Juve survive Fiorentina scare to go top
Juventus reclaimed top spot in Serie A after holding on to secure a 2-1 victory over Fiorentina in Turin. With previous leaders Udinese and Lazio not playing until Wednesday, Juve took advantage of the opportunity to move back to the summit, although it wasn't an entirely convincing performance.
They should have had the match wrapped up at half-time, but led only through a Leonardo Bonucci goal. Fiorentina came storming back in the second period and equalised through Stevan Jovetic, but Alessandro Matri netted the winner eight minutes later as Juve maintained their unbeaten start to the season.
"We won and we deserved it and of course I'm happy with my goal," match-winner Matri told SkySport. "We dominated the whole of the first half and created a lot of chances without finishing them or closing out the game.
"We risked dropping points but finished in style because we won. It's too early, we're looking at the performance and the game but the table will come into it later on."
Cheered on by a boisterous home crowd, Juventus started the game at break-neck speed but they seemed to be lacking in composure. Simone Pepe connected with nothing but air when presented with a chance to shoot and only goalkeeper Artur Boruc to beat.
Stephan Lichsteiner's cross from the right then somehow went all the way through to Mirko Vucinci but he shinned the ball well wide. Fiorentina's defending had been weak and it got worse on 13 minutes as Juve took the lead.
Andrea Pirlo's corner along the ground somehow found Arturo Vidal around the penalty spot. His shot lacked power, but Boruc spilled it and Bonucci was the only player to react to the loose ball in the six-yard box.
There could have been a second on 22 minutes when Vidal's cross from the right found Matri but he volleyed just over, although with four defenders around him he should have never reached the ball.
Vucinic wasted a pair of chances with weak finishes from good positions. He then played a great one-two with Vidal but with only the goalkeeper to beat from a tight angle, shot wide of the far post.
Fiorentina had been feeble in the first period, but coach Sinisa Mihajlovic threw striker Alberto Gilardino into the fray in the second half. That move paid instant dividends as Fiorentina were a transformed force.
Juve goalkeeper Marco Storari had to tip over a powerful downward header from Jovetic from Juan Vargas's corner. Gilardino then fed Vargas who teed up Jovetic to take a touch and curl an unstoppable finish into the top corner on 58 minutes.
The tide seemed to be turning, but Pepe managed to slip in Matri to score a striker's goal and restore the hosts' advantage. Although Juve sat progressively deeper as the game wore on, they came closest to scoring again when Boruc made a fine save from Matri.