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Old Lady Receives Harsh Welcome to Serie B

After Juventus' summer of torment, which was overshadowed by the national team's triumph at the World Cup, Serie A's Old Lady found herself in unfamiliar territory as the club opened its Serie B season at Rimini in front of a capacity crowd of just 10,000. That Juventus failed to beat the tiny Serie B club was perhaps even more shocking than the unprecedented occasion itself. Against a Juve team of international superstars, it was Rimini's unknown Argentine playmaker Adrian Ricchuti who stole the show, scoring after 74 minutes to earn his team a deserved 1-1 draw against the disgraced former Serie A champions. The goal came from a defensive error. As Juve center back Jean-Alain Boumsong lunged for the same ball as his partner Robert Kovac, the Frenchman toed it just past his teammate and into the path of Ricchuti, who was set free to charge toward Gianluigi Buffon and the Juventus goal. The Argentine slotted firmly past Buffon to draw 10-man Rimini level. The Independent tells us fans gathered for the occasion up to two hours before kickoff; outside stalls sold t-shirts that proclaimed "I was there." Now more than ever, there will be reason for Rimini fans to remember being there. Juventus and Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon pointed out that his club will be the one team everyone wants to beat this season. "We came here with a smile on our face, but in Serie B you have to play with a knife between your teeth," he said. Juventus sits last in the Serie B table with -16 points as a result of its match-fixing penalty, which may yet be lessened at an arbitration hearing with the Italian Olympic Committee later this month.

Read the whole story at The Independent »

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