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Serie A leader Juventus held by Atalanta to 2-2

29 April 2017,Saturday, 11:01



Bergamo, Apr 29, AP

Serie A leader Juventus was held by host Atalanta to 2-2 on Friday.

Juventus thought it won when Dani Alves headed in seven minutes from time but Remo Freuler leveled six minutes later.

"We just needed to stay with the game but we lost our shape, it happened in the first half but once we came back we should have closed the match. Usually we don't concede like that," Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri said.

"We've stretched our advantage over Roma by one point and now we have to get other victories. If we had won tonight it would have been a decisive step towards the league title."

On-loan Juventus midfielder Leonardo Spinazzola scored an own goal for his parent club to cancel out Andrea Conti's opener on the stroke of halftime.

Juventus moved nine points clear of Roma, which hosts Lazio in the capital derby on Sunday.

Atalanta, which is hoping to qualify for the Europa League, moved level on points with Lazio in fourth.

Massimiliano Allegri opted not to rotate his squad despite the match coming five days before Juventus visits Monaco for the first leg of their Champions League semifinal.

"This match will help us understand how the match will be against Monaco, which plays in a similar manner to Atalanta," Allegri added. "What's important now is to take lessons from this match, stay calm, and prepare well for the Champions League."

Juventus started in a lackluster fashion and didn't have a shot until the 26th minute when Gonzalo Higuain's swiveling volley didn't have the power to trouble Etrit Berisha.

Atalanta should have broken the deadlock on the half hour but Gianluigi Buffon rushed out to clear Freuler's attempt with his legs.

The home side did take a deserved lead just before halftime when Alejandro Gomez chipped in a delightful cross to the back post where Conti bundled in from close range.

Juventus leveled five minutes after the break as Spinazzola headed Miralem Pjanic's free kick into his own net.

The visitors were furious shortly afterwards as they felt they should have been awarded a penalty for a Rafael Toloi handball in the area.

Alves was thought to have scored the winner for Juventus when he met Pjanic's cross with a diving header, but Atalanta equalized a minute from time. Freuler's shot was saved by Buffon but the midfielder kept his composure to finish off the rebound.

 

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