Juventus maintained a 100% start to their Serie A campaign with a hard fought 1-0 over Fiorentina.
Juventus maintained their 100% start to their Serie A campaign with a hard fought 1-0 over Fiorentina, thanks to a goal from Mario Mandzukic at the Juventus Stadium on Wednesday night.
Max Allegri made five changes from the comfortable 3-1 win over struggling Sassuolo on Sunday with Wojciech Szczesny, Stefano Sturaro, Andrea Barzagli, Kwado Asamoah and Rodrigo Bentacur replacing Gigi Buffon, Stephan Lichtsteiner, Giorgio Chiellini, Alex Sandro and Miralem Pjanic.
Fiorentina came into the game off the back off two consecutive victories and boss Stefano Pioli made one change from their 2-1 win over Bologna on Sunday, with Vincent Laurini replacing Bruno Gaspar at right back.
The multiple changes seemed to effect Juventus in a fairly dull first half which saw neither keepers tested. The in-form Paulo Dybala tried to replicate his stunning free kick against Sassuolo but saw his effort flash past the post of Marco Sportiello.
Ex-Aston Villa midfielder Jordan Veretout then blazed Fiorentina's only effort of the first half over from a free-kick after Andrea Barzagli was booked for bringing down the lively Giovanni Simeone.
Juve started to ask a few questions of the well discplined away defence with a couple of dangerous crosses from Asamoah and Juan Cuadrado but Sportiello did well with coming to claim the balls in.
Rodrigo Bentancur then tried his luck from 35 yards with a powerful drive but saw his goalbound effort blocked, before Gonzalo Higuain tried a curling effort which was deflected harmlessly wide, as a lacklustre goalless first half was bought to an end.
Allegri's side came out with a higher intensity in the second half and found themselves ahead a 52 minutes, when a quick free kick was worked out to Cuadrado, and the Colombian superb cross was headed home by the onrushing Mandzukic.
Cuadrado was continuing to cause Cristiano Biraghi problems as he flashed another delivery across the face of the Fiorentina goal, as the home side looked to double their lead. Daniel Rugani nearly cost his side a goal as Cyril Thereau as inches away from equalising following the Italians error.
Fiorentina were then reduced to ten men in the 65th minute as Milan Badelj clumsily bought down Blaise Matuidi to earn himself an early bath. Before Mandzukic had an effort cleared off the line by Bruno Gaspar following another low Cuadrado cross.
The former Chelsea wide man then tested Sportiello from range as Juve began to dominate proceedings using their man advantage to create opportunities. Mandzukic then saw another header saved by Sportiello, as the Viola keeper nearly made a mess of what should have been a routine save.
Pjanic was the next to chance his arm after good work from Bentacur found Asamoah whose low cross was missed by Higuain and evetually struck straight at the Fiorentina number one by the Bosnian.
Substitute Gil Dias had a golden opportunity to equalise for the ten men when he was found in the area but took too long and saw his shot blocked behind, with the resulting corner headed wide by Simeone, as Juventus secured their fifth consecutive league win.