Juve drop more points after the draw


Juventus’ disappointing Serie A season continued as they were held to a 1-1 draw at Venezia on Saturday, further denting their fading title hopes.

The visitors dominated the first half and went into the break with a 1-0 lead given to them by Alvaro Morata in the 32nd minute at the near post.

Massimiliano Allegri’s side continued to look comfortable after the interval, but they could not make their pressure count as a second goal remained elusive.

Their profligacy in front of the goal proved costly as, against the run of play, Mattia Aramu arrowed an equalizer into the bottom corner in the 55th minute to stun Juve.

The chances continued to come and go but Allegri’s men could not find a winner, with the draw meaning Juve fell to sixth in the standings, 10 points off leaders AC Milan, who play later on Saturday.

Newly-promoted Venezia, who avoided defeat for the first time in four league games, stay 16th on 16 points from 17 games.

“These are two points thrown away against an excellent Venezia,” Allegri told DAZN.

“The first half we did well, creating many chances on goal. Then there was a blackout of 10-15 minutes until the goal of Venezia.”

“There are times where we are beautiful, but when you have to grit your teeth we don’t.”

Juve came into the contest in good form, having won their previous three games in all competitions without conceding a single goal.

They soon exerted some control on the match in Venice, even though they were dealt an early blow after forward Paulo Dybala was forced off with an injury.

Morata, who has received criticism from his own fans for his performances this season, then edged his side in front with his fourth Serie A goal of the campaign, on the end of a Luca Pellegrini cross.

Juan Cuadrado should have made it two just before halftime but fired wide from a good position before home goalkeeper Sergio Romero produced a stunning save to deny Federico Bernardeschi.

Armu’s equaliser from 20 metres out pegged Juve back, with the Old Lady looking less of a threat in the latter stages in the match.

They did, however, muster 20 shots at goal in the match, with their finishing, not for the first time this season, letting them down as Venezia celebrated a point against Serie A’s most successful side.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic strikes, Milan draw

Veteran AC Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic produced an acrobatic volley to earn AC Milan a last-gasp 1-1 draw at Udinese in Serie A on Saturday.

The 40-year-old Swede wasted a glorious chance to open the scoring early on and that miss proved costly as Beto pounced to give Udinese the lead in the 17th minute down the other end.

For all their pressure after the break, Milan created few clear chances and looked to be heading for a third defeat in five league games in Udine.

However, Ibrahimovic had other ideas, as he sprang into action in the 92nd minute to rescue an unlikely point for his team.

The draw moved Milan two points clear at the top of the Serie A standings, with second-placed Inter Milan playing Cagliari on Sunday.

Udinese, who finished the match with 10 men after substitute Isaac Success was sent off for clashing with Milan goalkeeper Mike Maignan just before the full-time whistle, dropped to 15th and are without a win in five league matches.

“Tonight we struggled to play our game,” Milan coach Stefano Pioli told Sky Sport Italia.

“We weren’t fluid and precise enough to undo Udinese. We are conceding goals after mistakes. These are things that you pay for and make you lose your flow.”

“In the last few games we have lost consistency in the defensive phase with little effect in the pressure phase,” Pioli added. “We have to fix some things at both ends of the pitch.”

Milan came into the contest looking to bounce back from being knocked out of the Champions League in midweek, and Pioli’s side started well, with Ibrahimovic failing to find the target from a good position.

Udinese slowly grew into the match with Brazilian striker Beto breaking the deadlock. His first shot was initially saved, then the ball rebounded into this path and he hammered it home.

Ibrahimovic created a golden opportunity for Brahim Diaz just before halftime, but the Real Madrid loanee could not hit the target.

After the break, Udinese got plenty of players behind the ball in order to preserve their lead, but Milan’s poor decision-making in the final third meant the hosts were rarely troubled.

Ibrahimovic’s goal, his sixth Serie A strike of an injury-hit campaign, came from the visitors’ only shot on target in the match and was clinical in its execution to earn a below-par Milan a point.

The Swede became the third player to score 300 goals in the top-five European leagues since the turn of the century, after Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.


Courtesy: Reuters

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