Parma have held Juventus to a 1-1 draw at the Stadio Ennio Tardini as their unbeaten home record continues in its tenth month.
It was a deserved draw for the hosts, who salvaged a point deep in the second half after Andrea Pirlo opened the scoring shortly after the restart. Juventus were never really in total control of the game, with Parma more than matching their opposition throughout.
The first chance of the match came from an unlikely source, with Parma centre-back Gabriel Paletta volleying a loose snapshot over the bar from a corner. The opening encounters largely saw a collection of half-chances, with Fabio Quagliarella curling wide of Antonio Mirante’s far post in Juventus’ first effort after ten minutes.
Massimo Gobbi drilled a shot over the bar from the edge of the area after a smart one-two with Amauri, before the lively Quagliarella forced the first save of the game from Mirante. It was, however, a fairly comfortable stop for the former Juve keeper.
The first real attempt on goal was the result of some Ishak Belfodil brilliance, with the strong forward demonstrating a pleasantly skilful touch when dribbling into the box, though he curled his shot wide from close range. The Algerian was Parma’s best attacking outlet in a half which was evenly poised. Juventus’ Tardini bogey team looked at risk of striking again.
Paul Pogba’s long range effort whistled wide of the post just short of the half-hour mark, as the sleeping bianconero beast finally began to crank into life. Ten minutes before the break Quagliarella was sent one-on-one with Mirante after a momentary lapse in defensive concentration from the hosts, though the goalkeeper snatched the ball from the Neapolitan’s feet and the chance of the match came to nothing.
Mirante was putting on a goalkeeping masterclass as his opposite number Gianluigi Buffon looked unusually shaky at the other end, and the Parma keeper was forced into an outstanding stop from an Andrea Pirlo free kick before the half-time whistle blew.
Despite Mirante’s first half heroics, there was nothing he could do to prevent Juventus taking the lead just over five minutes after the restart. Pirlo had already been thwarted from a free-kick once, though with the ball sat perfectly on the edge of the area, it wasn't going to happen again.
The outcome was a foregone conclusion as the Free Kick-o-Matic stood over the ball stroking his beard, calculating the optimal shot power and swerve angle. His effort was deflected off Jonathan Biabiany and behind the sprawling goalkeeper, as the Tardini tifosi tutted knowingly and the travails of the first half were rendered futile.
The visitors instantly assumed a more defensive shape, and despite Parma having the lion’s share of possession, they couldn’t penetrate through the Juventus ranks. Neither side created a great deal of chances, and just when the tempo of the game was grinding to a halt, substitute Nicola Sansone was slipped through on goal by Gabriel Paletta.
The quick winger got goalside of Martín Cáceres and slid the ball beyond Buffon with just over ten minutes remaining, as the Tardini erupted. Parma coach and footballing oracle Roberto Donadoni didn’t look quite as excited, though that’s only because he knew it was going to happen.
The closing moments brought end-to-end football and more hearts-in-mouths than at an Offal Appreciation Society conference, with Juventus cranking up the pressure on the crociati. Mirko Vucinic forced a good stop from Antonio Mirante with Stephan Lichtsteiner drilling a couple of crosses across the box, though somehow the ball stayed out of the goal before the final whistle blew and the gialloblu ran to embrace in the centre circle.
Parma (3-5-2): Antonio Mirante; Fabiano Santacroce, Gabriel Paletta, Cristian Zaccardo; Massimo Gobbi, Marco Parolo, Jaime Valdés, Marco Marchionni (Afriyie Acquah 82), Jonathan Biabiany; Amauri (Nicola Sansone 69), Ishak Belfodil
Juventus (3-5-2): Gianluigi Buffon; Martín Cáceres, Leonardo Bonucci, Andrea Barzagli; Simone Padoin (Paolo De Ceglie 65), Paul Pogba, Andrea Pirlo, Arturo Vidal, Stephan Lichtsteiner; Fabio Quagliarella (Mirko Vucinic 69), Sebastian Giovinco
Goals: Pirlo 52 (J) Sansone 78 (P)