Serie A leaders Juventus was held by hosts Atalanta BC to a 2-2 draw on Friday.
Juventus thought they had won when Dani Alves headed in seven minutes from time, but Remo Freuler leveled six minutes later.
“We just needed to stay with the game, but we lost our shape,” Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri said. “It happened in the first half, but once we came back we should have closed the match. Usually we don’t concede like that.”
“We’ve stretched our advantage over [AS] Roma by one point and now we have to get other victories. If we had won tonight it would have been a decisive step towards the league title.”
On-loan Juventus midfielder Leonardo Spinazzola scored an own-goal for his parent club to cancel out Andrea Conti’s opener on the stroke of halftime.
Juventus moved nine points clear of Roma, who are to host SS Lazio in the capital derby today.
Juventus started in a lackluster fashion and did not have a shot until the 26th minute when Gonzalo Higuain’s swiveling volley did not have the power to trouble Etrit Berisha.
Atalanta should have broken the deadlock on the half hour, but Gianluigi Buffon rushed out to clear Freuler’s attempt with his legs.
The home side took the lead just before halftime, when Alejandro Gomez chipped in a delightful cross to the back post where Conti bundled in from close range.
Juventus leveled five minutes after the break as Spinazzola headed Miralem Pjanic’s free-kick into his own net.
Alves was thought to have scored the winner for Juventus when he met Pjanic’s cross with a diving header, but Atalanta equalized a minute from time. Freuler’s shot was saved by Buffon, but the midfielder kept his composure to finish off the rebound.
Striker Cedric Bakambu scored twice as Villarreal defeated Real Sporting de Gijon 3-1 in La Liga action on Friday, keeping alive their slim hopes of qualifying for the Champions League.
Roberto Soldado opened the scoring in the first half, while Bakambu added two goals early in the second.
Douglas scored near the end for Sporting.
AP, LEVERKUSEN, Germany
Bayer 04 Leverkusen’s bid to pull away from the Bundesliga’s relegation zone was dealt a humiliating blow when they lost 4-1 at home to Schalke 04 on Friday.
Defeat increased the pressure on manager Tayfun Korkut, who has only one win in eight games since taking over last month.
Leverkusen had been 10th, seven points above the relegation zone, when Schmidt was fired. Now they are 12th, just four points clear.
Guido Burgstaller scored in the sixth minute for Schalke, thanks to a brilliant pass from Nabil Bentaleb to Leon Goretzka, who squared the ball.
Benedikt Hoewedes made it 2-0 with a header from a corner.
It got worse for the home side when Alessandro Schoepf added another in the 18th.
Burgstaller grabbed his second five minutes after halftime.
Stefan Kiessling pulled one back with more than 20 minutes remaining.
KEY GOAL: Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei is now free to focus on taking her fourth doubles title of the year with Barbora Strycova; they are due to face Nao Hibino and Makoto Ninomiya Taiwanese No. 1 Hsieh Su-wei on Monday returned to the court for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the WTA Tour, falling to a 6-3, 6-1 defeat to US Open quarter-finalist Elise Mertens, who made a solid transition from the hard courts in New York to the clay at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. “I’m not sure how well I adapted, to be honest,” Mertens told the WTA Web site. “I just feel like I might still be struggling a little. It was also [Hsieh’s] first match of the week, so that was a bit of an
‘GREAT EVENING‘: In the women’s singles in Rome, Simona Halep and Karolina Pliskova advanced, while Rafael Nadal swept into the quarters in the men’s singles Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Friday had to dig deep to advance to the semi-finals of the women’s doubles at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. The top seeds, who did not drop a game in their opening match on the clay courts at the Foro Italico, battled to a 7-6 (7/5), 6-4 victory over sixth seeds Veronika Kudermetova and Katerina Siniakova in 1 hour, 39 minutes. The reigning Wimbledon champions saved nine of 11 break points and converted three of eight, winning 56 percent of points on their second serve and sending down two aces
‘FUN TIME’: Denver’s Nikola Jokic said that his team would not accept that anyone else is better than them and the opposition need to play much better than they do Just about everyone had LA versus LA written in for the NBA’s Western Conference finals, but the resilient Denver Nuggets have crashed the party. Behind Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic, the Nuggets advanced to the conference finals for the first time since 2009 to face LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers. Game 1 is scheduled to be played tomorrow. This was no ordinary road. The Nuggets fell behind 3-1 in their first-round series against the Utah Jazz before bouncing back with three straight victories. Then they went down 3-1 to the Los Angeles Clippers in the second round before winning in Game 7
‘GREAT COMPETITOR’: Former French Open champion Garbine Muguruza was tested by American teenager Coco Gauff, before the Spaniard advanced in three sets Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Thursday cruised into the quarter-finals of the women’s doubles at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia by handing their Japanese opponents a rare “double bagel,” a feat matched by US Open losing finalist Victoria Azarenka in the women’s singles. Top seeds Hsieh and Strycova took just 49 minutes to see off the challenge of Japanese duo Nao Hibino and Makoto Ninomiya 6-0, 6-0 on the clay courts at the Foro Italico in Rome. The Taiwanese-Czech duo saved both break points they faced and converted six of 14, winning 62 percent of their first