Buffon saves Juventus against Roma
SERIE A FIXTURES
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Juventus recovered from going a goal down to earn a 1-1 draw at Roma on Monday, preserving its unbeaten record this season and moving joint top of the Serie A standings.
Daniele De Rossi got Roma off to the perfect start when he scored in the fifth minute, although Juventus midfielder Arturo Vidal should have prevented the ball from going in.
In an end-to-end game, Juventus finally equalized just after the hour mark thanks to Giorgio Chiellini.
Roma could have restored its lead immediately when it was awarded a penalty. Two club stalwarts faced up to each other, but in the end it was Gianluigi Buffon who won as he saved Francesco Totti’s spot kick.
Juventus moves level on points with unheralded Udinese. Roma moves into ninth position.
“We were good in the first half, but we should have been more clinical in the middle of the second half,” Juventus coach Antonio Conte said. “We were at fault for De Rossi’s goal. We’ll look at it in peace but it’s clear what happened.
“We played well and the fact that people think Juve should always win means we are going up in people’s estimations.”
Roma came into the game on the back of five defeats in eight games and with coach Luis Enrique hanging onto his job by an ever thinning thread.
“Today I felt the fans’ support and I’ve never had a doubt about the club’s,” Luis Enrique said. “I will continue to work until I become a problem for the club.
“I thought a goal was a given when we got the penalty but Buffon was brilliant. Juve is a huge team, a team of the highest level. Roma today gave more of an effort, let’s hope it continues like this.”
De Rossi, whose contract runs out at the end of this season, has yet to sign a new deal and the World Cup winner showed exactly why Roma’s fans are anxious for him to put pen to paper.
Roma won a corner which was taken short and then passed back to Totti, who crossed it into the area where De Rossi volleyed it past a sea of bodies into the bottom left corner. Vidal should have done better as he flailed at the ball as it sailed past him.
Moments later De Rossi was on hand at the other end to prevent Juve from equalizing, blocking Andrea Pirlo’s pass into the area which would have sent Alessandro Matri clear on goal.
With both sides in attacking mood, the match was wide open.
Marcelo Estigarribia drew a great save from Roma goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg as he aimed for the bottom right corner
Vidal almost atoned for his error on the half hour mark when he fired in a fierce effort from distance which flew narrowly wide of the right upright.
Stekelenburg pulled off another good save in the 38th to keep out Simone Pepe’s 15-yard effort after the Italy midfielder had been put through by Vidal.
Juventus was back on level terms shortly after the hour mark. Vidal sent a great ball into the area which Estigarribia woefully miskicked but Chiellini reacted the quickest and headed home.
It looked as though Roma was going to immediately restore its lead when Vidal brought down Erik Lamela in the area.
Totti and Buffon have faced up to each other on many occasions as both have spent their entire careers at their respective clubs. This time it was the Juventus goalkeeper who came out ahead as Buffon guessed correctly and dove to his right to block the penalty.
Pablo Osvaldo went close 10 minutes from time with a chip from the edge of the area which was just the wrong side of the crossbar.
Stekelenburg rescued Roma in the dying stages as he saved at point-blank range from Fabio Quagliarella.