It was a tale of two penalties, as Paulo Dybala and Marco Mancosu – for yet another Matthijs de Ligt handball – saw Lecce hold Juventus 1-1.
Cristiano Ronaldo was left at home for this trip to the Stadio Via del Mare, so Gonzalo Higuain and Paulo Dybala started together upfront, with Federico Bernardeschi filling in for injured Aaron Ramsey. Douglas Costa and Giorgio Chiellini are long-term absentees, but Danilo and Merih Demiral had rare starts. Lecce coach Fabio Liverani sat out a touchline ban.
It was the hosts who had the first shot on target after two minutes, Wojciech Szczesny’s gloves stung by a ferocious Majer half-volley from the edge of the box.
Bernardeschi and Dybala had shots charged down in the box, while Emre Can and Danilo had penalty appeals waved away for going down far too easily.
Higuain thought he’d given Juve the lead on 15 minutes when tapping in a wayward Alex Sandro shot at the back post, but Pipita had wandered offside.
Gabriel needed a fingertip save to push Dybala’s strike round the base of the upright, while Danilo went for the assist rather than shoot at goal, but Bernardeschi sliding in was unable to get on the end of it.
Juventus were awarded a penalty straight after the restart, as Petriccione slightly mistimed the block on Miralem Pjanic. At first, the referee had given a free kick, but after a VAR review it was shown to be just inside he penalty area. Dybala stepped up and converted.
However, it didn’t last long. Within minutes Marco Mancosu had forced a tricky save from Szczesny in the near top corner, and on the resulting set play, Matthijs de Ligt once again handled in the box. This too was not that clear a penalty, as it was from close range, but it is becoming a recurring theme with the Dutch defender. Mancosu sent Szczesny the wrong way to equalise from the spot.
Bernardeschi should’ve restored Juve’s lead moments later when he sprung the offside trap on a smart ball over the top and sent the goalkeeper to ground, but only thumped the outside of the near post with the angle not even that narrow.
Pjanic limped off with a muscular problem, while Gabriel rushed off his line to stop Higuain making the most of hesitant defending and Leonardo Bonucci turned over from close range on a free kick.
Dybala curled past the far top corner and Gabriel came rushing out to clear from Juan Cuadrado, but the goalkeeper also collided mid-air with Higuain and left him with a bloody forehead.
Lecce were pinned back in the final stages, including eight minutes of stoppages for a series of injuries, but Gabriel used his legs to deny Higuain’s angled drive at the near post.
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