Juventus survive late scare to beat Fiorentina

Adrien Rabiot of Juventus celebrates with teammates after scoring his team's first goal during the Serie A match between Juventus and ACF Fiorentina at Allianz Stadium on February 12, 2023 in Turin, Italy.

Adrien Rabiot headed Juventus to a hard-fought 1-0 win over old rivals Fiorentina on Sunday but survived a scare after the away side’s late leveller was ruled out for offside.

France midfielder Rabiot met Angel Di Maria’s exquisite cross with a header which just crossed the line in the 34th minute, his fourth Serie A goal of the season which moved Juventus up to ninth.

Fiorentina thought they had snatched a late point when Gaetano Castrovilli rifled home a first-time finish with a minute remaining.

However his superb finish was chalked off following a pitchside VAR check when referee Michael Fabbri ruled Luca Ranieri was offside and interfering with play in the build-up to the goal.

Massimiliano Allegri’s side are in mid-table due to the 15-point penalty inflicted last month for what the Italian Football Federation ruled was illicit transfer activity designed to artificially boost their accounts.

After 22 matches played Juve are 10 points behind Lazio who currently occupy the last European place in sixth following their 2-0 home defeat to Atalanta on Saturday night.

Juventus could have come away with a bigger victory but Dusan Vlahovic was denied his third goal in as many matches when his superb lifted finish over Pietro Terracciano just before the hour mark was ruled out for the tightest of offsides.

Moise Kean replaced Vlahovic in the 65th minute and should have added to Juve’s lead twice in a matter of seconds, Terracciano rushing out to stop the Italy forward who then could not finish from close range at the subsequent corner.

However the away side were not just spectators and Jonathan Ikone was stopped from levelling almost straight after Rabiot’s winner when Manuel Locatelli pulled off an acrobatic clearance.

Juve are level on 29 points with Monza, whose dream debut Serie A season continued with a 1-0 win at Bologna which moved them into the top half of the division.

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