Gonzalo Higuain struck late to snatch a very precious point after a disappointing Juventus performance away to Sporting in Lisbon.
The Bianconeri fought back from an Alex Sandro own goal to win 2-1 when these sides met in Turin earlier this month, but were still competing for second place behind Barcelona. Jovane Cabral was suspended, with Alan Ruiz, William Carvalho, Fabio Coentrao, Jeremy Mathieu and Cristiano Piccini injured, transforming the line-up. Meanwhile, Mattia De Sciglio made his first appearance since the injury against Barcelona on September 12, as Stefano Sturaro, Benedikt Howedes and Medhi Benatia were injured, with Stephan Lichsteiner cup-tied.
Bruno Cesar blasted over from the edge of the box at the end of a well-worked team move, while Mario Mandzukic’s first touch let him down after springing the offside trap.
Sporting started far brighter and took the lead when Gigi Buffon only parried a Gelson Martins angled drive and Bruno Cesar reacted far quicker than the Juventus players to fire in the rebound from 10 yards.
Moments later, Sami Khedira’s glancing header whistled just wide from a Juan Cuadrado cross, but the hosts continued to have the better of the game, Bas Dost denied by a decisive Andrea Barzagli block.
Higuain wasted a counter-attack by firing straight at the goalkeeper and Juve wanted a free kick on the edge of the box for a challenge on Mandzukic, but the half-time whistle had already gone.
Straight after the restart, Gelson Martins out-sprinted Alex Sandro, but Andrea Barzagli got back for the decisive block. Miralem Pjanic and Paulo Dybala fired over the bar, while Bruno Cesar blasted off target on the counter and Rui Patricio smothered a De Sciglio deflected effort.
It was almost 2-0 for the Portuguese giants, as Dost just failed to get on the end of a cross, so Max Allegri introduced Douglas Costa for De Sciglio, moving Cuadrado to right-back.
Juve thought they had done enough to equalise when Mandzukic and Dybala combined to set up Higuain for a header from six yards, but Rui Patricio managed an extraordinary reaction save.
The Bianconeri did get their equaliser when Cuadrado threaded a smart ball through for Higuain, who dinked the finish over the on-rushing goalkeeper from a tight angle.
They almost turned it around moments later, Douglas Costa firing inches wide, while Bruno Fernandes blasted over from distance. Neither side particularly felt like celebrating at the final whistle.
Sporting 1-1 Juventus
Bruno Cesar 20 (S), Higuain 79 (J)
Sporting: Rui Patricio; Ristovski (Petrovic 91), Coates, Andre Pinto, Jonathan; Battaglia, Bruno Fernandes, Bruno Cesar (Palhinha 64); Gelson, Dost (Doumbia 81), Acuna
Juventus: Buffon; De Sciglio (Douglas Costa 65), Barzagli, Chiellini, Alex Sandro; Khedira (Matuidi 69), Pjanic; Cuadrado, Dybala (Bernardeschi 83), Mandzukic; Higuain
Ref: Turpin (FRA)
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