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Fiorentina hold Juventus, remain in hunt for top 3 finish

Both sides can be relatively happy with a point in an even encounter

Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images

This match didn't have the euphoria of last season's 4-2, but Fiorentina's 0-0 draw with hated rivals Juventus on Friday night is still a heartening result for a fan base frustrated by mixed results and performances in big games so far this season. The point leaves Fiorentina only 3 points off of both Genoa and Napoli, who are tied on points in 3rd place and face each other on Sunday.

Juventus entered the game 1st in Serie A and on a 6 game win streak (in all competitions), but with a key Champions League match approaching this coming Tuesday. Fiorentina had won 3 straight after a disappointing home defeat against Napoli. Both teams went at it with a frenetic back-and-forth tempo before Fiorentina started to assert a fair bit of dominance in the first half, exploiting the weaker Juventus left side, with both Matias Fernandez and Joaquin making life very difficult for ex-Manchester United Patrice Evra. Mario Gomez struggled, however, against Juventus' 3 central defenders, and Juan Cuadrado, while lively and occasionally brilliant all game, often made the wrong choice in potentially dangerous situations. Borja Valero had an exceptional first half, but waned late in the second half.

The game got a bit ugly and physical close to halftime, and stayed that way for much of the second half. Both teams had legitimate penalty shouts turned down by Nicola Rizzoli, who was wildly inconsistent in an intense match. All the same, neither team had many clear cut chances. Two good saves (one apiece for each keeper), and several excellent tackles by defenders kept the game scoreless. Gonzalo Rodriguez and Leonardo Bonucci both had exceptional games.

Fiorentina fans can take many positives from the result, including a truly commendable performance, the continued good form of Joaquin and Matias Fernandez, a reassuring David Pizarro, and the consistently solid team shape and defending. La Viola will now host their final Europa League match (a dead rubber) on Thursday before traveling to face Cesena next weekend. Fiore won't have to face a top half team until the calendar turns over in January, and will face the current bottom 3 before then. Forza viola ale!

FIORENTINA 0 - Juventus 0

Posession: 52%-48%

Corners: 4-5

Shots: 8-7 (on target 1-3)

Fouls: 11-17

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Neto 6.5&#10;Savić 7&#10;Gonzalo 7&#10;Basanta 6.5&#10;Joaquín 7&#10;Mati 7.5&#10;Pizarro 6.5&#10;Borja 6.5&#10;Marcos Alonso 5.5&#10;Cuadrado 6&#10;Gomez 5.5&#10;Montella 6</p>&mdash; Viola Nation (@Viola_Nation) <a href="">December 5, 2014</a></blockquote>

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