Date: 19th May 2018 at 4:54pm
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Gianluigi Buffon remained unbeaten in his final appearance for Juventus, as the Bianconeri wrapped up the Serie A season with a 2-1 win over Hellas Verona at the Allianz Stadium.

The veteran goalkeeper was given a guard of honour and standing ovation as he was substituted on the hour to mark the last of his 656 appearances for the club.

Second-half goals from Daniele Rugani and Miralem Pjanic had given Juventus the lead, but a late Alessio Cerci goal meant the champions failed to hold onto a Serie A record 23rd clean sheet of the season.

In his own final game for the club, Stephan Lichtsteiner missed a late penalty for Juventus, though the hosts saw out victory.

Juventus started brightly and forced a corner within the opening minute. Miralem Pjanic’s delivery landed at the feet of Paulo Dybala and the Argentine unleashed from range, only for his shot to whistle over the bar.

Verona were ready to spoil the party however, and came close early on. Stefano Sturaro was dispossessed in his own half and Cerci released Andrea Danzi with a slide-rule pass. The teenager was outmuscled by Lichtsteiner in the box before he could pull the trigger however.

Whilst the hosts were dominating possession, Verona were offering a threat on the break. Mohamed Fares skipped past Lichtsteiner before cutting into the box and angling a smart low shot, but Buffon was on hand to tip away, much to the audible enjoyment of the crowd.

Lichtsteiner was becoming heavily involved and sought to mark his own last ever appearance for Juventus with a goal. The Swiss full-back sent Rolando Aarons the wrong way with a dummy before unleashing a vicious left-footed effort from range that whistled over the bar.

The Bianconeri squandered the best opportunity of the opening quarter, with Mario Mandzukic culpable. Douglas Costa’s quick feet saw him burst past Romulo and float a menacing cross into the six-yard area, but Mandzukic’s close range header was straight at Nicolas.

Juventus were starting to take control and Dybala was offering a greater threat. The Argentine found acres of space in the middle and played a smart one-two with Mandzukic, before firing a bending effort just past the post.

The home side were beginning to turn on the style, and Mandzukic met Dybala’s flick with an acrobatic volley over his own shoulder. Verona keeper Nicolas matched the effort with a stunning one-handed save to tip over the bar.

Verona were struggling to contain the champions, and Dybala came within inches of breaking the deadlock shortly before halftime. Pjanic kept Stefano Sturaro’s knockdown in the box moving and, moving away from goal, Dybala’s deft flick lofted over Nicolas and bounced back off the crossbar.

Juventus burst into life after the break and scored two quick early goals. Costa collected a short corner and dribbled into the box before angling a low drive goalward, and whilst Nicolas got down to parry, the Brazilian pushed the ball into the path of the unmarked Rugani to tap into an empty net.

Just two minutes later the Bianconeri doubled their lead. Dybala was scythed down by Fares on the edge of the box, and Pjanic made no mistake with the resulting freekick. The Bosnian’s curling effort rose over the wall and nestled in the back of the net, leaving Nicolas rooted to the spot.

The match was brought to a halt on the hour mark as Buffon brought his illustrious career at Juventus to a close. Substituted for third-choice custodian Carlo Pinsoglio, the iconic keeper embraced each of his teammates before leaving the pitch to a guard of honour from the Juventus bench.

Verona were struggling to make a dent in the Juventus backline, with Matos isolated up front. The Brazilian drove down the left and whipped in a smart cross, but found no teammate had pushed forward and debutant Pinsoglio gathered with ease.

However, the Gialloblu were offered a lifeline as Cerci halved the deficit with a quarter of an hour remaining. The former Roma forward slid in to guide Romulo’s low effort into the bottom corner, beyond the reach of Pinsoglio.

Juventus looked to put the result beyond all doubt as Claudio Marchisio unleashed a vicious low effort, forcing Nicolas to tip wide.

The hosts were given a penalty late on, as Mandzukic headed a corner against the arm of Souprayen. Lichtsteiner stepped up to end his seven-season association with a goal, but Nicolas was in no generous mood and dived left to palm away.

Ultimately the Bianconeri held out for victory to bring a dominant season to a winning end. The result sees Juventus end the campaign on 95 points, whilst already relegated Verona head to Serie B in 19th on 25 points.