Serie A

Fiorentina 1-1 Juventus: Bianconeri fortunate to escape with draw

Tom Gott
Juventus made very hard work of this one
Juventus made very hard work of this one / VINCENZO PINTO/GettyImages

Juventus produced another frustrating performance as they threw a lead away and had to hold on for a 1-1 draw against Fiorentina.

Arkadiusz Milik's early opener put Juve ahead but Christian Kouame soon tied things up and turned this game into an attack versus defence drill, which was incredibly tough to stomach from a Juventus perspective.

The visitors came out with some decent energy and forced their way into the lead through summer signing Milik after just nine minutes with one of the uglier goals you're likely to see this season. Juan Cuadrado's cross found Filip Kostic, whose volley was bundled over the line by Milik's stomach.

Fiorentina were lively in search of a response. Kouame sent a soft header right at Mattia Perin, before Antonin Barak and Youssef Maleh saw efforts scrambled away by some last-ditch Juve blocks.

Despite all their energy and possession, the Fiorentina equaliser actually came from a Juve corner just before the half-hour mark.

Pietro Terracciano punched the ball well clear and Angel Di Maria was caught napping as Riccardo Sottil beat him to the ball. It came down to a foot-race between Kouame and Cuadrado, and the Fiorentina man flashed his agility to get there first and fire beyond Perin.

Juve's reaction wasn't ideal. The sideways passing which has tainted the Max Allegri era continued full steam, and fans only grew more irritated when VAR caught a handball from new man Leandro Paredes in the box.

Up stepped Luka Jovic with what was almost the final kick of the opening 45, but his effort was sent back off the post after a nice touch from Perin.

If anyone thought Juve were going to go for a win in the second half, Allegri's decision to withdraw Di Maria in favour of Mattia De Sciglio at the break served as a perfect warning of what was about to go down.

A series of scrappy fouls and really poor corners offered an underwhelming start - and middle - to the second half. Fiorentina looked most likely to score but neither side looked particularly convincing going forward.

The exciting Jonathan Ikone looked lively and caused plenty of problems for Juve, but his finishing was nowhere near good enough on more than one occasion.

The home side's possession kept rising, with Juve's relentless sideways passing often inaccurate and presenting Fiorentina with the chance to come back at Perin's goal.

It was an ugly watch for the most part, but there was some real beauty on show late on. Sofyan Amrabat's fierce strike drew an excellent save from Perin late on, with the stand-in goalkeeper proving his worth to the side.

Had Fiorentina been more clinical, or Perin not been on his game, this could have been a real humiliation for Juve, if it wasn't already.