Matri hits late double to salvage win for Juve
Juventus came from behind to set a new league record of 94 points in a calendar year thanks to a 3-1 win over Cagliari.
Mauricio Pinilla put the Sardinians in front in the 16th minute, but a brace from Alessandro Matri, after Arturo Vidal had missed a penalty, turned the game around.
Mirko Vucinic added a third deep into stoppage time while Cagliari ended the game with 10 men with Davide Astori picking up two yellow cards.
Cagliari were on their travels again, choosing Parma this time as their base for the final match of 2012 after their Is Arenas home was once again denied a safety certificate.
The proximity to Turin, however, meant that the majority of the fans inside the Stadio Tardini were officially supporting the away team, which became particularly evident when a penalty was awarded to Cagliari in the 15th minute.
Vidal fouled Marco Sau inside the penalty area, and after a moment of hesitation and consultation with the referee behind the goal, a penalty was given.
Pinilla stepped up and sent his shot high into the top left-hand corner of the goal.
At the other end, a cross from Kwadwo Asamoah passed close in front of Fabio Quagliarella, who was not able to pounce from close range.
Juventus had their own penalty claims, the first of which came in the 39th minute when Astori held Quagliarella, who went to the ground.
Their next appeal came in the 64th minute when Asamoah headed wide after receiving a nudge in the back, but again the referee said no.
That chance came after Leonardo Bonucci hit the crossbar and Matri’s shot was saved by Michael Agazzi.
A minute later, Astori was sent off for a second yellow card, but it still took the Bianconeri time to make their pressure count.
They got the penalty they were looking for in the 71st minute when Dario Del Fabro tripped Sebastian Giovinco, but Vidal wasted the chance, blazing the ball over the crossbar.
Juve finally drew level in the 75th minute through Matri, who pounced after Mirko Vucinic’s shot was only parried by Agazzi.
Agazzi made a stunning one-handed stop to push Asamoah’s header onto the post and then kick the rebound clear in the 89th minute as it looked like 10-man Cagliari were going to hold on.
However, two minutes into stoppage time, Matri scored his second when Vidal blocked Nene’s clearance and the ball fell kindly for the former Cagliari striker to slot in.
Three minutes later, Vucinic made sure Giovinco’s bundled shot crossed the line to seal one more win for Juventus in 2012.
In yesterdaty’s other Serie A match, Pescara climbed out of the drop zone after Romulo Togni netted his first league goal with a stoppage-time free kick to seal a 2-1 home win over Catania.
Celik 23; Togni 90
Ht: 1-1. Att: 10,246
Pinilla 16 Pen
Matri 75, 90+2, Vucinic 90+5
Red Card: Astori (C) 65
Missed Penalty: Vidal (J) 72
Playing Today – 15.00
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Playing Tomorrow – 15.00
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Novara Vs Pro Vercelli18.00
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Standings: Sassuolo 45; Livorno 42; Verona 36; Varese (-1) 29; Modena (-2), Empoli (-1), Cittadella 28; Brescia 27; Juve Stabia, Padova (-2) 26; Spezia 25; Ternana, Ascoli (-1) 21; Bari (-7), Crotone (-2) 19; Vicenza 18; Cesena 17; Reggina (-3), Novara (-4), Lanciano 16; Pro Vercelli 15; Grosseto (-6) 11.