Rome, 26 October 2020 (dpa/MIA) — Serie A champions Juventus struggled to clinch a 1-1 home draw to underdogs Verona on Sunday, staying three points behind leaders AC Milan, who welcome Roma on Monday.
The Bianconeri missed star Cristiano Ronaldo, who remained sidelined after a positive coronavirus test, and produced another disappointing showing after last weekend’s 1-1 draw at promoted Crotone.
They inched forward on nine points from five games and sit level with Atalanta and Sampdoria as Verona trail one point adrift.
Andrea Favilli came on to stun the sluggish Bianconeri on the hour, then exited with an injury after playing just seven minutes at the Allianz Stadium, where substitute Dejan Kulusevski levelled for the Bianconeri after storming from the right.
Juve had managed earlier shots against the bar from Juan Cuadrado and Paulo Dybala, but were far from convincing in their attempts to adjust to the tactics of new coach Andrea Pirlo.
Earlier action saw Napoli go second after bouncing back to a win 2-1 at promoted Benevento in a regional derby.
Roberto Insigne struck from close range for the hosts’ half-hour lead, netting his first top-flight goal against the Naples side where he grew up.
His brother, and Napoli captain, Lorenzo levelled on the hour with a swerving shot off the bar.
He had earlier had a powerful drive saved and saw his defensive team-mate Kostas Manolas nod against the post before the break.
Andrea Petagna completed Napoli’s comeback from inside the box off a pass from substitute Matteo Politano, who had also set up Insigne’s goal.
“With players like Politano and Petagna as substitutes, it was hard to hold on,” said Benevento coach Filippo Inzaghi, who before the game hugged his former AC Milan team-mate and current Napoli boss Gennaro Gattuso, with whom he won twice the Champions League.
“I could not ask for more from my players. They deserve to be applauded, these games must give us confidence. This Napoli can win the Scudetto.”
The Neapolitans, now on 11 points, have appealed against the one-point deduction and default defeat they were handed for not showing up at a game against Juventus.
Napoli claim that health authorities prohibited them from leaving for Turin after two coronavirus cases in the squad.