Juventus’ Primavera came away empty-handed from their meeting with Sassuolo, their 3-2 reverse in Reggio Emilia the first time that they failed to collect maximum points in the league since October’s loss to Sampdoria.
Fabio Grosso’s side started the encounter brightly and got their noses in front as early as the fifth minute when in-form Cypriot midfielder Grigoris Kastanos found the target for the second successive weekend via a deflection.
The Bianconeri would have the better of the first period, but were unable to register a crucial second goal, thus allowing Sassuolo to work their way back into the contest.
In 16 second-half minutes, the hosts cashed in on their momentary superiority, Nicholas Pierini netting the equaliser before Claud Adjapong’s brace, and suddenly found themselves leading by a two-goal margin.
In an end-to-end finale, there would be time for Kastanos to net his second of the encounter with two minutes remaining and Pol Lirola almost levelled the scores in injury-time.
Despite the defeat, Grosso’s charges remain five points above second-placed Virtus Entella, who lost 4-2 at home to Fiorentina yesterday.
Juventus’ Under 17s also remain top of the tree (by four points) despite drawing 0-0 away to Modena on Saturday afternoon.
Felice Tufano’s young guns very nearly took a sixth minute lead when Moussa Ndiaye struck the crossbar, but the hosts’ resolute rearguard prevented them from fashioning any clear-cut chances thereafter.
The league-leaders will look to return to winning ways when they take on lowly Virtus Entella in Vinovo in a fortnight’s time.