi Buffon, and second half goals from Caceres and Del Piero gave Juventus the win.

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Juventus Vs. Inter Milan, 2012 Serie A: Goals From Caceres, Del Piero Give Juve 2-0 Win

Juventus have done the double over Inter Milan this season, winning 2-0 in the Derby d'Italia on Sunday night. Although the two sides looked evenly matched in the first half, goals by Martin Caceres and Alessandro Del Piero proved to be Inter's undoing. The win puts Juve back within three points of AC Milan, while Inter slide down into eighth place.

The visitors started off quickly, attacking right from the start and disarming Juventus in the process. Although the home side managed a few shots from the likes of Alessandro Matri and Mirko Vucinic, those either missed the mark by quite a bit or went straight into the arms of Julio Cesar. But his opposite sure was busy -- Gigi Buffon seemed to be saving shots from nearly everyone in the Inter side. His spectacular saves are the only reason the match went into the break scoreless.

After the restart, Inter were already looking a bit worn down, but still Juventus could find no way through. Antonio Conte wasted little time in making changes, bringing in Del Piero for Matri and removing Simone Pepe in favor of Leonardo Bonucci. The switch to a 3-5-2 produced results quickly. After less than five minutes, Claudio Marchisio let off a rocket from distance, forcing Julio Cesar into a fingertip save. The resulting corner proved to be Inter's undoing, however. Caceres, unmarked near the back post, headed on the corner for the first goal of the match -- and his first in Serie A since his return to Juve.

Claudio Ranieri responded with his own double switch, replacing John Obi with Marco Faraoni and Giampaolo Pazzini for Andrea Poli. Despite the addition of an additional forward, the nerazzurri just couldn't get back to the way they'd been playing in the first half. By the 72nd minute, Juve had another, courtesy of who else but il capitano, scoring his first in the league this season. Arturo Vidal sent a magnificent ball through three black and blue shirts, and Del Piero seemed to have all the time in the world has he sent his low shot to Julio Cesar's right. The keeper dove left and the Old Lady had their second, and decisive, goal.


Juventus Vs. Inter Milan, 2012 Serie A: Alessandro Del Piero Puts Juve Up 2-0

Alessandro Del Piero, subbed on for Alessandro Matri early in the second half, has reminded the world why he is still a fantastic footballer. Praise must be given to Arturo Vidal in setting up il capitano, however. The Chilean slid his ball through three Inter Milan defenders to reach the oncoming Del Piero, who calmly sent his shot toward his left. Julio Cesar, already diving in the opposite direction, could do nothing to stop the ball this time.

With just fifteen minutes remaining in the match, it is nearly impossible to imagine an Inter comeback. Claudio Ranieri did his own tinkering after Martin Caceres scored the first goal, bringing on Giampaolo Pazzini for Andrea Poli and Marco Faraoni for Joel Obi. But unlike the double switch for Juventus (in addition to the ADP for Matri switch, Simone Pepe gave way for Leonardo Bonucci) which brought a goal shortly after, the change for the visitors has brought nothing different to their game.


Juventus Vs. Inter Milan, 2012 Serie A: Martin Caceres Gives Juventus The Lead

Martin Caceres has broken the deadlock in the Derby d'Italia, giving Juventus the 1-0 lead against Inter Milan. Seconds before it had been relief for the visitors: Claudio Marchisio let fire from distance, but a fingertip save from Julio Cesar kept the ball out of the net. But the nerazzurri were felled on the corner, allowing Caceres space near the far post. The Uruguayan rose up to knock in the header, getting his first Serie A goal since his return to Juve.

Credit to Antonio Conte. His tactical changes seem to have revived the Old Lady, removing Simone Pepe for Leonardo Bonucci and, perhaps more significantly, replacing Alessandro Matri with il capitano, Alessandro Del Piero. So now it's Claudio Ranieri's turn. What can he do to give Inter that extra push? His only response can be to bring on Giampaolo Pazzini, but one wonders if that will be enough to turn the tide and allow the visitors to grab a point.


Juventus Vs. Inter Milan, 2012 Serie A: Amazing Gigi Keeps The Score 0-0 At Halftime In The Derby D'Italia

There may have been no goals thus far in the Derby d'Italia, but for once, both Inter Milan and Juventus are playing some exciting football. While both sides have had their chances, most of those taken by the bianconeri have barely threatened the goal of Julio Cesar. On the other end, however, Gigi Buffon has pulled off a string of fantastic saves.

The hosts appeared a bit disconcerted by the way Inter came into the match determined to attack. Considering the recent form of the nerazzurri, it's easy to see why Juventus were taken aback by the early pressure. They responded in kind, but their precision is lacking: over-hit crosses, misplayed passes, skewed shots. Alessandro Matri and Mirko Vucinic have both had prime opportunities, but have either sent them straight at Julio Cesar or missed the mark by a wide margin.

Not so for Inter's attackers -- it seems as though half the side has let off a fantastic shot at goal. Diego Forlan, Joel Obi, and Dejan Stankovic have all had shots knocked away by a flawless Buffon. The keeper responded perfectly to a shot from Diego Milito, flying through the air to knock it away, with Milito unable to do anything with the resulting rebound except sky it over the goal.

