Juventus held by lowly Cesena


Struggling Cesena showed the sort of spirit they will need if they are to avoid the drop in Serie A as they held league leaders Juventus to a 2-2 draw on Sunday. Milan Djuric had the lowly hosts ahead but goals from Alvaro Morata and Claudio Marchisio sent the Turin side into the break with the lead. Franco Brienza's volley drew the teams level with 20 minutes to play but there was still time for Arturo Vidal to miss a penalty as Cesena held firm. Juventus' lead at the top of the table is now seven points while Cesena are the same distance from safety. Cesena had the better of the opening stages and Juventus were twice indebted to veteran goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon for keeping the scores level. First Gregoire Defrel took advantage of some slack defending to snatch the ball and unleash a snap shot which Buffon did well to save before Ze Eduardo found space in the box and brought another stop from the 37-year-old. Cesena eventually took the lead in the 17th minute and once again one of Juventus' most experienced campaigners was in the thick of the action. A rare mistake from Andrea Pirlo in midfield allowed Defrel to break forward and when he squared to Djuric the Bosnian slotted home under Buffon's body. Juve had been disappointing in the early exchanges but the goal seemed to spring them into action and they were level after 27 minutes. Paul Pogba supplied the cross from the left and Morata was left unmarked to powerfully head home at the near post. Just six minutes later the visitors were ahead and Morata was involved again as his flicked on header was pounced upon by Marchisio who applied the finish from six yards. The second half began in tepid fashion but the home fans were out of their seats when Defrel whipped a ball across the six-yard box and Djurcic was inches from getting on the end of it. Cesena were level with 20 minutes to play thanks to a superb volley from Brienza. Djurcic headed the ball into the path of the midfielder and he struck the ball sweetly from the edge of the area giving Buffon no chance. Juve were then handed the chance to retake the lead with nine minutes to play as Stefano Lucchini handled Fernando Llorente's overhead kick in the box. Arturo Vidal sent Nicola Leali the wrong way from the spot but dragged his shot wide of the post.