Juventus' rocky start to Serie A season continues

MILAN • Paulo Dybala struck a late penalty to save Juventus' blushes in a 1-1 draw with Chievo, although they remain six points behind Serie A title rivals Roma ahead of their Champions League opener against Manchester City.

Juventus, last season's beaten Champions League finalists, meet City in Group D tomorrow and Manuel Pellegrini's men will fancy their chances of taking three points off the Italian champions.

After their worst start to a Serie A season following defeats by Udinese and Roma, Juventus had welcomed Chievo to Turin determined to take all three points, albeit with one eye on tomorrow's fixture.

Juve manager Massimiliano Allegri left Juan Cuadrado, Mario Mandzukic and Paul Pogba on the bench and handed full debuts to midfielder Hernanes as well as defender Alex Sandro.

The rested trio were eventually required, however, as Juve had to fight back after conceding a fifth-minute opener when Perparim Hetemaj fired low past Gianluigi Buffon from outside the area.

"The mistake we made was conceding on their first shot at goal," Allegri told Sky Sport.

"We have to make big improvements, but... I've only had a full squad available for the past three days. We need to be realistic and accept our terrible position in the league."

Buffon held his finger to his lips in a bid to silence Juventus' fans at half-time as the hosts were jeered off the pitch.

Cuadrado replaced Stefano Sturaro on 67 minutes, and the on-loan Chelsea winger won a late penalty after what appeared to be the slightest contact with the boot of Cesar.

Dybala made no mistake to seal Juve's first point of the season. AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE


Singtel TV Ch112, Wednesday, 2.45am

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 14, 2015, with the headline 'Juventus' rocky start to Serie A season continues'. Print Edition | Subscribe