Juve squeeze past Spezia to earn first win
September 22 2021 11:38 PM
Juventus’ Federico Chiesa (left) vies for the ball with Spezia’s Simone Bastoni during the Italian S
Juventus’ Federico Chiesa (left) vies for the ball with Spezia’s Simone Bastoni during the Italian Serie A match on Tuesday. (AFP)

AFP/ La Spezia, Italy

• Allegri’s side moved up to 12th on five points following the win

Juventus pulled themselves out of the Serie A relegation zone yesterday after earning their first league victory of the season at the fifth attempt, coming from behind to win 3-2 at Spezia.
Massimiliano Allegri’s side moved up to 12th in Italy’s top flight on five points following the hard-fought win which at one point looked to be heading for an embarrassing defeat.
Emmanuel Gyasi and Janis Antiste had put Spezia ahead shortly after the break following Moise Kean’s 28th-minute opener, the Italian’s first goal for Juventus since returning from Everton.
However substitute Federico Chiesa levelled midway through the second half with his first league goal of the season and a few minutes later Matthijs de Ligt struck the winner when the ball fell kindly to him from a Paulo Dybala corner.
It was a far from convincing performance though and Spezia could have levelled late on, with Wojciech Szczesny at his best to push away Giulio Maggiore’s volley with five minutes remaining. Juve are eight points behind league leaders Inter Milan, who could be joined on 13 by city rivals AC Milan when they host Venezia late last night.
In the other early match Salernitana earned their first point of the season when they came back from two goals down to draw 2-2 at home with Verona. Nikola Kalinic put the away side ahead with a deft first-half brace but Cedric Gondo pulled one back just before half-time when the ball dropped to him following Franck Ribery’s free-kick.
Mamadou Coulibaly then struck the leveller with 14 minutes left to send a passionate home crowd wild, although the promoted outfit stay bottom of the league.
On Tuesday night, Inter Milan underlined their desire to retain the Serie A title after coming back from a goal down to win 3-1 at Fiorentina and move top of the pile. Simone Inzaghi’s side came away from an intense match against a revitalised Viola in Florence with all three points thanks to two quickfire strikes early in second half from Matteo Darmian and Edin Dzeko and Ivan Perisic’s tap-in late on.
That completed a turnaround after the break as Inter were deservedly losing at half-time through Riccardo Sottil’s opener for Fiorentina, who had come into the game in form but fell to a painful second defeat of the season.
Champions Inter are unbeaten in their first five games, one ahead of Napoli who are at Sampdoria today looking to maintain their 100% start to the campaign.
“This win today was one of a really good team, because we’re a really good team. We definitely struggled in the first half and thank goodness it was only 1-0 at half time,” said Dzeko said after scoring his fourth goal for Inter since moving from Roma in the summer. “In the second half we were more solid and we scored those two goals which changed the match.”
Atalanta won a frenetic match with Sassuolo 2-1 thanks to goals in the first half from Robin Gosens and Davide Zappacosta and take on Inter at the San Siro on Saturday. Vincenzo Italiano’s Fiorentina, who finished the game with 10 men after Nicolas Gonzalez was sent off with 11 minutes remaining following two yellow cards in quick succession for dissent, sit sixth on nine points alongside Roma.

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