Friday, October 23, 2020

Ronaldo double earns point for 10-man Juventus at Roma

Football

AS Roma's Davide Santon in action with Juventus' Cristiano Ronaldo. (Reuters Photo)

ROME - Cristiano Ronaldo’s second goal of the night rescued a 2-2 draw for 10-man Juventus away to AS Roma in Serie A on Sunday, after Jordan Veretout had twice put the capital club in front. Veretout and Ronaldo netted penalties after both teams were penalised for handball, and the French midfielder then struck his second of the night in first-half stoppage time.

Juventus midfielder Adrien Rabiot was shown a second yellow card to leave his side a man down for the final third of the match, but a towering Ronaldo header earned a point for the Italian champions in Andrea Pirlo’s second game in charge.

The result leaves Juventus in fifth place, with four points from their opening two league games.

Roma are down in 13th on one point, as their opening day 0-0 draw against Hellas Verona was changed to a 3-0 defeat by Serie A because they fielded an ineligible player.

Roma's Henrikh Mkhitaryan almost scored a spectacular individual goal early on, dribbling from inside his own half before his shot was smothered by Wojciech Szczesny.

The hosts went in front after half an hour when Rabiot was penalised for handball, allowing Veretout to convert from 12 yards.

Juventus levelled in almost identical fashion when Lorenzo Pellegrini’s trailing arm blocked the ball and Ronaldo fired home the subsequent spot kick.

But the lead lasted just two minutes before Juve were caught on the break and Mkhitaryan squared a pass to Veretout for a composed finish.

Roma captain Edin Dzeko, who was close to joining Juventus in the close season, was inches away when his shot struck the foot of the post.

Pirlo’s side were left with a mountain to climb when a clumsy challenge from Rabiot on the 62nd minute earned him a second booking.

But they found an equaliser from a familiar source when Ronaldo hung in the air in trademark fashion to head in a cross.