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PIX: Ronaldo continues scoring run but Juventus lose

February 09, 2020 13:12 IST

IMAGE: Hellas Verona players celebrate winning the match against Juventus. Photograph: Alessandro Sabattini/Getty Images

Hellas Verona produced a huge upset by coming from behind to beat Serie A leaders Juventus 2-1 on Saturday, inflicting a third defeat of the season on the Italian champions.

Cristiano Ronaldo set a new Juventus record by scoring in a 10th consecutive league game to put the visitors in front at the Stadio Marc'Antonio Bentegodi after 65 minutes.

 

Yet Ivan Juric’s side left the visitors stunned as Fabio Borini struck an equaliser before a late penalty from substitute Giampaolo Pazzini completed the comeback.

Juve remain on top of the table on 54 points, but Inter Milan will draw level with them if they beat AC Milan on Sunday, and third-placed Lazio will go one point off top if they win at Parma.

Verona moved up to sixth place on 34 points, stretching their unbeaten run to eight games.

"What we need to realise is that winning is not to be taken for granted," Juve coach Maurizio Sarri told DAZN.

"We have to work harder, get dirty when we need to and not rest on our laurels.

"This team is accustomed to winning comfortably in recent years and we have to get it into our heads that we can’t afford to waste points."

IMAGE: Cristiano Ronaldo, right, scores the opening goal for Juventus. Photograph: Alessandro Sabattini/Getty Images

Douglas Costa went close in the first half when he fired a shot off the crossbar, before Verona celebrations were cut short when Marash Kumbulla’s headed goal was ruled out for a narrow offside following a Video Assistant Referee (VAR) review.

Ronaldo threatened when he cut inside and curled a shot off the foot of the post at the end of a balanced first half.

The Portuguese forward eventually broke the deadlock with a goal of individual brilliance, as he exchanged passes with Paulo Dybala to launch a counter-attack, before beating his marker and firing in a low finish.

Verona drew level, however, when Borini latched onto a loose ball inside the Juventus area and struck a shot into the bottom corner.

The hosts turned the game on its head with five minutes remaining when Pazzini struck from the spot after Leonardo Bonucci was penalised for handball following a VAR review.

Earlier, Moreno Longo’s debut as Torino coach ended in defeat as his side were beaten 3-1 by Sampdoria.

Walter Mazzarri parted ways with Torino earlier this week after a run of four consecutive defeats.

Longo, however, could not turn the tide as Simone Verdi’s second-half opener was cancelled out by a Gaston Ramirez double, before Armando Izzo was sent off as he conceded a penalty that was converted by Fabio Quagliarella.

Koke helps Atletico earn badly-needed win

IMAGE: Atletico Madrid's Angel Correa, left, celebrates scoring their first goal with Marcos Llorente. Photograph: Stringer/Reuters

Atletico Madrid ended a barren run of five games in all competitions without a win with a narrow 1-0 victory at home to Granada in La Liga on Saturday, inspired by returning captain Koke.

The midfielder was making his first appearance in the league since mid-December and wasted little time in making an impact on his struggling team, setting up Angel Correa to score the only goal of the game in the sixth minute.

Atletico were comfortable in the first half but began to suffer in the second and it took a world class save from goalkeeper Jan Oblak to prevent Granada's Roberto Soldado levelling with a backheel.

The win lifted Atletico into fourth in the standings on 39 points after 23 games, 10 behind leaders Real Madrid who play away to Osasuna on Sunday.

"We needed a victory to end this terrible run and we're very happy to take three points at home," said match-winner Correa.

"But after scoring the goal we sat back too much and we need to correct this."

Koke's absence from the team coincided with their woeful slide in form, in which they lost to Eibar and Real Madrid, drew 0-0 at home to struggling Leganes and were knocked out of the Copa del Rey by third division side Cultural Leonesa.

For the first time in his eight-year spell with Atletico, the pressure was on all-powerful coach Diego Simeone, who this week was named by French newspaper L'Equipe as the highest earning manager in European football.

The Argentine coach was missing eight first-team players, including club record signing Joao Felix, top scorer Alvaro Morata and crucial defenders Kieran Trippier and Jose Gimenez.

He could, however, count on Koke, his longest-serving player who has been instrumental in the team's many successes during his tenure as coach.

The Spain international pounced on some indecision in the Granada defence following a throw-in and quickly played in Argentine Correa, who made no mistake from inside the area and scored Atletico's first league goal since January 4.

The home side did not build on their lead, however, and were left begging for the fulltime whistle, which finally arrived to huge sighs of relief from the home fans at the Wanda Metropolitano.

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