VAR mars Berna’s winning return

Federico Bernardeschi scored and won on his Fiorentina return as Juventus ran out 2-0 victors, but the match was overshadowed by yet more VAR controversy.

Bernardeschi’s free kick silenced the Fiorentina faithful, before Gonzalo Higuain rounded off the result, but VAR wrongly intervened to turn a Viola penalty into a Juve free kick before the break.
The winger returned to the Artemio Franchi for the first time as a Bianconeri player, while his former club matched the champions’ 4-3-3 formation.
Fiorentina also had last season’s 2-1 victory over the Old Lady in their sights, but Max Allegri’s side had won 10 on the bounce and needed the points to provisionally move top.
Nonetheless, they were relieved to see Gil Dias hit the post after he broke clear down the right and fired a shot past Gianluigi Buffon on his 500th Serie A appearance.
However, a cagey first half turned controversial when Giorgio Chiellini blocked the winger’s cross with his arms raised.
Marco Guida instantly blew for a Fiorentina penalty, but as Jordan Veretout went up to take the spot-kick, the VAR was consulted, resulting in a three-minute wait – and a free kick to the visitors.
The decision appeared to be an offside call, with Dias behind Juve’s defensive line, but matters were made more confusing by Alex Sandro seemingly playing the ball to the Portuguese.
It made for an awkward second half, which never really got going, although Bernardeschi ensured it was one to remember for him personally as he bent a free kick past Sportiello.
Allegri switched to three at the back, replacing Stephan Lichtsteiner with Andrea Barzagli, but the change almost allowed Fiorentina to equalise, only for no-one to finish off Giovanni Simeone’s gift of a cross.
Juve then had Buffon to thank, the veteran turning a shot away, before making a last-ditch block on Cyril Thereau, but Rodrigo Bentancur and Douglas Costa were on hand to signal a move back to 4-3-3.
Indeed, with only four minutes left on the clock, Chiellini’s peach of a pass released Higuain, who coolly finished across Sportiello to lift the visitors above Napoli for at least 24 hours.

Fiorentina 0-2 Juventus
Bernardeschi 56, Higuain 86
Fiorentina: Sportiello; Milenkovic, Pezzella, Astori, Biraghi; Benassi (Eysseric 79), Badelj, Veretout; Gil Dias (Thereau 67), Simeone, Chiesa
Juventus: Buffon; Lichtsteiner (Barzagli 61), Benatia, Chiellini, Alex Sandro; Khedira, Pjanic, Marchisio (Costa 66); Bernardeschi (Bentancur 78), Higuain, Mandzukic
Referee: Guida

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