Livorno vs. Juventus: Final score 0-2, second half double sinks stubborn Amaranto

Gabriele Maltinti

Despite a determined defensive performance, Juventus' class eventually proved to be too much for Livorno to withstand.

Relegation-threatened Livorno put up a brave fight at home to Juventus, though two second-half goals from Fernando Llorente and Carlos Tévez undid the hosts' impressive first-half efforts. The win means Juventus move provisionally top of the Serie A table, with AS Roma not playing until tomorrow evening.

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The game got off to a scrappy start, with Juventus unsurprisingly hogging most of possession but struggling to break their determined opponents down. It took 20 minutes before the bianconeri managed to carve out a meaningful opportunity, though Fernando Llorente's looping header from inside the area went harmlessly over the bar.

Livorno were successful in keeping their opponents quiet, though failed to create much themselves. Striker Innocent Emeghara lashed a shot towards goal from distance five minutes later, though it flew way over. Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba's long-range effort just past the half-hour was rather more successful, forcing Francesco Bardi into the first save of the match.

The young keeper didn't have anywhere near as much to do in the first half as he may have expected, though when called upon he was excellent. Kwadwo Asamoah jinked into the penalty area and drilled a shot towards goal inside the final ten minutes of the half, though Bardi's low diving stop ensured the game was goalless at halftime.

Livorno started the second half surprisingly well, with Juventus looking unusually disjointed. A misplaced pass by Simone Padoin gifted the hosts a three-on-two counter-attack, though some selfish play from Emerson Ramos Borges meant the move broke down.

Despite the Old Lady looking uncharacteristically disorganised, it only took a single moment of brilliance for them to deliver Livorno a big sucker-punch. An outstanding deep Pogba cross was caught low on the volley by Llorente, whose shot rocketed unstoppably into the top corner just past the hour.

Emerson's long-range effort gave Gianluigi Buffon a brief scare with around 25 minutes left, though it narrowly cleared the bar. The raucous Armando Picchi had been quietened by Juventus' opener, and despite the best efforts of the most ardent supporters, it proved impossible for them to get back into the match.

Carlos Tévez wrapped up victory for the bianconeri with just over 15 minutes of the game remaining, placing the ball neatly in the bottom corner from the edge of the area after being laid off excellently by Llorente. It was almost three inside the final ten minutes, but the woodwork prevented the hosts netting an own goal.

Juve's fifth straight win moves them provisionally top of the table, ahead of AS Roma's game at home to Cagliari tomorrow evening. Giallorossi: it's your move.

Livorno: Bardi; Ceccherini (Gemiti 86'), Rinaudo, Coda; Mbaye (Piccini 80'), Greco, Emerson, Luci, Schiattarella; Emeghara (Borja 73'), Siligardi.

Juventus: Buffon; Chiellini, Vidal, Cáceres; Asamoah (Peluso 88'), Marchisio, Pirlo, Pogba, Padoin; Llorente (Vučinić 81'), Tévez (Quagliarella 80').

Goals: Llorente (63'), Tévez (75').

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