Juventus missed the chance to close the gap on Serie A leaders Inter as they stumbled to a 1-1 draw with Hellas Verona at the Stadio Marc’Antonio Bentegodi.
In a scrappy Saturday evening affair, Juve took the lead through Cristiano Ronaldo at the start of the second half, but were pegged back by Antonin Barak’s header on the 77th minute.
The Bianconeri made a blistering start to the game by creating a series of half-chances in the first five minutes. Verona had barely touched the ball until they won a corner, which was headed against Wojciech Szczesny’s bar. From there Ivan Juric’s side grew into the contest.
The first half swiftly became mistake-riddled and fragmented, with referee Fabio Maresca awarding 21 free-kicks and dishing out three yellow cards.
The second half kicked off with a goal for Juventus. It was a breakthrough that the contest desperately needed. The hosts lost the ball in their own half which let Federico Chiesa run to the byline and pull it back for an unmarked Ronaldo to slot in from eight yards. It wasn’t the cleanest connection, and Marco Silvestri should have done better.
The game fell flat again, but with just under 15 minutes to go Barak drew Verona level. The ball was chipped into the box by Darko Lazovic after some slick passing, and Barak rose higher than Alex Sandro to head into the top corner. The goal continued Ivan Juric’s side’s unusual achievement of having scored all of their Serie A goals this season from inside the box.
The Mastini finished the game looking most likely to steal all the points, but Ivan Juric’s side couldn’t force a winner. The result leaves Juve seven points behind leaders Inter Milan, having played the same amount of games. Inter face Genoa at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on Sunday.
Verona remain 9th in the table, but will take heart from the way they stayed in the game and eventually got the point they deserved.