Kulusevski salvages a point for below-par Juventus against Verona

0:00

Dejan Kulusevski spared Juventus from their first Serie A defeat of the season as his late goal salvaged a 1-1 draw against Hellas Verona at the Allianz Stadium.

Andrea Pirlo's side were held to a disappointing 1-1 draw by Crotone last time out and looked like they would be on the end of an even worse result when Andrea Favilli put the visitors ahead after an hour.

Substitute Kulusevski had other ideas, though, cutting in from the right to score his second goal for the club following his arrival from Atalanta during the off-season 13 minutes from time.

The result moves Juve up to fifth - three points behind leaders Milan, who have played a game fewer - while Verona remain in eighth.

Juve were sluggish in the early stages and had to wait until the 20th minute for their first attempt on goal, Marco Silvestri getting down well to deny Federico Bernardeschi after a swift counter-attacking move had carved the Verona defence apart.

Juan Cuadrado was presented with a glorious opportunity to open the scoring shortly before the interval, but he thundered a 10-yard effort against the crossbar after another impressive move.

Alvaro Morata then thought he had given Juve the lead on the stroke of half-time, but his sublime scooped finish was ruled out by VAR for offside.

Juve failed to spark at the start of the second period and were duly punished on the hour mark when Favilli stroked home from the middle of the penalty area after being teed up by Mattia Zaccagni.

Paulo Dybala - making his first Serie A appearance of the season - crashed a deflected effort from distance against the crossbar 15 minutes from time, but Kulusevski drew the hosts level a few moments later after bamboozling Marco Faraoni and curling into Silvestri's bottom-right corner.

Adrien Rabiot flashed a powerful drive agonisingly wide soon after as Juventus created a flurry of late opportunities, but they ultimately fell short of expectations and Verona held on.

 

What does it mean? Juve missing talismanic Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo, who is self-isolating after testing positive for COVID-19 while on international duty with Portugal, has now missed three games for the Serie A champions and his absence was felt on Sunday.

His team-mates had 22 shots - many of which came in the frantic closing stages - but only six were on target. It is not hard to imagine that number would have been significantly higher if the former Real Madrid superstar had been on the pitch. 

Impressive Morata in industrious form

After three goals in his previous two games, Morata was once again Juve's brightest spark. He made three key passes - a team high alongside Dybala - and can claim an assist for Kulusevski's leveller.

Dybala experiences a mixed return

The Argentina international was full of enthusiasm on his return to first-team action, but his finishing left a lot to be desired. He had just one shot on target from a whopping nine shots, while he lost possession 19 times - more than any other Juve player.

Key Opta facts

- Favilli is the first player to be subbed on, score and then taken on in less than 10 minutes during a Serie A match in the three-points era (since 1994-95).
- Juventus are winless in two consecutive Serie A games against Verona for the first time since 1989 (four).
- Morata claimed his first Serie A assist since May 2016 (for a Leonardo Bonucci goal against Sampdoria).
- Kulusevski's equaliser was just the second from 12 Serie A goals scored as a substitute.
- Verona are unbeaten in two consecutive Serie A games against the defending champions for the first time since 2000 (four, against Milan and Lazio).

What's next?

Juve host Barcelona in a mouth-watering Champions League clash on Wednesday before travelling to Spezia in Serie A on Sunday. Verona, meanwhile, face Venezia in the Coppa Italia on Wednesday and Benevento in the league five days later.

Source Omnisport