Fabio Quagliarella brace keeps Juventus on track

Champions Juventus underlined their Serie A title credentials with a fourth straight win thanks to Champions League hero Fabio Quagliarella's brace in a 2-0 win over Chievo on Saturday.

Updated: September 23, 2012 08:09 IST
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Milan: Champions Juventus underlined their Serie A title credentials with a fourth straight win thanks to Champions League hero Fabio Quagliarella's brace in a 2-0 win over Chievo on Saturday.

Quagliarella had come off the bench to score the equaliser for Juve in their 2-2 draw at Chelsea on Wednesday.

And the big striker showed that his nutmeg of Chelsea keeper Petr Cech was no flash in the pan thanks to a brilliant all-round performance which was capped with two goals in the space of five second-half minutes.

The former Napoli striker said he wanted to show the club he is ready to start as a regular.

"This has been one of the greatest weeks of my life. Today I wanted to show that I'm ready and I think I did that," Quagliarella told Sky Sport Italia after the game.

"It was great to be given a standing ovation from the fans. It shows they appreciate that I've done my job."

After their Champions League endeavours in midweek caretaker coach Massimo Carrera, acting for the suspended Antonio Conte, rested a number of first team regulars for the Turin clash.

Midfielder Andrea Pirlo, defender Andrea Barzagli and playmaker Sebastian Giovinco were all on the bench, as well as Nicklas Bendtner and Arturo Vidal, the former waiting for his debut and the latter nursing a sore ankle.

Quagliarella lined up with Mirko Vucinic in Carrera's 3-5-2 and both came close early on before the Italian went on to finally find the net after the interval.

Chievo 'keeper Stefano Sorrentino did well to push over Quagliarella's effort in the ninth minute and then Vucinic showed fine individual skill only to see his shot go past the far post on the half hour.

Four minutes later Sorrentino parried a well-struck 20-metre drive by Quagliarella from the right and just before the half hour Vucinic deflected his fellow striker's volley into the net only it to be ruled offside.

Chievo, also playing a 3-5-2 formation, were giving little space away and keeping it tight in the midfield but Juventus forged no less than four more chances before the interval.

Sorrentino did well to parry Emanuele Giaccherini's shot from a Kwadwo Asamoah cross but had to use both fists to punch away a fierce drive from the Ghanaian moments later.

Giaccherini was unucky to see his effort come to nothing after nice play by Quagliarella, and again Marchisio failed to finish off the job from 20 yards out after another display of the striker's vision.

Chievo had held Juve to four consecutive draws in their last four matches but they failed to get a sniff of goal in the second half.

Carrera brought on Vidal shortly after the interval but it was Quagliarella who broke the deadlock with an acrobatic effort which gave the keeper no chance on 63 minutes.

Five minutes later Quagliarella outfoxed defender Dario Dainelli to beat Sorrentino at his far post to claim his third goal in four days.

Carrera made late substitutions with Stephan Lichtsteiner on for Marchisio, with Bendtner coming on to make his Serie A debut as Quagliarella left the field to a standing ovation.

Bendtner managed to set up Vucinic on the stroke of full-time but the Montenegrin striker's shot was wide of the post.

Earlier, strugglers Parma overcame the late sending-off of Aleandro Rossi to grab an injury-time equaliser from the penalty spot at home to Fiorentina after former Italy striker Luca Toni handled in the box.

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