Juve held by Fiorentina ahead of PSG clash

AFP , Saturday 3 Sep 2022

Juventus were held to a 1-1 draw at Fiorentina on Saturday in another underwhelming Serie A display ahead of their trip to Paris Saint-Germain midweek.

Juventus Leonardo Bonucci heads the ball during the Serie A soccer match between Fiorentina and Juventus at the Artemio Franchi stadium in Florence, Italy, Saturday, Sept. 3, 2022. AP


Massimiliano Allegri's side had the chance to go top temporarily of Italy's top flight against fierce rivals Fiorentina but after taking an early lead through Arkadiusz Milik on his first Juve start they failed to earn the win.

Juventus sit fourth on nine points, just behind leaders Atalanta and level with third-placed Inter Milan, who face off with AC Milan in a bumper Saturday which closes with Lazio hosting Liverpool's midweek opponents Napoli.

They can count themselves fortunate to have left Florence with a draw after Christian Kouame levelled midway through the first half and Mattia Perin saved Luka Jovic's penalty just before the break.

A poor performance which featured just four shots is not a good omen for Juve heading into Tuesday's Champions League Group H opener at PSG.

Milik has made a great start to his Juve career and turned in his second goal for the club since arriving last week with nine minutes on the clock.

The Poland forward added to his late strike against Spezia on Wednesday when he reacted quickly to the arrival of Filip Kostic's stinging volley, meeting the ball with his chest and opening the scores.

Fiorentina responded and after a few half chances Kouame levelled the scores in the 29th minute by expertly finishing under Perin following a counter-attack launched from a Juve corner.

Ivorian Kouame's strike was Fiorentina's first goal in the league since the first half of their opening day win over promoted Cremonese.

The hosts' passionate support was already creating a racket and they increased the volume when after a VAR review referee Daniele Doveri awarded their team a penalty for debutant Leandro Paredes' clear handball.

But they went into the half-time break deflated as Mattia Perin pushed Luka Jovic's spot-kick on to the post and made sure Juve went into the break level.

Fiorentina were the only team trying for the win as the match wore on but Perin saved a point for Juve again in the dying seconds when he kept out Sofyan Amrabat's late screamer with a stunning save.

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