Alvaro Morata was on target yet again for Juventus, but also saw red after the final whistle, as they missed Cristiano Ronaldo in a disappointing 1-1 draw away to Benevento.
The Bianconeri rested Cristiano Ronaldo for this trip, with Gigi Buffon and Merih Demiral injured, but Leonardo Bonucci was back on the bench. Le Streghe ended their five-game losing streak in all competition with a surprise 1-0 victory away to Fiorentina last week. Iago Falque, Nicolas Viola, Daam Foulon and Bryan Dabo were still out, but Gianluca Caprari completed his two-match ban.
It was a special reunion on the touchline between former Milan and Italy teammates, Pippo Inzaghi and Andrea Pirlo. There was a minute’s silence for Diego Armando Maradona and at the 10th minute in every game this weekend, play halted for a round of applause to the ultimate 10.
Gianluca Lapadula nodded a corner over the bar, but Juventus opened the scoring with a beautifully-worked goal. Federico Chiesa’s cross-field pass from deep released Morata down the left, he shimmied past Artur Ionita and placed the angled drive in off the inside of the far post.
Paulo Dybala really should’ve made it 2-0 when Morata flicked on an Aaron Ramsey pass with his chest, but the left-foot curler whistled just wide.
Lapadula had penalty appeals, but he seemed to run at Danilo’s foot more than the other way around, while the goalkeeper’s legs parried Ramsey’s effort. Luca Caldirola went off with a knee injury, making way for Christian Maggio, and Lapadula’s header whistled just wide of the far post.
Dybala also had penalty appeals, but it was a similar situation to earlier, with the forward running into Pasquale Schiattarella.
In first half stoppages, Benevento were pouring forward in waves and Wojciech Szczesny had to make an extraordinary fingertip save to push Schiattarella’s right-foot finish around the base of the far post, as it was going into the bottom corner. However, on the resulting corner, Arthur’s poor clearance sat up nicely for Gaetano Letizia, who hit a scorching volley into the far bottom corner. Straight after the restart, Benevento threatened again with Riccardo Improta’s angled drive flashing just wide of the far post. So did Juve, Morata failing to keep his header on target from a couple of yards on a Chiesa pull-back.
enevento had a three against two counter-attack, but wasted it all with Lapadula’s poor choice of pass. Morata also hit a rocket wide from distance, but the second half was increasingly frantic and scrappy, low on quality or chances from either side.
Matthijs de Ligt used his body to charge down Marco Sau’s attempt on the counter, while in the final minutes Dybala’s snooker shot was fingertipped out of the near bottom corner by Lorenzo Montipò on a Federico Bernardeschi assist.
Juve again had penalty appeals in stoppages, but once more Morata and Alessandro Tuia just seemed to collide. After the final whistle, Morata said something to the referee and was shown a straight red card, so he will receive at least a one-match ban.