Substitute Mario Gomez struck 11 minutes from time to earn ACF Fiorentina a precious 1-1 draw away to Juventus in the first leg of their UEFA Europa League round of 16 tie.
After taking an early lead though Arturo Vidal, Juventus created several opportunities to add more during a vibrating first half. The Chilean international also forced goalkeeper Neto into a difficult save and hit the crossbar with a pair of headers. However, Fiorentina stemmed the Bianconeri tide in the second period and Gomez scored a potentially crucial away goal.
Juventus defeated Fiorentina 1-0 in Serie A on Sunday, and were immediately on the front foot here. The game was not three minutes old when Vidal displayed all of his usual composure in front of goal, firing in a low powerful shot after Sebastian Giovinco cushioned Claudio Marchisio's cross into his path.
The Bianconeri did not take their foot off the accelerator and only a Stefan Savić sliding tackle prevented Pablo Osvaldo from shooting with the goal at his mercy after a low cross from Kwadwo Asamoah. At the other end, Matías Fernández forced Gianluigi Buffon into a difficult diving save with a shot using the outside of his right foot.
Buffon's counterpart Neto went one better, first blocking Giovinco's close-range shot before diving to his left to palm away a powerful Vidal header. The midfielder was a constant threat to the Viola defence and on 38 minutes he hit the bar with another header after fine work from Andrea Pirlo on the left.
Just before the interval, Fiorentina served warning that they were not beaten as Borja Valero's deflected shot slipped just wide of Buffon's left post. Veteran midfielder Massimo Ambrosini replaced the injured Fernández shortly after the break while Antonio Conte and Vincenzo Montella added muscle to their attacks in the shape of Fernando Llorente and Gomez respectively.
Montella's move paid dividends as the Germany striker brought down a lofted ball from Josip Iličić before beating Buffon with a low shot. The game opened up once again. Another substitute, Paul Pogba, went close for Juve after a nice one-two with Llorente before a zipping Juan Vargas strike forced Buffon into an awkward save.
The Viola, though, looked perfectly content with the 1-1 draw to take to Florence next week after the whistle blew.