The Juventus crisis continues, as only a debatable Paulo Dybala penalty earned a 1-1 draw with surprise outfit Chievo.
Remarkably this was a top to tail fixture, but the Flying Donkeys had a 100 per cent record and the Old Lady were propping up the table after two defeats. It was their worst ever Serie A start to a season, but Max Allegri rested several stars ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League trip to Manchester City. Hernanes and Alex Sandro made their Bianconeri debuts, while Patrice Evra sat out a ban.
Chievo had beaten Juve only once in the top flight, 1-0 in January 2010, from 24 previous meetings.
Nonetheless, they took the shock lead in Turin after just five minutes. The defence backed off and allowed Perparim Hetemaj time and space to pick his spot, blasting into the far bottom corner from the edge of the box. Incredibly it was his first goal in Serie A for over four years, since April 2011.
Hernanes stung Albano Bizzarri’s gloves and Leo Bonucci came sliding in a fraction too late to tap in Roberto Pereyra’s cross-shot at the back post. Pereyra also ballooned over after a Hetemaj fresh-air clearance on Alex Sandro, as did Paulo Dybala when slipping.
Chievo didn’t sit back and Riccardo Meggiorini fired over, while Hernanes was booked for simulation. Claudio Marchisio returned after more than a month out injured and looked very rusty, scuffing several good opportunities.
Juventus were jeered off the field at half-time and Gigi Buffon asked the fans to be supportive rather than insulting.
There was an odd change of tactics for the second half, as Paul Pogba replaced Marchisio, but Hernanes went into a playmaker role with Pereyra as trequartista.
It really should’ve been 2-0 for Chievo on 51 minutes, but Buffon performed an incredible save from point-blank range to palm Bostjan Cesar’s volley on to the upright.
Juventus went very close to an equaliser with a triple chance, as Pereyra’s low drive thumped the base of the post, then Pogba’s follow-up was charged down and Dybala fired the rebound over.
Pogba had penalty appeals for a Dario Dainelli shirt tug, then Chievo saw a goal disallowed for Cesar’s manhandling of Leo Bonucci as he volleyed in from a free kick, though they both had a handful of jersey.
Juan Guillermo Cuadrado had a great chance with his first touch, only to hesitate and be closed down, while Bizzarri again beat away a Hernanes screamer from distance.
Hernanes curled a wonderful free kick over the wall and it dipped viciously, but Bizzarri fingertipped it out from under the bar.
There was more controversy when the referee at first hesitated, but then awarded a penalty on advice from his assistants. Cuadrado burst into the box and appeared to be running out of room when he went down over a Cesar sliding challenge. The Colombian appeared to look for the contact. Nonetheless, Dybala fired into the near top corner to draw Juventus level from the spot.
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