Dull Juventus draw at Livorno with 10 men

February 7th, 2010 - 3:19 pm ICT by IANS  

AC Milan Rome, Feb 7 (DPA) Struggling giants Juventus had Felipe Melo dismissed late in a game they drew 1-1 at Livorno to slid to sixth place in the Italian Serie A.
The way out of an embarrassing crisis appears to be still long for Juve as they seem unable to switch gears and get back to the upper tiers they lost sight of through a bad run that gave them five points from eight games.

Switching to a three-man defence in their second game under new coach Alberto Zaccheroni brought no improvement to the injury-plagued Turin side, who fell behind on 26 minutes to a header from the diminutive Antonio Filippini Saturday.

To Juve’s embarrassment, the midfielder was free to soar unopposed in the area next to a static Fabio Grosso and nod a cross from Antonio Vitale past Gianluigi Buffon.

The international goalkeeper was well positioned when Claudio Bellucci fired wide 10 minutes later and cheered his central defender Nicola Legrottaglie as his header allowed Juve to level on 42 minutes.

A swerving free kick that Brazil play maker Diego curled from a central position found Legrottaglie past the Livorno defence for a header that grazed the closest post.

As it has happened for most of the season, Juve’s schemes produced very few chances for strikers Amauri and Alessandro Del Piero and favoured the opponents with countless missed passes.

Antonio Candreva, a former Livorno midfielder, had a good firing chance on 48 minutes, but failed to worry Brazil goalkeeper Rubinho, while Filippini came close again on 72 minutes, firing high from inside the area.

Brazilian midfielder Melo complicated matters for Juve when he received a second booking and left his side to fend with 10 men with eight minutes left.

Fabio Simplicio, also a Brazilian, came on late in the game earlier Saturday to give Palermo a 2-1 win over guests Parma that pushed the Sicily side to fifth place.

Edinson Cavani and Parma’s Jonathan Biabiany were on target after a first half that offered little excitement to Palermo’s home fans at the Renzo Barbera stadium.

Reigning champions Inter Milan are firmly in the lead when they welcome Cagliari Sunday with an eight-point buffer on joint-second Roma and AC Milan.

The Rome side play a top-billing game late Sunday at Fiorentina, before Milan, who like Inter have a game in hand, visit troubled Bologna.

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