Ten-man Juventus' unbeaten start to the Serie A season was ended by Fiorentina as they suffered a humbling 3-0 loss at the Allianz Stadium. (More Football News)
The champions had gone 12 games without a loss in the top flight under Andrea Pirlo prior to Tuesday's setback, coming on the day they discovered their 3-0 forfeit win over Napoli in October has been revoked following their opponents' successful appeal.
Dusan Vlahovic scored early on for Fiorentina and Juve then lost Juan Cuadrado with 18 minutes played, the referee upgrading the yellow card he initially showed to a red following a VAR check.
Juve were unable to hit back and conceded twice more in the final 14 minutes, with Alex Sandro putting into his net and their former player Martin Caceres tapping in to inflict a further Scudetto blow on Pirlo's men.
0-3 at Juventus. pic.twitter.com/EKo24Zp1nX— ACF Fiorentina English (@ACFFiorentinaEN) December 22, 2020
Fiorentina failed to score in their previous four away league matches but were ahead inside 148 seconds in Turin - Vlahovic dinking the ball over an onrushing Wojciech Szczesny after being played in by Franck Ribery's throughball.
Juve had plenty of time to respond but their task was made all the more difficult when Cuadrado was sent off for catching Gaetano Castrovilli on the shin with a studs-up challenge
A poor pass from Leonardo Bonucci eight minutes later had the visitors in again, only for Szczesny to bail out his captain by making a fine save down to his right to deny Castrovilli a second.
The relatively quiet Cristiano Ronaldo had a shot repelled by Bartlomiej Dragowski at the end of the first half and was further frustrated with just under an hour played as his diving header was rightly chalked off for offside.
But Juve, who had previously found the net in a record 34 successive home Serie A matches against Fiorentina, were unable to hit back and were caught out at the back as they piled bodies forward.
Cristiano Biraghi whipped in a cross from the left and the ball deflected in off Alex Sandro, the defender unable to properly adjust his body in front of goal.
Caceres then added a third for Fiorentina in the 81st minute after Ribery had stolen the ball from Bonucci.
The Fiorentina defender converted a simple finish having been played in by Biraghi, rounding off a day to forget for Juve skipper Bonucci and his side.
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Juve started the day four points behind leaders Milan in third and end it seven points adrift of top spot down in fourth, without the pacesetters even kicking a ball.
That is down to Napoli's successful appeal, with that fixture having to be replayed in early 2021, but of more concern to Pirlo will be the manner of this defeat to Fiorentina.
The visitors were previously winless in eight league games yet they inflicted a first ever three-goal defeat on Juve at the Allianz Stadium, doing so with only 46 per cent of the ball.
Ribery torments Bonucci
Bonucci would not have had many worse games in football than this, as the experienced Juventus defender was arguably at fault for all three Fiorentina goals.
That is largely down to the incredible display of Ribery, who claimed an assist for the first goal and played a big part in the third. Not only that, his six tackles were the most of any player on the pitch, two more than next-highest Federico Chiesa.
Juve's disciplinary problems
The referee had little choice but to reach into his back pocket following Cuadrado's tackle on Castrovilli - the fifth red card Juve have been issued in Serie A this season, which is the joint-most of any side in Europe's top five leagues.
Juve have won only one of those five games and will now have to make do without Cuadrado, one of their key attacking talents down the right-hand side, for a period early in the new year.
Key Opta Stats:
- This is only the second away win for Fiorentina against Juventus in Serie A for 30 years (the other was in March 2008 under Cesare Prandelli).
- It was also the second highest away win for Fiorentina in Serie A history against Juventus (after a 4-0 victory in 1955).
- With Cuadrado sent off in his 200th Juve match, his side received their first red card in the opening 20 minutes in Serie A since February 2011, when Gianluigi Buffon got his marching orders against Lecce.
- Prior to Vlahovic, the last player to score in three consecutive Serie A appearances with Fiorentina before turning 22 was Giampaolo Pazzini in April 2005.
- Alex Sandro's was the first league own goal scored by Juventus since Emre Can in January 2019 against Lazio.
Juventus will have the festive period to reflect on this defeat before they host Udinese on their return to Serie A action on January 3, the same day that Fiorentina welcome Bologna to Artemio Franchi Stadium.