Published: Sat, February 10, 2018
Sports | By Nelson Rowe

Juventus rise to top of Serie A

Juventus rise to top of Serie A

Federico Bernardeschi and Gonzalo Higuain scored as Juventus went top of Serie A on Friday in a 2-0 win at Fiorentina overshadowed by a video assistant referee (VAR) fiasco.

Fiorentina were awarded a first-half penalty for handball by Giorgio Chiellini and Jordan Veretout waited for almost three minutes to take the spot kick before the referee indicated he would review the incident using the VAR system.

Critics say it takes too long to make decisions and that referees are still making mistakes even after reviewing incidents on pitchside screens.

But three minutes later - with Jordan Veretout waiting to take the kick - Guida reversed the decision after a VAR consultation and awarded a free-kick to Juve for offside instead.

The pass to the winger had come off Juve defender Alex Sandro but the VAR deemed he had simply deflected the ball.

"It took a lifetime to decide", said Fiorentina coach Stefano Pioli.

"But I don't accept this decision: Alex Sandro made two touches, not just one, it's hard to believe it wasn't voluntary".

Shortly afterwards, Fiorentina were denied again when Gil Dias broke down the right and saw his shot rebound off the inside of the post.

Fiorentina had Juve pinned back early in the second period but the visitors took the lead with a superb Bernardeschi free kick in the 56th minute.

That's daunting news for Premier League leading scorer Harry Kane and Tottenham, who are next on the schedule for Juve when the clubs meet in their Champions League last-16 first leg on Tuesday at the Allianz Stadium.

"I want to congratulate the lads because we're getting some positive numbers: 62 points [this season] and only one goal conceded in our past 16 matches", said Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri.

Six-time defending Italian-league champion Juventus has provisionally moved into first place with a 2-0 victory over Fiorentina here. I've always been grateful to Fiorentina, and always will, for the way they looked after me and helped me develop, but I made a career choice and now I play for another team.

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