Juve return to top four
Juventus moved back into the top four in Serie A on Saturday thanks to a 2-1 win over Fiorentina.
Last Updated: 06/03/10 8:08pm
Juventus moved back into the top four in Serie A on Saturday thanks to a 2-1 victory over Fiorentina at the Stadio Artemio Franchi.
The Turin giants are under enormous pressure after an indifferent season and coach Alberto Zaccheroni, who has the job until the end of the season, felt the full force of the fans' frustration last weekend.
Defeat by Palermo was their first under his tenure but that did not stop irate supporters setting fire to a section of the Stadio Olimpico in protest.
Adding to his motivation was ongoing speculation Fiorentina boss Cesare Prandelli is being lined up as his replacement in the summer.
So it would have been especially satisfying when Diego put the visitors ahead in only the second minute. Marco Marchionni drew the Viola level just after the half-hour mark but Juve took the points thanks to Fabio Grosso's 68th-minute screamer.
The three points lifted Zaccheroni's side back above Palermo - until Sunday at least - while Fiorentina remain in 10th but are now nine points off a UEFA Champions League spot.
The Bianconeri struck from the first opening of the game, Antonio Candreva setting up Diego, who looked suspiciously offside as he dribbled round keeper Sebastian Frey.
But the goal was allowed to stand and Fiorentina immediately set about the business of responding.
Alberto Gilardino, back after injury, was denied by a great save from stand-in Juve keeper Alex Manninger while Stevan Jovetic was just off target with a 30-yard effort.
In the 16th minute, Gilardino showed great skill to beat defender Nicola Legrottaglie but Manninger got a foot to the ball ahead of the striker.
Moments later the keeper was again called on to keep out Riccardo Montolivo's free-kick while Juan Manuel Vargas let fly from distance but could not keep his effort down.
The pressure on the visiting goal was constant and it was no surprise when the hosts drew level in the 32nd minute.
Manninger, in for the injured Gianluigi Buffon, had kept his side in it but he was at fault as former Juve player Marchionni headed in.
The midfielder could have completed the turnaround three minutes before half-time but he fired wide from 10 yards.
Half-time gave Juve a chance to draw breath and they were first on the attack after the break but Diego could only curl a 20-yard free-kick straight at Frey.
Felipe Melo's weak header also presented no problems for the keeper while, at the other end, Jovetic again tried his luck from long range but was off target.
David Trezeguet tested Frey with a volley and it was the visitors who took the lead for the second time in the 68th minute when Grosso crashed a shot into the top corner.
The home players complained in vain about an apparent handball from Giorgio Chiellini in the area moments later but it was not to be their night.
Jovetic fired in a couple more efforts but he could not seriously test Manninger and Juve could have made the scoreline more emphatic in injury time when a superb double save from Frey denied Claudio Marchisio.