14.05.2017 22:57 - in: Match report S

    Roma prevail in the capital

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    The Giallorossi come from behind to beat Juventus 3-1 at the Stadio Olimpico on Sunday night

    Juventus will have to wait before winning a sixth straight Scudetto title after they came away empty-handed from Rome’s Stadio Olimpico on Sunday night.

    The Bianconeri took the lead on the night through Mario Lemina’s well-worked goal midway through the first half, but Roma reacted strongly with strikes by Daniele De Rossi, Stephan El Shaarawy and Radja Nainggolan to seal a victory that boosts their hopes of automatic Champions League qualification.

    Cheered on by a raucous home support, the Giallorossi applied some early pressure with El Shaarawy and Mohamed Salah breaking into advanced positions, but Juve’s backline successfully thwarted these attacks and quickly threatened to score the opener themselves.

    In the seventh minute, Kwadwo Asamoah sent a ferocious drive crashing against the post from outside the box. Buoyed by that effort, Juve started to flex their muscles in the match, Gonzalo Higuain curling over the crossbar not long afterwards.

    By the 21st minute, the visitors were ahead thanks to a fantastic team goal: Stefano Sturaro’s cross found Higuain who needed just one touch to lay the ball into the path of an onrushing Lemina and the midfielder rolled coolly into the net to send the away crowd wild.

    Juve’s lead was short-lived however. Just three minutes later, De Rossi netted an equaliser from virtually underneath the crossbar on his second rebound after Gianluigi Buffon had done brilliantly to block his initial two shots.

    Eager to get their noses back in front, the Bianconeri were on the front foot again for the remainder of the first half, Higuain testing Wojciech Szczesny with a powerful drive that the Polish keeper punched clear of danger. Sturaro then fired a matter of feet wide from distance, as the sides entered half-time on level terms.

    If the first period had been high octane, the second took some time to get going with Lemina needing treatment on the field following a foul by Federico Fazio.

    Juve’s slow start to the half got worse in the 56th minute when El Shaarawy drilled accurately inside Buffon’s far post to put the hosts 2-1 up.

    Nine minutes later, Nainggolan powered home his side’s third of the night to put Luciano Spalletti’s men in command.

    The 69th-minute introduction of Paulo Dybala saw Juventus in livelier spirits towards the end of the match. La Joya almost pulled a goal back when he headed Lemina’s left-wing cross just a few inches over the bar.

    Leonardo Bonucci too came close to reducing the deficit late on, the defender nodding Mario Mandzukic’s in-swinger wide of the mark and, in the final minute of injury time, Szczesny got down low to deny Higuain from point-blank range. This wasn’t to be Juve’s night.

    Now, the Bianconeri turn attentions to Wednesday’s Coppa Italia final against Lazio before looking to secure Scudetto no. 35 in front of their fans with a win next Sunday at home to Crotone.

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