Juventus eke out much-needed win
An own goal from Paolo Castellini helped ten-man Juventus beat Parma 2-1 for just their second win in seven games at Stadio Ennio Tardini.
The defender headed into his own net after the hosts had failed to clear a corner, with the 30-year-old only able to steer the ball past the helpless Antonio Mirante. Hasan Salihamidzic had headed Juve into an early lead, before veteran forward Nicola Amoruso grabbed an equaliser for Parma.
The visitors were looking to keep the pressure on Serie A leaders Inter Milan, and got the perfect start as they took the lead in just the third minute. A deep corner was headed goalwards by defender Giorgio Chiellini, and Salihamidzic was ideally placed to nod home his second goal of the season from close range.
That goal led to an extended period of Juventus pressure, with right-back Martin Caceres offering superb support with several energetic bursts down the flank. French forward David Trezeguet had a chance to extend the lead but his weak header was comfortably dealt with by Mirante.
But Parma soon recovered their composure and began to string together some promising attacks, and Jonathan Biabiany forced Alex Manninger into his first meaningful save of the game with a powerful drive from the right edge of the penalty area.
Juventus were then dealt a blow as Trezeguet was forced to limp off after just 18 minutes, the France international landed awkwardly after going for a high ball with Christian Panucci, with Amauri replacing the 32-year-old.
Things got worse for Ciro Ferrara's side as former Juventus player Amoruso netted an equaliser for Parma on 24 minutes. Damiano Zenoni delivered an excellent cross to the near post after good work by David Lanzafame, and Amoruso was unmarked as he headed past a motionless Manninger.
Caceres was then booked after a late tackle on Biabiany and the home side, boosted by their equaliser, gradually took control of the game. Amoruso went close to giving them the lead but the 35-year-old's dipping volley was turned over the crossbar by Manninger.
But Castellini's misjudgement gave the visitors a lead they barely deserved. The home defence were unable to cope with an inswinging corner and as the ball bobbled through a crowd of players the defender was unable to prevent himself heading into the top corner on 38 minutes.
The game tightened up after the break with Juventus seemingly happy to protect their slender lead. Zenoni connected superbly with a poor headed clearance, but Chiellini bravely blocked his fizzing volley.
At the other end, Amauri failed to latch on to an intelligent pull-back by Diego, while Salihamidzic fired wide from distance. Juventus's relative comfort was dealt a blow when Caceres was shown a second yellow card for a lunge on Cristian Zaccardo after 72 minutes.
The dismissal saw Diego withdrawn for Zdenek Grygera, and the Czech defender's expertise was desperately needed as Parma laid siege to Manninger's goal.
The excellent Amoruso fired wide after being teed up by substitute Valeri Bojinov, while Zaccardo's long-range drive was comfortably saved by Manninger. Bojinov then struck the wall with a free-kick during six minutes of stoppage time, but Juventus held on for a much-needed win to lift the pressure on Ferrara.