Alvaro Morata continued his strong start to the season by netting the opener, but it wasn’t enough as Gianluca Letizia’s equalizer in the dying seconds of the first half helped Benevento claim a 1-1 draw with Juventus on Saturday night.
The Bianconeri came into the match having already booked their place in the knockout stages of the Champions League thanks to a midweek victory over Ferencvaros, but things didn’t come together against the Stregoni.
With Cristiano Ronaldo unavailable after being left in Turin, it was Morata who took control of proceedings by netting a fine strike in the 21st minute to seemingly put Juve on their way.
However Filippo Inzaghi’s men had other plans and levelled the score through Letizia with the last kick of the opening frame. Despite having an entire half to find a winner, Andrea Pirlo’s side were unable to do so and had to settle for the lone point.
The away side opened the scoring in the 21st minute after a great passing play setup by Federico Chiesa. The Italian picked out Morata on the left with a pinpoint cross-field pass, and after dribbling past Artur Ionita, he picked out the far bottom corner with an angled drive.
It should have been 2-0 when Morata chested an Aaron Ramsey pass onto the path of Paulo Dybala, however the Argentine sent his strike just wide of the mark.
Gianluca Lapadula and Dybala saw penalty appeals waved away by referee Fabrizio Pasqua, while Benevento ended the half on the front foot as Wojciech Szczesny was forced into a spectacular diving save on Pasquale Schiattarella from close range.
The home side were rewarded for their efforts and levelled the score from the resulting corner. Arthur couldn’t clear the danger away, opening the door for Letizia to hit an accurate volley into the far bottom corner on the stroke of half-time.
Benevento continued to push forward after the break and Riccardo Improta flashed an angled drive just wide of the far post, while Chiesa picked out Morata in close only for the Spaniard to nod wide from two yards out.
Morata continued to be Juve’s best player, sending a thumping effort from distance just off the mark, while Ramsey and Arthur were brought off and replaced by Dejan Kulusevski and Rodrigo Bentancur.
The substitutions didn’t change much for the Bianconeri however as their ventures forward were often disjointed and stunted as they looked to leapfrog the midfield more often than not.
One of their best chances came from a counter as Federico Bernardeschi pulled back and found Dybala cutting into the penalty area. The Argentine wasn’t able to get much power behind the effort though, allowing Montipo to get his fingertips to it.
The final minutes played out in sloppy fashion with Benevento doing all that they could to get over the finish line, with Morata picking up a straight red card after the final whistle for saying too much to the referee.