Arturo Vidal tapped home the only goal of the game at Stadio Angelo Massimino to hand Juventus a closely-fought and equally controversial 1-0 victory against Catania, which had a man sent off and an effort wrongly ruled out for offside in the first half.
Gonzalo Bergessio had poked the home side into the lead, only for an erroneous linesman's flag to cut their celebrations short. To make matters worse, Nicklas Bendtner was stationed in an offside position in the build-up to Juve's winner, while Giovanni Marchese was dismissed for two bookable offenses.
Bergessio looked to have given the hosts the lead when he tapped into an open net after Nicolas Spolli's glancing header had come back off the post. But the Sicilians' joy quickly turned to fury when the linesman raised his flag for offside, despite the fact that Bergessio, nor any of his teammates, appeared close to being beyond the last defender.
The only goal of the game arrived in typically controversial circumstances 11 minutes into the second half. Mirko Vucinic picked out Bendtner with a clinical pass from the edge of the area, only for the Danish striker to shoot tamely at Mariano Andujar. But the impressive Argentine shot-stopper could only push the ball into the path of Vidal, who tapped into the unguarded net. Replays showed that Bendtner was in an offside position, which did nothing to placate the fired up home support.
The game lost any impetus following the red card to Marchese, but Sebastian Giovinco's arrival went some way to adding a new dimension, and the diminutive Italian saw a sweetly-struck effort well saved by Andujar seconds after coming on.
Vidal again stung the palms of Andujar with three minutes on the clock, and Giovinco tore through the home defense before blazing over. It was another significant victory for Antonio Conte's champions, who again showed they have the stomach for a fight as they have done against Chievo and Napoli already this season.
Catania, who have not beaten the Turin side in Serie A since 1964, will be furious that it was robbed of the opportunity to snap that extended period of futility against the Old Lady.
- Sports & Recreation
- Nicklas Bendtner
- Arturo Vidal
- Stadio Angelo Massimino
- Gonzalo Bergessio
- Giovanni Marchese