Despite the confident mood in the camp, Parma hadn’t won their last three outings, tasting defeat to Lazio and drawing with both Vicenza and Venezia, the Gialloblu’s worst form of the season.
As for the Champions they were having somewhat of an inconsistent campaign so far and came in to this match day 20 fixture on the back of a defeat to Cagliari and only picking up one win in their last five outings as Milan, Bari and Venezia all holding Marcelo Lippi’s men to draws with their one win coming at home to Perugia in round 18.
Parma were at pretty much full strength, with Malesani going 4-4-2, Hernan Crespo and Enrico Chiesa would lead the line. As for the hosts they had a number of key players missing, Filippo Inzaghi and Alessando Del Piero missed out while Antonio Conte and Didier Deschamps were deemed only fit enough for the bench.
The home side had the better of the opening minutes as Juve’s French maestro began tormenting Parma from the start, Zinedine Zidane saw a lot of the ball in the opening ten minutes as he attempted to unlock Parma’s star studded back line. It was no surprise when Alessio Tacchinardi opened the scoring with just 15 minutes on the clock, the Italian midfielder picked the ball up some 35 yards from goal and let rip, the ball flew past a diving Buffon as it nestled into the top corner giving Tacchinardi his third goal of the season. With Parma struggling to settle, the hosts had chances to double their lead but Parma managed to weather the early storm and eventually steady the ship.
Lilian Thuram should have squared the game up but his header from a Dino Baggio corner went wildly over the bar. As Parma began to ease back into the game, Zidane continued to pull the strings for Juve, his sublime through ball sent Daniel Fonseca on his way but the Uruguayan couldn’t get past the huge frame of Gianluigi Buffon in the Parma goal.
With the first half drawing to a close, Malesani’s exciting Parma team turned the game on its head, the deadly duo of Crespo and Chiesa would combine to give Parma an unimaginable half time lead. Chiesa’s magnificent low cross made it impossible for Angelo Peruzzi and Paolo Montero to defend as Hernan Crespo bravely got between the two to square the game up, just four minutes later Parma took the lead, a hopeful long clearance from Fabio Cannavaro set Chiesa clear after some shocking Juventus defending, Chiesa rounded the oncoming Peruzzi, to slide the ball home into an empty net putting the visitors 1-2 up. In five minutes of absolute madness Parma scored a third, Juan Sebastian Veron’s freekick was floated to the back post where Antonio Benarrivo was unmarked the little full back headed the ball back across goal for Crespo to head home his second of the game and give Parma a 1-3 half time lead.
Parma, full of confidence came out flying for the second half, Crespo nearly got his hat-trick, a neat move down Parma’s right started by Lilian Thuram would eventually see Crespo through on goal only to be denied by a smart save by Angelo Peruzzi. Crespo would get the better of Peruzzi and compete his hat-trick, and the Argentine would do it in some style, Stefano Fiore got the better of Zidane before the ball made it’s way out to Veron who’s low and hard cross found his fellow countyman, Crespo would let the ball go through his legs before flicking the ball home with his heel to put Parma 1-4 up, with over half an hour to play.
Lippi reacted and put on Thierry Henry and Antonio Conte for the Paolo Montero and Juan Esnaider, Maleani was also busy on the bench, taking of the outstanding Chiesa and putting on Mario Stanic. Lippi’s changes seemed to breathe a bit of life back into the Old Lady, Henry was lively out on the left, his snap shot was easily dealt with by Buffon, Juventus would pull on back, a magnificent first time ball from Zidane put Fonseca through on goal, the Juventus number 11 cool as you like lifted the ball over Buffon who was flying off his line in a desperate bit to kept the tree goal cushion intact.
As they game drew to a close Parma could and really should have made it five, Abel Balbo and Hernan Crespo broke, however Balbo would drag his shot wide instead of playing in Crespo. As the Juventus ultras began setting the stand of the Delle Alpi alight in disapproval, referee Robert Boggi brought the game to a close as Parma ran out 2-4 winners.
Juventus XI –
Angelo Peruzzi, Zoran Mirkovic, Mark Iuliano, Paolo Montero, Gianluca Pessotto, Angelo Di Livio, Alessio Tacchinardi, Edgar Davids, Zinedine Zidane, Juan Esnaider, Daniel Fonsecsa.
Michelangelo Rampulla, Didier Deschamps, Thierry Henry, Antonio Conte, Alessandro Birindelli, Jocelyn Blanchard, Igor Tudor.
Manger – Marcello Lippi
Parma XI –
Gianluigi Buffon, Lilian Thuram, Nestor Sensini, Fabio Cannavaro, Diego Fuser, Stefano Fiore, Dino Baggio, Antonio Benarrivo, Juan Sebastian Veron, Hernan Crespo, Enrico Chiesa.
Davide Micillo, Roberto Mussi, Mario Stanic, Abel Balbo, Raffaele Longo, Paolo Vanoli, Luigi Sartor.
Manager – Alberto Malesani.