Szczesny keeps Juventus unbeaten as Fiorentina threaten to upset champions
Goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny preserved Juventus’ unbeaten start to the Serie A campaign as Fiorentina threatened to open their account in style.
The reigning champions, who lost both Douglas Costa and Miralem Pjanic to injury before the break, found themselves under the cosh at the Stadio Artemio Franchi, but their Poland international kept the home side at bay with a series of fine saves to ensure the game finished 0-0.
Midfielder Dalbert came closest to breaking the deadlock with a 41st-minute header which flew just wide, while both he and Franck Ribery extended Szczesny before Cristiano Ronaldo threatened to snatch the win with a late overhead attempt.
But ultimately, both sides had to make do with a point – for La Viola, a first of the season and for the visitors, a first draw after two wins.
Ronaldo saw two efforts blocked in quick succession as Maurizio Sarri’s men attempted to set out their stall early on, although it was the home side who went close with 16 minutes gone when striker Federico Chiesa fired just wide from distance.
Szczesny had to save twice from Ribery, but opposite number Bartlomiej Dragowski was tested by both Blaise Matuidi and Pjanic as the first half approached its mid-point.
However, it was Szczesny who was the busier of the two keepers, denying both Gaetano Catsrovilli and Chiesa before wide-man Dalbert headed just wide from Ribery’s cross with half-time looming.
There was no let-up after the break with Dalbert forcing an early save from the Juventus keeper after substitute Federico Bernardeschi had seen an attempt blocked at the other end, but it was the home side who continued to enjoy the better openings.
Ronaldo called Dragowski into action with a 64th-minute strike from outside the penalty area, but Fiorentina continued to press and defender Nikola Milenkovic saw a 77th-minute header from Erick Pulgar’s cross saved.
Juve went close as time ran down when Ronaldo volleyed over acrobatically, but the home side finished strong.
Substitute Kevin-Prince Boateng fired wide with a minute remaining and then again four minutes into stoppage time after Szczesny had thwarted Bernardeschi, but there was to be no late winner.