Draws all around in Serie A
Federico Marchetti produced a goalkeeping masterclass to deny Juventus all three points as resilient Lazio negotiated a goalless draw with the reigning Serie A champions.
Juve had responded to their first league defeat in 50 games - courtesy of Inter Milan - by beating FC Nordsjaelland 4-0 and Pescara 6-1 but, with Lazio chasing UEFA Champions League football, the Romans were in no mood to roll over in Turin.
Sebastian Giovinco and Fabio Quagliarella proved particularly dangerous to Marchetti in the visiting goal, but the former Torino stopper repelled everything that came his way to consign Juve to a first home stalemate since February. Fresh from victory in the Rome derby, a point for Vladimir Petkovic's men ensures another week in fifth place ahead of tomorrow's fixtures.
Marchetti needed to display some fancy footwork in the third minute, a clumsy back-pass causing all sorts of problems as Giovinco lurked nearby. Kwadwo Asamoah worked Marchetti's palms with a rasping effort from the left flank, but it was Giovinco who provided a sterner test as he tried his luck with his back to goal.
Marchetti was equal to that attempt but he was grateful for Quagliarella's faulty radar as the Juve striker slammed into the side netting from close range.
Giovinco was eager to grab a third goal in as many games and it nearly came when the diminutive forward dug out a sumptuous strike despite heavy pressure from the visiting defenders.
Lazio had managed to save some energy for a surprise counter-attack just before the break, but the imposing Giorgio Chiellini cut out Hernanes' tricky run before he could carve out an opening.
Paul Pogba, deputising for the suspended Andrea Pirlo, tested Marchetti's concentration after the break and the Lazio man looked lively once again. His reactions were more seriously tested in the 62nd minute, though, but he guessed right as Arturo Vidal's shot took a wicked deflection off Quagliarella.
Alessandro Matri duly emerged for the tiring Quagliarella and Petkovic took to the touchline to urge retreat in anticipation of one last Juventus push. With ten men packing the Biancocelesti box, Claudio Marchisio was restricted to shooting from distance, to no avail, while Andrea Barzagli appealed unsuccessfully for a penalty when Cristian Ledesma appeared to handle the ball.
Five minutes of stoppage time felt like an eternity for Lazio, but the side who had failed to summon a single shot on target would leave Turin with a valuable point.
Milan rescue point
The day's other game saw AC Milan avoid more negative headlines as they drew 2-2 at Napoli, who are also five points behind Juventus after blowing a lead tonight.
Controversial owner Silvio Berlusconi visited Milan's training ground this week to try to pep up the struggling giants, but his words seemed to have fallen on deaf ears as Gokhan Inler, after four minutes, and Lorenzo Insigne, on the half-hour mark, scored to put the home side ahead.
But Milan have been indebted to Stephan El Shaarawy this season, with his surprise early blossoming as a top-flight goalscorer having helped them keep their heads above water.
He opened his account for Italy too in midweek and was on song again tonight, scoring in the 44th and 82nd minutes.