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Roma complete comeback to inflict first home defeat on Juventus

Published on: 01 August 2020

Roma came from behind to secure a deserved 3-1 victory over champions Juventus at the Allianz Stadium in Serie A on Saturday.

Trailing to an early Gonzalo Higuain goal, the Giallorossi fought back through Nikola Kalinic’s header and a Diego Perotti penalty, before the latter doubled his tally in the second half.

It saw a much-changed Juventus suffer a first league defeat at the Allianz Stadium this season. However, with both sides having little to play for in their final league match, attention was focused on their respective European commitments next week.

Juventus got off to a perfect start as they netted within the opening five minutes. A dangerous Federico Bernardeschi freekick was headed behind, and from the resulting corner Adrien Rabiot flicked the ball on for Higuain to tap in after evading Davide Zappacosta at the back post.

Despite the Bianconeri’s early dominance Roma responded brightly, and the Giallorossi were soon level from a corner of their own. Kalinic stooped to beat Daniele Rugani to Perotti’s delivery and guide his header into the far corner, out of Wojciech Sczcesny’s reach.

At the other end, Juventus came close to retaking the lead when debutant Gianluca Frabotta raced onto Blaise Matuidi’s clever flick, but his low drive whistled past the post.

It was another debutant who had the ball in the net however, as Riccardo Calafiori drilled an unstoppable half-volley after Sczcesny had punched a corner clear. Cruelly for the teenager, the ball had gone out of play from the initial delivery and his wonder strike was chalked off.

Calafiori proved instrumental before half time though, winning Roma a penalty with a fine cut back after latching onto Perotti’s lofted pass. The youngster stepped across Danilo and drew the foul, with Perotti making no mistake from the spot.

Roma extended their lead early in the second half in style, as Zaniolo stole the ball in his own half and set off on a surging run, bursting to the edge of the Juventus box before slipping Perotti through. The Argentine slotted home, courtesy of a deflection off Merih Demiral, to seal his brace.

Juventus came within a whisker of reducing the deficit on the hour mark however, but Aaron Ramsey’s first time strike from a Higuain cutback rattled the post.

Meanwhile, Roma almost found a fourth with a rapid counter attack as Justin Kluivert found Zappacosta in acres of space out wide, though the Chelsea loanee’s strike flashed across the face of goal and wide.

In stoppage time substitute Marco Olivieri broke clear for Juventus and fired a powerful strike with the outside of his boot, but goalkeeper Daniel Fuzato was equal to it with a good save.

Ultimately Roma were well worth their victory as they made it eight games unbeaten, as the Lupi looked in fine form ahead of their Europa League clash with Sevilla on Thursday. Juventus, meanwhile, face Lyon in the Champions League the following day.

Source: forzaitalianfootball.com

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