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Juventus lose further ground in title race with draw at Verona

SoccerNews in Serie A 17 Feb 2024

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Juventus continued to lose ground in their pursuit of Serie A leaders Inter Milan after a 2-2 draw with struggling Verona registered a fourth match without a win.

They had to come from behind twice to take a point that leaves them nine points adrift of their rivals and they should have done better with several late chances.

Verona made the brighter start and they were rewarded with a stunning strike by Michael Folorunsho in the 12th minute.

Tomas Suslov’s corner was headed clear by Adrien Rabiot but the ball only reached Folorunsho just outside the area and the Italian midfielder let rip with a screaming volley off his left foot.

The shot flew into the top left corner, giving Wojciech Szczesny no chance of making a save.

Juventus clawed their way level from the penalty spot with Dusan Vlahovic converting after VAR showed Jackson Tchatchoua had handled the ball, referee Marco Di Bello initially believing the ball had deflected off his knee.

Despite the equaliser, Verona were still in control as they went about their work with greater intent.

Their second goal arrived eight minutes after the interval, Tijjani Noslin showing composure and athleticism to steer the ball into the bottom right corner of the net.

But Verona’s defence then imploded as they allowed Juventus to work the ball to an unmarked Rabiot, who had the time and space to pick his shot and pull the trigger.

Darko Lazovic forced a sharp save by Szczęsny before drama unfolded in the other goal when Rabiot’s cross with the outside of his foot was met by Vlahovic but the Serbian’s header was off-target.

It was a poor miss by Vlahovic and, as the match entered the final 10 minutes, substitute Federico Chiesa blazed a reasonable chance over the crossbar.

Juventus had one more opportunity to take all three points in injury-time but a well worked move ended with Chiesa prodding the ball wide.

It means Inter have a firm grip on the title race with a game in hand on Juve, while AC Milan can take second place from Massimiliano Allegri’s men with a victory at Monza on Sunday.

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