Soccer

Juventus beast 10-man Pescara to extend Serie A lead

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Associated Press
4/6/2013 3:47:17 PM
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MILAN, Italy -- Juventus beat 10-man Pescara 2-1 to provisionally extend its Serie A lead to 12 points on Saturday and boost its confidence ahead of Wednesday's return leg against Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarterfinals.

Mirko Vucinic scored both Juventus goals before Emmanuel Cascione's stunning strike.

Pescara goalkeeper Ivan Pelizzoli pulled off brilliant saves as he almost single-handedly held off the Juventus onslaught.

The deadlock was finally broken 18 minutes from time when Giuseppe Rizzo brought down Arturo Vidal in the area and the Pescara midfielder was shown a straight red card. Vucinic converted the resulting penalty.

Sebastian Giovinco was taken off on a stretcher with a knee injury in the first half and the Juventus striker is out of Wednesday's match.

"I told (Vucinic) he had a terrible game and still scored two goals, just think what he could have done had he played well!" Juventus coach Antonio Conte said. "It's important that Mirko scored today and that is a good sign for the Bayern match.

"It had seemed to be a cursed game. We were shooting from all angles, getting the goalkeeper or the woodwork. Pelizzoli had a fantastic game. We deserved to win and I am happy with our performance, even if after Pescara's goal we should have managed the game a bit better. It wasn't easy to win and today's points were crucial."

Juventus extended its lead over Napoli, which hosts Genoa on Sunday.

Pescara remains rooted to the bottom of the table, six points behind 17th-place Genoa.

The day ended with Rolando Bianchi scoring from the last kick of the game to help Torino draw 2-2 at Bologna.

Conte made several changes from Tuesday's 2-0 loss at Bayern. Goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon was out with the flu while key midfielder Andrea Pirlo also remained on the bench. Giorgio Chiellini and Andrea Barzagli were suspended.

The defending champion won 6-1 at Pescara in November and looked on course for another hefty victory as it began to lay siege to Pelizzoli's goal.

The 32-year-old goalkeeper was called into action for the first time in the 12th minute, and did well to keep out Emanuele Giaccherini's volley on the turn.

Pelizzoli also denied Giovinco and Vucinic as well as pulling off a rousing stop to parry Vidal's volley from point-blank range.

He also managed to get his fingers to a fierce shot from substitute Fabio Quagliarella to turn it onto his post as Pescara reached halftime without conceding.

Vucinic should have scored early in the second half but sidefooted Kwadwo Asamoah's pass horribly wide

Pelizzoli continued to perform heroics, with the match being played almost entirely in the Pescara half, and he even dove the right way for Vucinic's penalty, but could not stop it going into the left corner.

Vucinic also had a goal rightly ruled out for offside before managing to double Juventus' lead in the 78th minute, turning his marker and firing across into the bottom right corner.

Pescara grabbed one back seven minutes from time with its first shot on goal. Cascione, who scored against Juventus in November, unleashed a long-range screamer into the top right corner.

Giuseppe Sculli almost snatched a stunning goal for Pescara at the death, but Marco Storari made his first save of the game.

In Bologna, Torino took the lead in the 25th minute when home goalkeeper Gianluca Curci could only parry Mario Santana's fierce long-range strike and Barreto was on hand to bundle it in.

It was the second goal in as many games for Barreto, who hadn't scored in two and a half years before Sunday's 5-3 defeat to Napoli.

Panagotis Kone levelled in the 65th when he headed in Archimede Morleo's cross and Bologna thought it won the match following a rocket of a strike from substitute Tiberio Guarente in the 86th, just three minutes after coming off the bench.

However, Bianchi tapped home Danilo D'Ambrosio's cross to snatch a share of the points.

Mirko Vucinic (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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