Late headers give Juventus dramatic derby win over Torino
December 06 2020 02:03 AM
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Juventus’ Leonardo Bonucci (centre) scores during the Italian Serie A match against Torino in Turin yesterday. (AFP)

Reuters/Turin, Italy

Champions Juventus scored two almost identical headed goals in the final quarter of an hour as they came from behind to beat neighbours Torino 2-1 in a dramatic Derby della Mole in Serie A yesterday. 
Torino stunned the hosts when Nicolas Nkoulou scored from close range in the ninth minute and they were 12 minutes from their first away win against Juventus for 25 years before their resistance finally collapsed. 
Substitute Weston McKennie headed the equaliser from a Juan Cuadrado cross in the 78th minute and defender Leonardo Bonucci grabbed the winner with one minute left.
The win lifted Juventus to second place with 20 points from 10 games, two ahead of Inter Milan, who were at home to Bologna late last night, and Sassuolo, who visit AS Roma today. Torino, with only one win this season, are 18th with six points.
Juve produced one of the worst first half-displays of the season and, despite dominating possession, took until the 43rd minute to muster their first shot on target. Torino went ahead when a corner was played low to the near post, Juventus failed to clear and the ball rebounded to Nkoulou who reacted quickly to score from close range.
The Bulls should have added a second goal shortly afterwards when Andrea Belotti sent Simone Zaza clean through but his left-foot shot was too predictable and Wojciech Szczesny did well to save it. Karol Linetty also got away from the Juve defence but was shouldered off the ball by Matthijs de Ligt.
Juventus came out stronger after the break and thought they had equalised in the 57th minute when Cuadrado’s volley from the edge of the area found its way through a forest of legs and into the net. But after a long VAR review, it was disallowed for offside against Bonucci who was judged to have been interfering with play. The pressure was starting to show, however, as Torino struggled to keep possession and there was an air of inevitability about the finale. A Juventus corner was played to Cuadrado who sent over an inswinging cross and McKennie got to the ball first to score his first Serie A goal with a powerful downward header. Eleven minutes later, Cuadrado swung over another cross and this time Bonucci met it to take the three points as Juve continued their dominance in the fixture.
Earlier, Lazio put their Serie A campaign back on track with a 2-1 win at gallant Spezia, although they rode their luck as the hosts twice hit the woodwork. First half goals from Ciro Immobile and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic gave Lazio the points against the Serie A newcomers as they bounced back from last Sunday’s 3-1 home loss to Udinese.
Spezia, forced to play home matches 300km away in Cesena as their own ground is not yet ready for top flight matches, nearly went ahead in the third minute when Nahuel Estevez’s shot was tipped onto the crossbar by goalkeeper Pepe Reina.
But they were hit on the counter-attack after 15 minutes as Milinkovic-Savic won possession, released Immobile and last season’s Serie A top scorer sent his shot between Ivan Provedel’s legs. Simone Bastoni hit the bar for Spezia before Milinkovic-Savic curled home a free kick in the 33rd minute for Lazio’s second. Spezia launched a full-scale offensive after halftime and M’Bala Nzola pulled one back, cutting inside to score with a left-foot shot in the 64th minute. But, despite incessant pressure, Lazio held out to move into seventh spot, level with Napoli and AS Roma on 17 points albeit having played a game more.


Serie A results
Juventus 2 (McKennie 78, Bonucci 89) Torino 1 (Nkoulou 9); Spezia 1 (Nzola 64) Lazio 2 (Immobile 15, Milinkovic-Savic 33)
Playing today (all times GMT): Hellas Verona v Cagliari (1130), Parma v Benevento, AS Roma v Sassuolo, Udinese v Atalanta (all 1400), Crotone v Napoli (1700), Sampdoria v AC Milan (1945)
Monday: Fiorentina v Genoa (1945)



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