Cristiano Ronaldo and Jordan Veretout scored a brace each, as Juventus twice pegged back Roma for a 2-2 draw, even after Adrien Rabiot saw red.
Up until a few days ago, Dzeko didn’t know which shirt he’d be wearing in this fixture, but Juve ultimately went for Alvaro Morata instead due to the failed Arkadiusz Milik transfer from Napoli. It was a chaotic week, as Roma also saw their 0-0 draw with Verona turned into a 3-0 defeat for irregularly fielding Amadou Diawara.
The Bianconeri made one change from the side that beat Sampdoria 3-0, Morata straight into the starting XI for Gianluca Frabotta, but the tactics were again very fluid with Dejan Kulusevski moved to the right and Juan Cuadrado on the left. Matthijs de Ligt, Alex Sandro and Federico Bernardeschi were still injured, Paulo Dybala not fully fit.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan had the first chance after 12 minutes, bursting forward on the counter, skipping past Leonardo Bonucci to test Wojciech Szczesny one-on-one.
Juve slowly built up the pressure with a series of corners, but Danilo was offside when his header was tipped over the bar by Antonio Morante.
Dzeko was furious when he was running on goal and went down while tussling with Giorgio Chiellini, but the free kick was correctly given against him, as it was the Bosnian who had a fistful of jersey.
Moments later, Roma were awarded a penalty, as Adrien Rabiot blocked the Jordan Veretout shot by sticking up an arm and fist, not even protesting the inevitable decision. Veretout converted it himself, although it squirmed under Szczesny’s arm and in off the post, in a stroke of luck for the Giallorossi.
Gianluca Mancini and Aaron Ramsey both went for the Ronaldo cross, nodding it just wide of the near post from point-blank range.
Juve were also awarded a penalty for an obvious handball, as Lorenzo Pellegrini left his arm dangling to intercept the ball when Ronaldo ran into the box. CR7 converted it himself, sending Antonio Mirante the wrong way to side-foot into the corner.
However, the Bianconeri were caught napping in stoppages and went behind again to a classic counter-attack. Mkhitaryan sprinted down the left on an inspired Dzeko pass, rolled it across for Veretout, who took a touch to get past Cuadrado and beat on-rushing Szczesny.
Pedro Rodriguez’s curling effort was palmed out from under the bar after the restart, but Dzeko somehow failed to score when he was sent clear by Spinazzola, perhaps had too much time and space from 12 yards to second-guess himself and instead clipped the upright.
Ronaldo’s volley was too close to Mirante, so Pirlo introduced Arthur and Douglas Costa. However, Juve went down to 10 men, as Rabiot completed a nightmare match by lunging through the back of Mkhitaryan for a second yellow card.
Dzeko wasted another golden opportunity by scuffing his finish at Szczesny on the Davide Santon assist, and the Giallorossi were punished for these errors.
Ronaldo hung in the air for an age to get his head to the Danilo cross, leaping above Bruno Peres, making it 2-2 for 10-man Juventus and completing his brace.
Both Pedro and Bruno Peres failed to get on the end of the Spinazzola cross, while Giorgio Chiellini risked an own goal to prevent Mkhitaryan tapping in a Pedro cross.
As time wore on, it was difficult to tell Juventus were down to 10 men, as they came away from the Olimpico with a point.
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Sent off: Rabiot 62 (J)