A last-gasp win for Juventus

Juan Cuadrado’s stoppage-time strike earned Juventus a 1-0 win over 10-man Fiorentina in Serie A on Saturday as the Turin club ended a three-match winless league run.

The Colombian substitute beat goalkeeper Pietro Terracciano at his near post with a powerful effort in the dying minutes to clinch victory, despite a poor Juve performance in which they failed to muster a shot on target until the 86th minute.

Fiorentina defender Nikola Milenkovic’s dismissal in the 73rd minute injected some life into the home side as Federico Chiesa blasted a shot off the crossbar and Alvaro Morata had a goal ruled out for offside before Cuadrado broke through at the death.

“We are happy with the win, we will continue on this line,” Cuadrado told DAZN.

“We are a team and a family, we have to fight for our team-mates until the end.”

It was coach Massimiliano Allegri’s 200th win as Juventus coach in all competitions, making him only the third manager to achieve the feat since 1929-30 after Giovanni Trapattoni (319 wins) and Marcello Lippi (227).

But the 54-year-old’s side did little to suggest an imminent transformation in form after an underwhelming display.

The result leaves eighth-placed Juventus on 18 points, level with Fiorentina above them.

Back-to-back defeats against midtable Sassuolo and Hellas Verona left Juventus in crisis ahead of the visit of their rivals from Florence, although a midweek Champions League win over Zenit St Petersburg was a positive sign.

There was no obvious improvement on display from the hosts in the first half, though, as Fiorentina created the best chance of a dull start to the game when Riccardo Saponara blasted over from 12 yards.

Milenkovic’s expulsion proved to be the turning point, as the Serbian was shown a second yellow for a clumsy challenge on Chiesa and Juve pressed forward for the final quarter of the match.

Chiesa smashed a half-volley off the underside of the bar and Morata tucked in a cross only for it to be ruled out for offside, and the Old Lady finally registered their first shot on target when Chiesa’s shot was beaten away by Terracciano with four minutes of regulation time remaining.

Cuadrado, who was introduced with 11 minutes remaining, made the difference with a piece of superb individual skill, skipping past Cristiano Biraghi and drilling a low shot home.

Venezia beat Roma

Roma’s slump continued with a 3-2 Serie A defeat by relegation battling Venezia on Sunday, as the hosts recovered from surrendering the lead before halftime to launch a sensational second-half fightback.

Jose Mourinho’s side have one win in their last seven games in all competitions and have dropped out of the top four after picking up four points from their last five league games.

The home side went in front after three minutes through a Mattia Caldara volley, but Roma wrestled back control in the final few minutes of the first half with goals from Eldor Shomurodov and Tammy Abraham.

However, a Mattia Aramu penalty and David Okereke strike saw Paolo Zanetti’s side flip the game on its head once more, earning Venezia a famous win that lifts them to 14th place with 12 points.

Roma are fifth with 19 points, three points behind Atalanta in fourth, but will slide to sixth if their capital rivals Lazio win at home to second-bottom Salernitana later on Sunday.

Napoli drop points

Napoli dropped points for the second time this season in Serie A with a 1-1 draw at home to Hellas Verona on Sunday but provisionally moved one point clear on top of the table.

Luciano Spalletti’s side continued their unbeaten league run to rise to 32 points, one point ahead of AC Milan ahead of their Milan Derby clash with Inter Milan later on Sunday.

It was another impressive result against illustrious opposition for the visitors, and Giovanni Simeone continued his remarkable form in front of the goal by stabbing in the opener after 13 minutes.

The Argentine striker has scored nine goals in his last seven league games, after finding the net six times during recent shock wins over Lazio and Juventus.

Napoli took five minutes to find the equaliser, Giovanni Di Lorenzo drilling in a low shot, while Victor Osimhen and Lorenzo Insigne were both denied by the post for Spalletti’s side.

Verona finished the game with nine men after substitutes Daniel Bessa and Nikola Kalinic were both shown second yellow cards in the dying minutes, but they held on for a point that leaves them 10th with 16 points.

In Rome, Lazio eased to a 3-0 win over second-bottom Salernitana to leapfrog their city rivals AS Roma into fifth place.

Goals from Ciro Immobile and Pedro Rodriguez gave Maurizio Sarri’s side a comfortable lead at the break, and Luis Alberto added a third after the visitors were twice denied by the woodwork.

Earlier, Udinese ended an eight-match winless run by coming from behind to beat Sassuolo 3-2, a result that lifted them to 14th, level on 14 points with their defeated opponents above them.

Sampdoria’s crisis continued with a 2-1 defeat at home by ninth-placed Bologna, leaving Roberto D’Aversa’s side 18th after a third consecutive loss.


Courtesy: Reuters

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