Parma hold leaders Juventus
Serie A, Stadio Ennio Tardini – Parma 1 (Sansone 77) Juventus 1 (Pirlo 52)
Serie A leaders Juventus were held to a 1-1 draw at the Stadio Ennio Tardini as Parma scored 13 minutes from time to salvage a point.
Andrea Pirlo put the visitors in front with a deflected free-kick in the 52nd minute, but second-placed Lazio were able to close the gap on the Turin club at the top of the table after substitute Nicola Sansone grabbed a late equaliser for Parma and rescue a draw.
With Lazio having beaten Atalanta 2-0 at the Stadio Olimpico, the result sees Antonio Conte’s side’s lead cut to three points with 20 games having been played; Parma, meanwhile, drop to ninth place with the single point gained.
Gabriel Paletta came close to giving the hosts an early lead as he drove a low shot narrowly wide from the edge of the box after a rampaging run, with Gianluigi Buffon left to scramble across his line without being tested.
Juventus dictated much of the play, but Massimo Gobbi again had Buffon concerned after he unleashed a fierce shot which zipped just wide of the near post as Roberto Donadoni’s side broke on the counter-attack at every opportunity.
Parma forward Ishak Belfodil eventually called Buffon into real action midway through the half with a low shot from the edge of the box which forced the goalkeeper into making a fine save down low to his left after fine work from Marco Marchionni, bursting from midfield.
But the closest either side came in the first half was Pirlo’s effort in the 39th minute as the veteran midfielder thought he had picked out the top corner of the net with a sublime free-kick from 25 yards out, only for Antonio Mirante to make a sensational save at full stretch.
It took just seven minutes of the second half for Juventus to seize control of the match, however: Pirlo saw another fine free kick take a vicious deflection off Jonathan Biabiany with Mirante sent the wrong way, and the 33-year-old gave his side the lead.
Pirlo proceeded to pull the strings for his side as the visitors carved out 14 shots, and Parma struggled to haul themselves back into the game after having fallen behind to the set piece.
Both managers made changes midway through the second half to add some fresh legs, and one of Donadoni’s substitutions made the difference for the hosts with Juventus unable to preserve their slender advantage.
Paletta drifted inside and slid an incisive through ball beyond Martin Caceres and into the path of Sansone, and the late replacement kept his composure to slide a clinical finish under the onrushing Buffon and restore parity as his manager was left to punch the air in delight.
Juventus were shocked back into action in the final third, and substitute Mirko Vucinic jinked inside from the right and hammered a low shot on target which tested Mirante, but the keeper made a smart save down low to his left.
The contest petered out in the final minutes as both sides appeared to settle for a point, with Parma far the happier with the result at full-time after their late recovery.