Tue, May 14, 2019 - Page 16 News List

Roma late show sees off Juventus

AFP, MILAN, Italy

AS Roma’s Edin Dzeko, front left, scores against Juventus in their Italian Serie A match at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome on Sunday.

Photo: EPA-EFE

Alessandro Florenzi and Edin Dzeko on Sunday scored late as AS Roma beat Juventus 2-0 to keep their hopes of a UEFA Champions League spot next season alive.

Dzeko set up Florenzi for the first after 79 minutes at the Stadio Olimpico with the Bosnian then slotting in the second two minutes into stoppage-time as Juventus fell to just their third defeat this season.

The defeat came on the day that Juventus displayed their new strip which no longer features the club’s iconic black and white stripes in a breakaway from more than a century of tradition.

Massimiliano Allegri’s side have not won a match since sealing an eighth consecutive scudetto, being held to 1-1 draws in their previous two games against Inter and Torino.

Roma needed a win after their Champions League rivals Atalanta BC, AC Milan, Torino and SS Lazio all won their games at the weekend.

Juventus and SSC Napoli have already booked their berths in next season’s elite European competition with two places remaining.

Atalanta beat Genoa 2-1 on Saturday to move third, two points ahead of Inter, who were due to play bottom club AC Chievo Verona yesterday.

AC Milan also won 1-0 against ACF Fiorentina and are one point behind Inter in fifth, with Roma equal on points with Milan with two games left to play.

“A great [goalkeeper Antonio] Mirante kept us up in the first half, but I am satisfied with the game,” Roma coach Claudio Ranieri said. “We must continue to believe in it. Even if not everything depends on us, we must reach the end with a clear conscience.”

Playing in their new kit, Juventus, with nothing left to play for and with growing speculation over Allegri’s future, failed to take advantage of their first-half domination.

Mirante pulled off towering saves, denying Juan Cuadrado and Paulo Dybala.

After the break, Cristiano Ronaldo had the ball in the back of the net after 64 minutes, but it was ruled out for offside.

Roma captain Florenzi, perhaps annoyed by Ronaldo, who had just made fun of his size, turned things around when he picked up a Dzeko cross to break the deadlock.

Dzeko added the second in stoppage-time as Torino, now two points behind, dropped out of the European places.

Torino captain Andrea Belotti scored a brace, including the winner with a spectacular overhead-kick, in a come-from-behind 3-2 win over 10-man US Sassuolo.

Belotti missed a penalty after 17 minutes in Turin, but made up with two second-half goals.

“We knew very well how important it was to win today,” Belotti said. “We have to fly low, there are still two games left and we have to win them.”

Mehdi Bourabia put Sassuolo ahead after 27 minutes, but the visitors played a man down for most of the game after the Moroccan midfielder was sent off for a second yellow card after celebrating by pulling his jersey over his head.

Belotti almost scored after the break, but Sassuolo goalkeeper Andrea Consigli denied his overhead-kick.

The Torino captain grabbed the equalizer on 56 minutes, but Sassuolo charged back with Jeremie Boga racing down the flank to force a Salvatore Sirigu save, only for Pol Lirola to turn in the rebound with a back-heel.

Simone Zaza pulled Torino back into the game on 81 minutes, with Belotti sealing victory with another overhead-kick which this time found the back of the net a minute later for his eighth goal in the past 10 league games, bringing his tally to 15.

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