08 November 2020
Juventus were made to settle for a point at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome on Sunday lunchtime after a late Felipe Caicedo goal for Lazio cancelled out Cristiano Ronaldo’s first-half opener to ensure the spoils were shared.
It was perhaps the best performance of the season from Andrea Pirlo’s men, who looked to be assured of all three points having led since the 15th minute, when Ronaldo struck to put them in front. But there was a late sting in the tale for the Bianconeri, as Caicedo found the net in the fourth minute of stoppage time to snatch a point for Lazio.
CUADRADO AND RONALDO COMBINE TO PUT JUVE AHEAD
Juve moved the ball well in the early stages, waiting for the right time to attack. Gianluca Frabotta looked dangerous down the left, bursting forward and firing in a low cross that just eluded Alvaro Morata. The Bianconeri were pressing their opponents high up the pitch, yet they also showed intelligence in dropping back and playing on the break at times. Adrien Rabiot was the driving force behind one promising counter, leading to a decent shot from Cristiano Ronaldo, but there was even better to come. Juan Cuadrado started the move, beating two men to get the Bianconeri on their way. After exchanging a couple of passes on the edge of the box, Cuadrado received the ball back from Rodrigo Bentancur, reached the byline and found Ronaldo in the six-yard box. The Portuguese duly applied the finish, beating Pepe Reina in the Lazio goal to score his 27th goal of 2020. Nobody in Europe’s top five leagues has scored more.
CR7 DENIED BY THE WOODWORK
Lazio’s response came in the form of a Joaquin Correa shot, sent high over the bar, and a dangerous move which saw Sergej Milinkovic-Savic head Stefan Radu’s cross down for Vedat Muriqi, who was unable to convert with the goal gaping. Correa popped up again with a low shot from the edge of the area which Wojciech Szczesny dealt with comfortably, while Ronaldo reminded Lazio of Juve’s threat on the break with a shot that fizzed just past the post. Though Lazio continued to push for an equaliser, with Muriqi finding the side-netting with their next foray forward, Juve kept their composure and always looked like scoring whenever they broke forward. And the Bianconeri almost grabbed a second towards the end of the first half, only for Ronaldo to be denied by the angle of the goal after a fine curling effort, while a free-kick from the Portuguese drew an impressive save from Reina to bring the half to a close.
MORATA LEADS FROM THE FRONT
Juventus began the second half with an intense high press, with Ronaldo winning the ball back in Lazio’s half and teeing up Bentancur, whose shot from distance was wide of the target. Lazio threatened through Adam Marusic, who fired just over, but the home side always had to contend with the speed of Morata, seemingly auditioning for the role of constant thorn in Lazio’s side. It was from one of the Spaniard’s bursts of pace that Rabiot found himself with a sight of goal – a diving save was required from Reina to keep the deficit to one goal. Correa remained the most dangerous man in Lazio colours and almost created a promising chance down the left soon afterwards, but Leonardo Bonucci – making his 400th start for Juventus – gave the umpteenth demonstration of his impeccable timing by shutting the attack down.
CAICEDO’S LAST-MINUTE EQUALISER
Pirlo range the changes on the 75-minute mark, replacing Ronaldo and Dejan Kulusevski with Paulo Dybala and Weston McKennie, as Lazio continued to throw everything into finding an equaliser. Marusic had a golden opportunity when he found himself unmarked in the six-yard box, but the Montenegrin could only head straight at Szczesny, who gratefully gathered the ball. Federico Bernardeschi was the next to join the fray three minutes before the 90, replacing Morata, as Pirlo looked to see the game out. Lazio and Caicedo, however, had other ideas. With the seconds ticking away, Correa showed good feet to get himself into a dangerous position down the left before playing the ball into the box to the waiting Caicedo, who spun around and let fly with a snap shot that flew past Szczesny and into the back of the net. It was a bitter pill to swallow for Pirlo and his players, who had to settle for one point when three seemed almost in the bag.
LAZIO 1-1 JUVENTUS (HT: 0-1)
SCORERS: Ronaldo 15, Caicedo 90+4
Reina; Luiz Felipe, Radu (Hoedt 53), Acerbi; Marusic, Cataldi (Pereira 76), Luis Alberto (Akpa-Akpro 76), Milinkovic-Savic, Fares (Lazzari 53); Muriqi (Caicedo 53), Correa.
Subs not used: Furlanetto, Alia, Patric, Anderson, Armini, Parolo, Moro.
Coach: S. Inzaghi.
Szczesny; Cuadrado, Bonucci, Demiral, Danilo; Kulusevski (McKennie 75), Rabiot, Bentancur, Frabotta; Morata (Bernardeschi 87), Ronaldo (Dybala 75).
Subs not used: Buffon, Pinsoglio, Dragusin, Arthur, Portanova.