Serie A: Kulusevski rescues Juve after remarkable Favilli cameo

Juventus substitute Dejan Kulusevski rescued a point for his side with a late equaliser to Andrea Favilli's goal-scoring cameo for Verona on Sunday.

Dejan Kulusevski (L) of Juventus celebrates a goal with team mate Alvaro Morata after equalising in the 78th minute against Hellas Verona FC.   -  Getty Images

Juventus substitute Dejan Kulusevski rescued a point for the stuttering champion at home to Verona as it was held to another 1-1 draw in Serie A on Sunday.

Andrea Favilli produced a remarkable six-minute cameo for the visitor when he came on in the 55th minute, put Verona ahead five minutes later and then went off injured.

Juve, still missing Cristiano Ronaldo who was isolating after testing positive for COVID-19, levelled with a solo goal by Kulusevski in the 78th minute.

The Turin side, who drew its previous league game 1-1 at Crotone, is fifth with nine points after five games, three behind leader AC Milan who hosts AS Roma on Monday.

It has won only once on the pitch and drawn three times while its other game was a 3-0 walkover against Napoli who failed to play due to confusion over COVID-19 rules.

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Juve is clearly still at an experimental stage under coach Andrea Pirlo, who is in his first senior coaching job, and Verona was the more dangerous side for the first hour.

However, Kulusevski brought them to life and it laid siege to the Verona goal in the closing stages.

The visitor sounded an early warning when Ebrima Colley had the ball in the net but it was disallowed for offside.

Juan Cuadrado rifled a shot against the bar for Juventus three minutes before halftime and Alvaro Morata had a goal disallowed for offside after a long delay and VAR review.

Verona continued to threaten after halftime and it was no surprise when they went ahead on the hour, Favilli sweeping the ball home from Mattia Zaccagni's incisive pass.

 

Juve burst into life and struck the bar for a second time with a curling effort by Paulo Dybala before Kulusevski levelled. The Swede received the ball on the right, twisted past his marker and scored with a low shot into the corner.

Verona goalkeeper Marco Silvestre then denied Dybala, Morata and Cuadrado in stoppage time as Juventus launched a full-scale offensive on the opposition goal.

Juve shouldn't need a slap to wake up says coach Pirlo

Juventus should not require a slap to wake up even if the atmosphere at grounds is soporific, coach Andrea Pirlo said after the draw against Verona on Sunday.

Pirlo said he could understand players might be influenced by appearing in near-empty stadiums during the COVID-19 pandemic but added that it was something they would have to adapt to.

"We played a wait-and-see game in the first half, we were not aggressive in midfield although we had the best chances," said Pirlo, whose side fell behind after an hour.

"There was a good reaction after their goal but we shouldn't need a slap to wake us up."

"It's one thing to play in the Champions League with a crowd that raises your levels of attention," said Pirlo whose side host Barcelona in Europe's elite competition on Wednesday.

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"Tonight there was a more soporific atmosphere but you need more determination -- these things win matches as well."

Games against teams such as Verona and Atalanta were always difficult, he added.

"They get you involved in one-on-one battles all over the pitch," he said. "We worked to avoid their high press and that worked better in the second half. It tough against them but we could have done better."

Verona coach Ivan Juric was disappointed at his team's performance in the closing stages.

"We did really well for an hour but then we fell away, we didn't have the right energy," said the Croatian who got into an angry altercation with the Juve bench at the final whistle.

"There were some insults and when I am insulted, I react," he said. "But it stops there."

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