Roma threw away a two-goal lead as Juventus edged a seven-goal Serie A thriller 4-3 at the Stadio Olimpico on Sunday night.
The hosts seemed to be home and dry in the second half, only to see their two-goal lead overturned by a flurry of strikes from the Old Lady, before captain Lorenzo Pellegrini missed a penalty that would have levelled the scores up once again.
Roma won a string of corners in the opening exchanges and eventually converted from one of them inside 10 minutes. Tammy Abraham was the scorer, rising high and flicking an effort into the far corner.
Two Juve stars, Federico Chiesa and Paulo Dybala, then combined to level things up. Chiesa cut in from the left and laid one on a plate for Dybala, who caressed an effort into the top corner.
Chiesa being taken off with injury on the half-hour mark did not stop Juventus edging the rest of the first half. His replacement, Dejan Kulusevski, even went close to a second goal with his header being well saved by Rui Patricio.
On the stroke of half-time Roma should have scored, with Chris Smalling failing to direct a free header from a corner.
Fortunately for Jose Mourinho, he did not have to wait long to see his side go ahead with Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s deflected effort looping in less than three minutes after the restart. Soon after, they had a third with Pellegrini shocking Juventus with a sublime free kick.
Then, with Roma cruising, Juve turned the game on its head with two quickfire strikes to level things up.
First Álvaro Morata crossed for Manuel Locatelli to nod home and four minutes later, Kulusevski bundled an effort in. The latter strike was eventually given after a lengthy VAR review, having originally been chalked off for offside.
Things took another turn 13 minutes from time when Mattia De Sciglio pounced on a defensive error from Smalling and lashed home to make it 4-3 to the away side.
Before we had a chance to catch our breath there was even more drama when Matthijs de Ligt was adjudged to have handled in the box, resulting in both a penalty for Roma and a second yellow for the Dutchman.
Pellegrini could not convert from 12 yards though, watching Szczesny save his casual spot kick easily low to his right.
There was almost one more twist at the death with Abraham seemingly being brought down in the box, but the referee rightly waved away the protests.
Here are your Bianconeri player ratings from the Italian capital…
Wojciech Szczesny (GK) – 7/10 – A busy day for the Pole. Did not have much of a chance for any of the goals and saved a penalty. All in all, not bad.
Juan Cuadrado (RB) – 6/10 – A couple of great moments on the ball. He progressed his side up the pitch consistently.
Matthijs de Ligt (CB) – 3/10 – Never really imposed himself. Red card was a tad harsh but he gave the referee a decision to make.
Daniele Rugani (CB) – 4/10 – Struggled to track Abraham at times. Generally sluggish.
Mattia De Sciglio (LB) – 7/10 – Unlucky that Mkhitaryan’s effort deflected in off him. A well-rounded full-back display, capped off with a wonderful winning goal.
Weston McKennie (CM) – 5/10 – Did a bit of everything without excelling at any one task.
Manuel Locatelli (CM) – 7/10 – Took his header extremely well and was Juventus’ best midfielder. Really growing into his more advanced role.
Rodrigo Bentancur (CM) – 5/10 – Not that noticeable. No surprise to see him subbed.
Paulo Dybala (RF) – 7/10 – Showed incredible composure and technique to equalise in the first half. Knitted things together.
Moise Kean (ST) – 4/10 – A bit too safe in possession. Did not muster a shot on goal.
Federico Chiesa (LF) – 7/10 – Looked bright in the early exchanges and then created the goal. Unfortunately for Juve he was forced off through injury off the half-hour mark.
Dejan Kulusevski (LF) – 7/10 – Had big shoes to fill when Chiesa came off but fared pretty well. Scored a scrappy goal.
Alvaro Morata (ST) – 8/10 – Swung the game in Juventus’ favour when he came on.
Arthur Melo (CM) – 6/10
Giorgio Chiellini (CB) – N/A
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