Juventus struggle to clinch win at Palermo

February 22nd, 2009 - 2:34 pm ICT by IANS  

AC MilanRome, Feb 22 (DPA) Mali’s Mohamed Sissoko and the comeback-man David Trezeguet were on target for Juventus as the Turin club won 2-0 at Palermo despite a lacklustre form in the Serie A.
Palermo’s breathtaking start Saturday put Turin club on the ropes as Fabrizio Miccoli, a former Juventus striker, fired from inside the area forcing a difficult save from Gianluigi Buffon in the fourth minute.

A first chance for Juventues came from Frenchman Trezeguet, who played his first Serie A game this season after undergoing knee surgery, had a close-range saved in the sixth minutes as his side tried to hold back the hosts’ pressure.

Palermo’s efforts gradually lost steam and Juve promptly profited from a dithering in midfield when Sissoko in the 27th minute stormed toward the area and stunned Marco Amelia with a smashing drive under the bar.

More dangerous drives from Pavel Nedved and Vincenzo Iaquinta found Amelia ready to deflect, while Palermo’s Uruguayan Edison Cavani fired wide in the 44th minutes.

Palermo produced a fierce equalizing effort after the break and held Juve in their midfield for long stretches, but the drives from Antonio Nocerino, also a former Juve player, and Miccoli found Buffon well positioned to deflect in the 63rd and 66th minutes.

Amauri came on for Juve against his former side and had a close-range deflection saved before squaring in the 79th minutes for Trezeguet’s flick that Simon Kjer deflected to fool his own goalkeeper.

Earlier, Inter stretched their lead courtesy of a 2-1 victory over Bologna that allowed Jose Mourinho’s side conserve some energy for next week’s Champions League home clash with Manchester United.

Argentine Esteban Cambiasso and substitute Mario Balotelli scored in the second half to sink lowly Bologna, who managed a short-lived equalizer and lie now just above the drop zone.

The win pushed Inter on to 59 points from 25 games. Second-place Juventus have 50 points, while AC Milan trail on 45 before a Sunday home game with Cagliari.

Fourth-place Roma failed to impress their home crowd, but still managed to clinch a 1-0 win against defence-geared Siena through a goal from Brazilian Rodrigo Taddei.

As the Champions League next week begins its knock-out phase, Roma visit Arsenal Tuesday, while Juventus play at Chelsea Wednesday.

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