SERIE A MATCH REPORT

Serie A Week 24 - 27 Feb 2021 (19.45 UK)
Verona 1 - 1 Juventus
Ronaldo 49 (J), Barak 78 (V)
Stadio Marc’Antonio Bentegodi

Cristiano Ronaldo’s goal created by Federico Chiesa was not enough, as Antonin Barak grabbed an equaliser after Hellas Verona hit the woodwork twice.

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The Bianconeri missed Leonardo Bonucci, Giorgio Chiellini, Juan Cuadrado, Arthur and Paulo Dybala, while Alvaro Morata hadn’t trained all week due to a viral infection and Danilo was suspended. Hellas were still without Nikola Kalinic, Ebrima Colley, Marco Benassi and Kevin Ruegg, but Federico Dimarco returned from suspension. It was announced this morning that Verona had a COVID case in their matchday squad, most likely a member of staff, but all other tests were negative.

Juve had lost two of their last three trips to the Bentegodi, but started strong, as within 90 seconds Aaron Ramsey’s strike had been fingertipped round the near post.

Verona did the same, as Marco Davide Faraoni’s header on Mattia Zaccagni’s corner was fingertipped onto the upright by Wojciech Szczesny from close range.

The tempo was frenetic, Silvestri getting down quickly on a Federico Chiesa snapshot, then Dejan Kulusevski went on a wonderful mazy run to set up Adrien Rabiot, only for the Frenchman to shin it wide.

Marco Silvestri got away with a poor clearance when he slipped mid-kick, while Szczesny rushed out to smother at Kevin Lasagna’s feet.

Juve found the breakthrough at the dawn of the second half, as Chiesa ran onto a Ramsey through ball, drew defenders towards him by pretending to shoot, but instead rolled across for unmarked Cristiano Ronaldo to sweep in, despite Silvestri getting a hand to it.

Rabiot deflected a Faraoni strike over for a corner, then Ramsey saw his finish charged down after great work down the right from Kulusevski.

Miguel Veloso tested Szczesny from distance, then the goalkeeper had to leap to push a looping cross off the head of Faraoni.

Verona were piling on the pressure and it paid off, as Merih Demiral tried playing it out from the back, but Veloso shrugged off a challenge and Darko Lazovic floated in a cross from the left for Antonin Barak to out-jump Alex Sandro on the header.

Hellas had the momentum and Szczesny had to fingertip another great chance onto the woodwork, this time getting to Lazovic’s strike onto the bar.

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Verona: Silvestri; Magnani, Gunter, Lovato; Faraoni (Dawidowicz 84), Sturaro (Vieira 67), Ilic (Veloso 46), Dimarco (Lazovic 52); Barak, Zaccagni (Bessa 84); Lasagna
Juventus: Szczesny; Demiral, De Ligt, Alex Sandro; Chiesa (Di Pardo 87), Bentancur, Rabiot, Bernardeschi; Ramsey (McKennie 68); Kulusevski, Ronaldo
Ref: Maresca