Cristiano Ronaldo leads Juventus in preventing Atalanta from winning in their recent Serie A match

Serie A: Ronaldo Denies Atalanta at the Death

Juventus 2-2 Atalanta

Atalanta were denied their much-awaited first win over Juventus in two decades in dramatic fashion as Cristiano Ronaldo scored his second penalty of the game in the 90th minute to salvage a point for the Serie A leaders.

Despite dropping points for the second game in a row, though, Juventus are still well on course for their ninth consecutive Serie A championship.

They extended their lead over Lazio, who suffered their third straight defeat and their fourth since losing to Atalanta post-restart as their Serie A 2020 odds to win the title are now basically nil.

Meanwhile, Atalanta are now just a point behind Lazio for second spot as they extended their unbeaten run post-restart.

 

Highlights of the game

After their stunning 4-2 defeat to Milan, Juventus were handed a boost with the return of centre-back Matthijs de Ligt and striker Paulo Dybala from suspension.

However, the defending champions very nearly went down after just six minutes. Atalanta’s Timothy Castagne sent in a great cross toward Duvan Zapata, but the Colombian striker’s header was well off-target despite being completely unmarked at the edge of the six-yard box.

Atalanta continued their early assault on 11 minutes, but top scorer Josip Ilicic — making just his second start since the restart– was also unable to make some Serie A 2020 highlights with his long-range effort.

Duvan Zapata scores an early goal to give Atalanta an edge over Juventus in recent Serie A match

Atalanta’s Duvan Zapata celebrates with teammates after scoring a 16th-minute goal during their Serie A match against Juventus

The away side were finally awarded for their efforts as they went ahead on 16 minutes. Atalanta captain Papu Gomez played Zapata in with a brilliant through ball, and the Colombian hitman was clinical with his finish as he slotted past Szczesny.

Juventus should have equalised right before half-time through Cristiano Ronaldo. Paulo Dybala did well to deliver a pinpoint cross to Ronaldo, but the Portuguese superstar — usually so deadly with his head — produced a disappointing header which went well wide.

But the home side were back on level terms early in the second half, though. Juventus were awarded a penalty after Dybala’s ball struck Atalanta midfielder Martin de Roon’s arm. As expected, Ronaldo stepped up to hammer the spot-kick past Atalanta keeper Pierluigi Gollini.

Ronaldo then had a great chance to put the home side in front on 77 minutes. His shot took a wicked deflection off an Atalanta defender, but Gollini did well to parry the shot away.

Ronaldo would rue that missed opportunity as Atalanta would go back ahead just three minutes later. Rodrigo Bentancur carelessly gave the ball away deep in his own half, and Atalanta made him pay as substitute Ruslan Malinovskiy’s thumping shot sailed past Szczesny.

Atalanta were just minutes away from a famous win, but they couldn’t hold on as they conceded yet another penalty due to handball. This time, Luis Muriel was the guilty party, with his flailing hand hitting Gonzalo Higuain’s lofted pass.

Once again, Ronaldo stepped up and kept his cool as he squeezed his penalty past the outstretched Gollini to hand the champions a share of the spoils.

 

Key statistics

Despite being the away side, Atalanta took the game right to Juventus. They just edged out the possession battle and had 13 shots to Juve’s nine. The home side had more shots on target (5-2), although two of them were from the penalty spot.

Ronaldo, who contributed five of Juventus’ nine shots, has continued his streak of scoring in all six Serie A matches since the restart.

Meanwhile, he is now on 28 goals on the season, just one goal behind Lazio’s Ciro Immobile in the race for the Capocannoniere.

As for Atalanta, they still have to wait a while longer to claim their first league win over Juventus since 2001.

 

What’s next?

Juventus’ next chance to get back to winning ways will come on the weekend as they take on Sassuolo. But while the SBOBET odds will favour the Bianconeri, Sassuolo could put up a stiff fight at home.

Sassuolo have been one of the in-form teams in Serie A since the restart. They’ve lost just one of their seven games and have picked up four wins in a row against Fiorentina, Lecce, Bologna, and second-placed Lazio.

As for Atalanta, they will also be eager to get back on track as they play second-from-bottom Brescia, who are seven points from safety and look set to go down.

Brescia have continued to struggle since the restart and suffered an embarrassing 6-0 defeat to Inter Milan at the San Siro.

Atalanta’s prolific attack has already scored seven goals three times in the league this season and will have their eye on making it four against the relegation strugglers.

 

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