Ruslan Malinovskiy’s late effort consigned Juventus to a 1-0 defeat at Atalanta and struck a blow to their chances of qualifying for next season’s Champions League.
Only four minutes remained of Sunday’s Serie A contest when Malinovskiy’s effort deflected past Wojciech Szczesny to secure the points for Atalanta, who leapfrog Juve into third place in the table.
The Bianconeri were without the injured Cristiano Ronaldo and his absence was acutely felt as Andrea Pirlo’s side lacked a cutting edge in attack.
Juve have now drawn three and lost one of their games in Serie A this season where Ronaldo has been absent.
— JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) April 18, 2021
Atalanta had an early shout for a penalty when Luis Muriel was nudged over by Juan Cuadrado inside the box, but the referee waved away the appeals.
Federico Chiesa, who later limped out injured, registered Juve’s first meaningful effort when he struck a shot from distance that flashed past the post.
Atalanta carved open the Juventus defence midway through the first half with a slick passing move, but Matteo Pessina fired wide from a good position.
The Bianconeri moved up a gear before the interval and Alvaro Morata almost capitalised on some sloppy Atalanta defending only for Joakim Maehle to clear the Spain striker’s dinked effort off the line.
Atalanta enjoyed a spell of possession after half-time without testing Wojciech Szczesny, although the Juventus goalkeeper breathed a sigh of relief on the hour mark when Duvan Zapata’s curling effort went over the bar.
Zapata went close again with 20 minutes left when he got on the end of a Josip Ilicic cross but could only direct his header wide of goal.
Morata looked Juve’s most likely source of a goal and he forced Pierluigi Gollini to save well when he tried to side foot the ball past him from a tight angle.
However, it was Atalanta who stole the points late on when Malinovskiy received the ball from a quick corner and struck a low shot from outside the area, which deflected off Alex Sandro and wrongfooted Szczesny.
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