Featured Matches
Previous
Modena
Cittadella
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
SpVgg Greuther Furth
St Pauli
6:15 PM GMT
Game Details
Brest
AS Nancy Lorraine
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Lanús
Olimpo de Bahía Blanca
8:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Arsenal de Sarandí
Banfield
10:15 PM GMT
Game Details
Tigre
Quilmes
12:30 AM GMT
Game Details
La Equidad
Atlético Nacional
1:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Modena
Cittadella
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
SpVgg Greuther Furth
St Pauli
6:15 PM GMT
Game Details
Brest
AS Nancy Lorraine
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Rio Ave
Boavista
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
OFI Crete
Veria
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Hobro IK
FC Vestsjaelland
5:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Lucerne
FC Aarau
Postp
Game Details
Lanús
Olimpo de Bahía Blanca
8:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Arsenal de Sarandí
Banfield
10:15 PM GMT
Game Details
Tigre
Quilmes
12:30 AM GMT
Game Details
La Equidad
Atlético Nacional
1:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Next
SassuoloSassuolo
CagliariCagliari
1
1
FT
Game Details
PalermoPalermo
SampdoriaSampdoria
1
1
FT
Game Details
CesenaCesena
ParmaParma
1
0
FT
Game Details
TorinoTorino
InternazionaleInternazionale
0
0
FT
Game Details
UdineseUdinese
EmpoliEmpoli
2
0
FT
Game Details
GenoaGenoa
NapoliNapoli
1
2
FT
Game Details
AtalantaAtalanta
Hellas VeronaHellas Verona
0
0
FT
Game Details
AC MilanAC Milan
LazioLazio
3
1
FT
Game Details
AS RomaAS Roma
FiorentinaFiorentina
2
0
FT
Game Details
Chievo VeronaChievo Verona
JuventusJuventus
0
1
FT
Game Details
Mar 21, 2014

Pirlo praised after set-piece masterclass

Andrea Pirlo was lavished with praise after his tie-winning free kick which saw Juventus reach the quarterfinals of the Europa League at the expense of Serie A rivals Fiorentina.

Andrea Pirlo scores Juventus' winner with a sublime free kick.
Andrea Pirlo scores Juventus' winner with a sublime free kick.

Rzouki: Eternal class

Pirlo, 34, struck a stunning set piece 19 minutes from time to secure a 1-0 victory in the second leg of the all-Italian last-16 tie at the Stadio Artemio Franchi to see the Turin giants progress 2-1 on aggregate. That winner came just four days after another of his trademark dead-ball strikes sealed a 1-0 win over Genoa to preserve Juve's 14-point lead at the top of Serie A.

Both the veteran's teammates and opponents were eager to hail the former AC Milan midfielder.

"I don't know how he does it," Arturo Vidal told reporters after the match. "I don't even try to imitate him, I just settle for being able to play with one of the best players in the world."

Another of Juve's clutch of midfield stars, Paul Pogba, added: "Pirlo's got feet of gold.

"To strike the ball the way he does, I'm going to need many years of practice yet. If only I could kick the ball like him."

Fiorentina coach Vincenzo Montella said his side had not lost to Juve, but had been beaten by Pirlo.

"He's a winner, and he was decisive," Montella said. "Juve are one of the most competitive sides in Europe and I'm sorry we had to face them."

Pirlo humbly claimed there was no secret to his set-piece wizardry.

"It's something I always decide at the last minute," he said. "It depends how I feel, how the wall is lined up and on the position. I'm delighted to have scored two fundamental goals in the league and the Europa League in the space of four days.

"Sadly, I can't change my age, but I'm still enjoying myself. I've not signed a new contract yet and I don't know if it will happen this month because the schedule's pretty full, but there's no problem with Juventus."

Pirlo's current deal expires in the summer, but Juve director general Giuseppe Marotta said in January that the club hope to get a new contract signed soon.

Juve fans will be hoping Pirlo's new contract is indeed a formality as they look forward to seeing more goals like the 11 the Italy international has scored from free kicks since joining on a free transfer from AC Milan in 2011.

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.