Juventus Lose Stripes And Match As Roma Keeps Champions League Hopes Alive
LAHORE MIRROR (Monitoring Desk)–Alessandro Florenzi and Edin Dzeko scored late as Roma beat Juventus 2-0 to keep their hopes of Champions League football next season alive on Sunday.
Dzeko set up Florenzi for the first after 79 minutes in the Stadio Olimpico with the Bosnian then slotting in the second two minutes into injury time as Juventus fell to just their third defeat this season.
The defeat came on the day that Juventus displayed their new strip which no longer features the club’s iconic black and white stripes in a breakaway from over a century of tradition.
Massimiliano Allegri’s side have not won a match since sealing an eighth consecutive Scudetto, being held to 1-1 draws in their last two games against Inter Milan and Torino.
Roma needed a win after their Champions League rivals Atalanta, AC Milan, Torino and Lazio all won their games this weekend.
Juventus and Napoli have already booked their berths in next season’s elite European berths with two places remaining.
Atalanta beat Genoa 2-1 on Saturday to move third two points ahead of Inter Milan, who play bottom club Chievo on Monday.
AC Milan also won 1-0 against Fiorentina 1-0, and are one point behind Inter in fifth, with Roma equal on points with Milan, with two games left to play.
“A great (goalkeeper Antonio) Mirante kept us up in the first half but I am satisfied with the game,” said Roma coach Claudio Ranieri.
“We must continue to believe in it. Even if not everything depends on us, we must reach the end with a clear conscience.”
Playing in their new jersies, Juventus with nothing left to play for, and with growing speculation over Allegri’s future, failed to take advantage of their first half domination.
Mirante pulled off towering saves, denying Juan Cuadrado and Paulo Dybala.
After the break Cristiano Ronaldo had the ball in the back of the net after 64 minutes but was ruled offside.
But Roma captain Florenzi, perhaps annoyed by Ronaldo who had just made fun of his size, turned things around when he picked up a Dzeko cross to break the deadlock.
Dzeko added the second in injury time as Roma join AC Milan on 62 points, with Torino, now two points behind, dropping out of the European places into seventh.
Torino captain Andrea Belotti scored a brace including the winner with a spectacular overhead kick in a come from behind 3-2 win over ten-man Sassuolo.
Belotti missed a penalty after 17 minutes in Turin but made up with two second-half goals.
“We knew very well how important it was to win today,” said Belotti. “We have to fly low, there are still two games left and we have to win them.”
Mehdi Bourabia put Sassuolo ahead after 27 minutes, but the visitors played a man down for most of the game as the Moroccan midfielder was sent off for a second yellow card after celebrating by pulling his jersey over his head.
Belotti almost scored after the break but Sassuolo goalkeeper Andrea Consigli denied his overhead kick.