Dejan Kulusevski on Sunday came off the bench to rescue a point as champions Juventus, playing without Cristiano Ronaldo, were held to a third Serie A stalemate at home by Hellas Verona.
Ronaldo remains absent after testing positive for COVID-19, with Juventus preparing for tomorrow’s UEFA Champions League match against Barcelona in Turin.
“We had a too wait-and-see first half, we weren’t very aggressive with the midfielders, but we had the most dangerous opportunities,” Juventus coach Andrea Pirlo said.
Substitute Andrea Favilli put Verona ahead after an hour, but Sweden international Kulusevski rescued Pirlo with 13 minutes to go.
“In the second half after the goal there was a good response, but we shouldn’t need a slap in the face to wake us up,” Pirlo said. “When you play against Verona it’s hard for everyone, but we could have done better.”
To add to Pirlo’s problems before hosting Barcelona, defender Leonardo Bonucci went off with a thigh problem. Veteran Giorgio Chiellini is already out.
“He had already felt something on Tuesday [last week against Dynamo Kiev], he felt something again today,” Pirlo said. “We will evaluate it tomorrow, calmly.”
Juventus are fifth in Serie A, three points behind leaders AC Milan, who were due to host AS Roma yesterday.
Napoli moved up to second place, one point behind AC Milan, after a 2-1 win over promoted Benevento, a match in which brothers Lorenzo and Roberto Insigne scored for rival clubs.
“I’m very happy, but sorry my first goal in Serie A was against my brother,” said Roberto Insigne, 26, who opened the scoring after half an hour against his hometown club who he left two seasons ago.
Lorenzo Insigne, 29, marked his return from injury with a stunning equalizer for his 68th top-flight goal for Napoli, with Matteo Politano setting up Andrea Petagna for the winner seven minutes later.
Gennaro Gattuso’s side got back to winning ways after their surprise 1-0 UEFA Europa League home defeat by AZ on Thursday last week.
“After the game? I told him [Roberto] my left [foot] is better than his,” Lorenzo Insigne said. “No, I’m kidding, we also hugged because today was an exciting day for our family. I’m happy with the goal and congratulate my brother, too. The left foot is not my favorite, but I struck it very well and I must say it was a beautiful goal.”
Napoli have won all four Serie A games they have played this season.
ACF Fiorentina got back winning ways with a 3-2 victory over Udinese thanks to a Gaetano Castrovilli brace either side of a Nikola Milenkovic header.
A pair of Stefano Okaka headers had revived 18th-placed Udinese hopes.
In Sardinia, Argentine striker Giovanni Simeone, son of Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone, scored his fourth goal in five games as Cagliari beat 10-man Crotone 4-2.
Parma were held to a 2-2 draw at home by Spezia.
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