Football: Viola stun Juve
12:00 AM, January 17, 2017 / LAST MODIFIED: 03:12 PM, January 17, 2017

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Viola stun Juve

Fiorentina blew a hole in Juventus's title hopes with a shock 2-1 win in Florence on Sunday as Nikola Kalinic reassured fans troubled by a possible move to China with a superb first-half opener.

Winning coach Paulo Sousa was riled up Saturday after hearing Massimiliano Allegri claim that Juve were coming to "take command" at the Artemio Franchi stadium.

After a dominant first half that saw Fiorentina miss a host of solid chances, it appeared Allegri's words cut deep.

The memorable Viola win handed Juve just their fourth defeat in 20 games to leave the champions, who have a game in hand, just one point ahead of Roma. Napoli are four points off the pace in third and Lazio a further point back.

Admitting Fiorentina "gave more than 100 percent", Allegri told Mediaset Premium: "It's a setback for us, but we still have the chance to be four points clear.

"Teams usually play the games of their lives against us, they give it more than 100 percent, so we can't afford to be anything less than 100 percent.

"Roma and Napoli are just behind us, so it could go right to the end. But we will learn from this defeat."

After an injury-plagued six weeks, Allegri deployed his trademark 'BBC' defence of Andrea Barzagli, Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini for the first time since October 29.

But Fiorentina were fired up from kick-off and it took only seven minutes for captain Gianluigi Buffon to launch a rallying call from the goalmouth.

Viola forward Matias Vecino was a constant threat, the Uruguayan muscling past Juve midfielder Claudio Marchisio to run into the area and unleash a drive had Buffon got down low to parry on seven minutes.

Juve were under the cosh barely two minutes later as Kalinic chased and controlled a high ball, offloading a pass to help set up Vecino for a drive at Buffon's near post that skimmed off the upright.

Federico Chiesa's snap shot after a nice dribble into the area had Buffon down low to parry and Vecino's drive from distance then curled wide of Buffon's upright on the quarter-hour.

The fast start ruffled the champions and their first chance came after 20 minutes, Alex Sandro controlling a clearance from a corner only to shoot straight at Ciprian Tatarusanu. 

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