So what now? Will Antonio trust that Inter's aging legs will get tired, and resist change? Will he simply wait until the 60th minute, throw on a defensive-minded player, and return to his conservative ways? Or will it be Claudio Ranieri that starts the tinkering, hoping to save his job by being the first to beat Juventus?


Juventus Vs. Inter Milan, 2012 Serie A: Lineups For Derby D'Italia

We're just minutes away from the Derby d'Italia, with Juventus hosting Inter Milan. The bianconeri are anxious to grab all three points in order to keep AC Milan from pulling away in the race for the scudetto. As for Inter, well, they're likely just determined to keep from making a mess out of the match. Even so, this should be an exciting night.

Here are your lineups:

Juventus Starting XI (4-3-3): Gigi Buffon; Martin Caceres, Andrea Barzagli, Giorgio Chiellini, Paolo De Ceglie; Arturo Vidal, Andrea Pirlo, Claudio Marchisio, Simone Pepe, Alessandro Matri, Mirko Vucinic

Juventus Bench: Marco Storari, Leonardo Bonucci, Simone Padoin, Luca Marrone, Alessandro Del Piero, Fabio Quagliarella, Marco Borriello

Inter Milan Starting XI (4-4-2): Julio Cesar; Maicon, Lucio, Walter Samuel, Yuto Nagatomo; Javier Zanetti, Dejan Stankovic, Andrea Poli, Joel Obi; Diego Forlan, Diego Milito.

Inter bench: Luca Castellazzi, Andrea Ranocchia, Cristian Chivu, Marco Faraoni, Fredy Guarin, Esteban Cambiasso, Giampaolo Pazzini


Juventus Vs. Inter Milan, 2012 Serie A Week 29: Wrap Up The Weekend With Derby D'Italia

The pressure is piling up on Inter Milan as they travel to Turin to face Juventus in the Derby D'Italia.


AC Milan Vs. AS Roma, 2012 Serie A: Zlatan Ibrahimovic Brace Earns Milan Comeback Win

AC Milan was dominant in the first half against AS Roma, but still went to the break down a goal. Zlatan Ibrahimovic made sure his club wouldn't finish the match the same way, though, making the home side's domination count with a second half brace that handed Milan a 2-1 win at the San Siro.

Despite being undoubtedly the better side in the first half, Milan finished poorly and gave the ball away cheaply in the final third. Roma was only too happy to take advantage of that, especially Pablo Osvaldo, who jumped on a rebound of a Daniele De Rossi shot and knocked it home from close range to put the visitors on top.

De Rossi may have been central to Roma's goal, but he was also at fault for Milan's first one. The midfielder was whistled for a handball in the box, giving Milan a penalty. Ibrahimovic took it and buried it, leveling a match which Milan probably deserved to lead.

They did finally get ahead after 83 minutes and again, it was Ibrahimovic. Sulley Muntari was the provider as he got free before crossing for Ibrahimovic, who easily nodded the ball past Maarten Stekelenburg for the winner.

The win moved Milan seven points clear of Juventus for the top spot in Serie A, but Juve does have a match in hand. Roma are now in a hole as they chase a European spot, sitting three points out of the two Europa League places and four points out of the final Champions League place.


AC Milan Vs. AS Roma, 2012 Serie A: Pablo Osvaldo Gives Roma The Lead At Halftime

With just minutes to go before the halftime whistle, Pablo Osvaldo gave AS Roma the 1-0 advantage over AC Milan. Christian Abbiati blocked a shot from Daniele De Rossi, only to have Osvaldo seize his chance, knocking it into the net from close range. The visitors have the lead going into the break, but will they be able to keep control?

It's been the home side that's dominating the match, pouncing on Roma's errors to create plenty of chances. But the rossoneri have lacked a finishing touch, and somehow it's the visitors that have the lead. The giallorossi have won their last two matches 1-0, but Palermo and Genoa aren't in quite the same league as Milan (well, technically they are, but hey, you know what I mean). Although the title-holders lost Thiago Silva after just ten minutes, their talisman remains on the pitch. Perhaps Roma's post-break strategy should simply be to provoke Zlatan Ibrahimovic into slapping someone across the face.


Thiago Silva Injured, Leaves Milan - Roma After Just Ten Minutes

Thiago Silva was forced to leave the match between AC Milan and AS Roma after less than ten minutes. The rossoneri defender injured himself during the warm up but managed to take his spot in the starting lineup. Unfortunately for the home side, he pulled up short in the tenth minute, signaling to the bench his inability to continue. Gianluca Zambrotta came in to take his place.

If there's anything that could have given the Roma side more hope than a Zlatan Ibrahimovic red card, it's the loss of Thiago Silva, undoubtedly Milan's best defender. With the addition of Zambrotta in his place, the giallorossi front three will look to exploit the weakness in the home side's central defence.

But for Milan, it's more than the loss of their defender for this match. The rossoneri face Barcelona midweek, and will dread meeting the champions without the steadiness of Thiago Silva at the back.


AC Milan Vs. AS Roma, 2012 Serie A Week 29: Rossoneri Look To Widen The Gap

Despite Roma's tendency to perform well at the San Siro, they'll likely need a miracle (or a red card) to stop Zlatan Ibrahimovic's Milan.

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