Ronaldo and Juventus’ Serie A title defense took another nosedive after a resilient Hellas Verona produced second half magic to cancel out Ronaldo’s early second half strike.
The current Serie A holders entered the contest seeking to close the gap with the Milan rivals who occupy first and second positions on the log. Antonio Conte’s Inter Milan held an 8 point lead over Juventus while second placed Milan were 4 points ahead of the Bianconeri. However Juventus who had played a game less were hopeful of closing the gap to 5 points with a win at Verona.
Christiano Ronaldo offered hope of achieving the target when he struck the opener in the 49th minute after receiving a square pass from the effective Federico Chiesa in the penalty box. But Juventus then then took their foot off the pedal and failed to add to their tally and perhaps kill the game and that allowed Verona to claw back into the game.
The hosts persistence coupled with effective substitutions worked in their favour after Antonin Barak outjumped Alex Sandro to power in Darko Lazovic’s chipped cross past Wojciech Szczesny to level the scoreline.
Ivan Juric’s men somewhat deserved maximum points for their late pressure but a flailing Juventus side held on to earn a point away from home thanks to their Portuguese super star who scored his 19th Serie A goal of the season. Andrea Pirlo’s men will hope to make amends when they host Spezia at the Allianz Stadium on Tuesday. The truth is that, Juventus would need Ronaldo to be more than he is now if they are to retain their title but he alone cannot solve their problems and Pirlo would need all his men up to speed to stand any chance of catching up with the Milan duo.