Juventus dominate a one-sided first half at the Bentegodi, but Verona prove a different prospect after the break and stage a two-goal comeback to snatch a point
A stunning revival from Hellas Verona enabled the newly-promoted side to recover a two-goal deficit and consign the Bianconeri to their second successive draw on the road in yesterday’s battle at the Bentegodi.
Antonio Conte was at pains to explain how his men allowed three precious points to slip from their grasp, and it’s easy to side with the manager after consulting the statistics.
Cruising with a two-goal lead thanks to Carlos Tevez’s double, Juventus looked home and dry by the interval after commanding over 70 per cent possession and registering eight shots on goal, a stark contrast to the hosts’ figure of zero efforts during the first 45 minutes.
Opposition boss Andrea Mandorlini used the half-time break to provide some words of wisdom to his struggling side, and the effect was instant.
Ordered to push up and support talismanic striker Luca Toni with extra bodies in and around the penalty area and better quality deliveries, Verona responded by fashioning their first genuine goalscoring chance of the game, from which the former Azzurri marksman obliged on 52 minutes.
His header from Romulo’s teasing right-sided delivery was the first Serie A aerial goal Juventus have conceded all campaign, pulling him level with Fernando Llorente as the division’s most lethal marksman in the air on five.
The Bianconeri kept plugging away to extend their lead and continued to enjoy similar amounts of possession experienced in the first half. Of particular note was the performance of Andrea Pirlo, who completed an extraordinary 135 passes, over double the 65 registered by nearest contender Giorgio Chiellini.
Yet Verona’s increased aggression ensured they remained a threat right until the very end. Proof of this lies in the 11-14 shots statistic that displays their emphatic turnaround following an impotent first half.
And with time slipping away as the clock edged into the fifth minute of added time, Juan Gomez popped up in the box to shatter Bianconeri hearts with a last-gasp leveller.