Soccer

Juventus vs. Atalanta score: Ronaldo missed penalty means more dropped points for defending champions

Juventus’ Serie A title hopes took another blow on Wednesday as Atalanta held Andrea Pirlo’s men to a 1-1 draw at Juventus Stadium that gives AC Milan the chance to open up a six-point lead with a win in Genoa.

Federic Chiesa opened the scoring after 29 minutes when he was teed up Rodrigo Betancur but Remo Freuler levelled after 57 minutes and the hosts could not find a way past Pierluigi Gollini in goal as Cristiano Ronaldo had a 61st minute penalty saved.

The result keeps Juve in the European positions but the gap behind Milan will feel like it is widening — even if Stefano Pioli’s men do not take their chance to move further ahead.

Here are some takeaways from the clash in Turin.

JUVE REMAIN UNBEATEN BUT AT WHAT COST?

This was Juve’s sixth draw of the season and although they remain unbeaten, they have also dropped 12 points now.

The Old Lady have looked increasingly less dominant over the past few seasons and this run of form suggests that any potential Serie A title win will come by a very small margin — if at all.

Perhaps most worrying is that five of those six ties have been 1-1 which indicates an inability to kill teams off.

The likes of Benevento, Hellas Verona and Crotone have all taken points off of Juve this campaign and that is something that Pirlo and his players must remedy quickly if they want to void Milan’s lead becoming insurmountable.

SPIRITED ATALANTA

Although they are not performing as well this term as last, Atalanta still have a solid group of players that appear to be united behind their coach.

Papu Gomez and Gian Piero Gasperini might not be on talking terms after their clash but the rest of squad stayed focused and fought back from a goal down to get the result.

Gollini will take plenty of plaudits for keeping Ronaldo out from the spot but it was a team effort to remain solid to secure the result.

RONALDO NOT SPOT-ON

While he still leads Serie A for goals with 10, Ronaldo’s penalty miss will be of frustration to Juve as it was a match-winning situation that he passed up.

With so many draws, that is the perfect example of moments to turn one point into three that have been missing too often this campaign.

Considering his status within the squad, Juve are entitled to expect more from their star man in moments like those.

TITLE RACE OPEN

With Juve dropping more points and likely to keep doing so in their current form, it opens up the Serie A title race to others and creates a group of six realistic candidates at this moment in time.

If the chasing pack can take their chances, then it will not only be leaders Milan that Juve are worrying about losing out to.



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