Juventus held 0-0 at Fiorentina in Serie A
FLORENCE, Italy (AP) — Juventus’ march to a fourth successive title was halted on Friday as it was held to a goalless draw at fierce rival Fiorentina in Serie A.
Massimiliano Allegri’s side moved four points clear but second-place Roma can cut the advantage to a solitary point if it beats Sassuolo on Saturday.
Juventus appeared to have half an eye on Tuesday’s crucial Champions League match against Atletico Madrid and Allegri rested a number of players, including star striker Carlos Tevez, who was brought on after an hour.
Both sides struggled to carve out scoring opportunities in a tense match between two old foes at the Stadio Artemio Franchi.
“Fiorentina played one of its best games of the season and we showed that we are a strong and united squad,” Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci said. “We can’t win them all even if I would like that and the draw allows us nevertheless to remain at the top of the table. At the end the draw was the right result.”
Fiorentina remained eighth.
It was a grudge match for both sides as Fiorentina had come from two goals down to win the corresponding fixture 4-2 last season, but Juventus got its revenge by knocking the Tuscan club out of the Europa League.
It was a tetchy first half with four bookings and several penalty appeals turned down.
Patrice Evra had the first real opportunity of the match shortly after halftime as he was set up by French compatriot Paul Pogba and his effort stung Neto’s gloves.
Fiorentina went close in the 67th when Pogba gave the ball away to Mati Fernandez who sent Mario Gomez clear, but Bonucci pulled off a perfectly-time last-ditch tackle.
From the resulting corner the ball came out to Juan Cuadrado, whose screamer was punched away by Gianluigi Buffon.
Juventus had another penalty appeal turned down in stoppage time when Pogba’s flick struck David Pizarro on the hand from point-blank range.