Pellissier treble pegs back Juve
Sergio Pellissier scored a hat-trick to put a huge dent in Juventus's title chances, as Chievo earned a 3-3 draw in a thrilling match in Turin. Vincenzo Iaquinta's strike 11 minutes from time seemed to have earned the Old Lady of Turin a vital victory, but Pellissier struck his third in injury time to earn Chievo their first ever point away to Juve. The draw means second-placed Juventus cut Inter Milan's lead to six points, but the reigning champions can increase their lead to nine points if they win at Udinese later today.
For Chievo it continued their remarkable recent run that has not seen them lose since February, when they were bottom of the table. Pellissier proved a constant thorn in Juve's side throughout the afternoon, but the Turin giants' coach Claudio Ranieri will have been dismayed with his team's defending for all the visitors' goals.
The first two were carbon copy goals as the visitors split Juve's fragile defence with long balls forward from the right, allowing Pellissier to gallop through on goal. Both times he got between centre-backs Giorgio Chiellini and Olof Mellberg, taking the ball around Gianluigi Buffon on 25 minutes and shooting across the goalkeeper on 44 minutes. In between, Chiellini had restored parity on 34 minutes with a thrashed left-foot volley that seemed to surprise him as much as everyone else in the stadium, although Mauro Camoranesi's flick in the build up to set up the big defender was exquisite.
Camoranesi created all three Juve goals, although the second on 53 minutes found its way to the net only through sheer luck. The Italy midfielder headed a deep cross back across goal and it came off no less than three Chievo defenders before trickling over the line without a Juve forward in touching distance.
And 11 minutes from time, Camoranesi crossed to the back post where Iaquinta continued his recent goalscoring run by heading back across Stefano Sorrentino. But Chievo snatched a well-deserved point at the end, as Pellissier met Antonio Langella's deep cross at the back post with a firm header.
Elsewhere, Genoa kept their noses in front in the race for fourth place and the final UEFA Champions League qualification position as a late goal from Brazilian Thiago Motta earned them a 1-0 win at rock bottom Reggina. Fiorentina kept on Genoa's heels, just two points behind, as Alberto Gilardino scored a winner a minute from time in a 2-1 success at ten-man Atalanta.
Atalanta had led 1-0 through substitute Gianvinto Plasmati's deflected strike four minutes into the second period, but the dismissal of Federico Peluso on 57 minutes proved not only harsh, but also decisive. Peluso tripped Gilardino in the box as the former AC Milan striker was bearing down on goal with only goalkeeper Andrea Consigli to beat.
The referee deemed Peluso to be the last man and showed him the red card, with Montenegro midfielder Stevan Jovetic slotting home the penalty despite a touch from Consigli. Fiorentina continued to toil looking for a winner until the last minute when Gilardino got in front of his man at the near post to flick home Serbian midfielder Zdravko Kuzmanovic's right wing cross from close range.