BENEVENTO, Italy (Reuters) – Juventus, Serie A defending champions, drew 1-1 with Benevento on Saturday. their fifth draw in nine league games this season after resting their Talisman striker Cristiano Ronaldo.
Alvaro Morata brought Juventus in the 21. Minute in the lead, but was sent off when the mood flared at the end of a narrow second half. Gaetano Letizia equalized Benevento during the break in the first half.
Juve’s performance raised further questions about the team’s dependence on 35-year-old Ronaldo, who is the top scorer in Serie A with just eight goals despite having only played five games.
Despite being unbeaten in Serie A, Juve have not won a league game without Ronaldo this season and their performances are arduous.
The Turin team are fifth with 17 points, three behind leaders AC Milan, who will be at home in Fiorentina on Sunday. Benevento is in the midfield with 10 points.
Former teammates from Italy and AC Milan, Filippo Inzaghi and Andrea Pirlo, Benevento and Juventus coaches, faced each other on the contact line for the first time.
As with all other Serie A games over the weekend, there was a minute’s silence for Diego Maradona, who died on Wednesday at the age of 60. In the tenth minute, the game was interrupted to pay homage to the great Argentine.
Federico Chiesa set up Juve’s goal with a majestic pass across the field to free Morata and the Spaniard slipped past his mark and hit with an angled shot that went off the post.
Paulo Dybala should have added a second but rolled his shot wide before Benevento scored the surprise equalizer three minutes after the break in the first half.
Juventus goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny was a brilliant save to deny Pasquale Schiattarella but the resulting corner was poorly cleared by Arthur and the ball fell perfectly for Letizia to hit the net.
Juventus had more possession in the second half but did little with it, while Benevento looked dangerous as they broke forward.
Benevento had booked six players and Juventus had one in the second half before Morata lost his cool and was sacked.
All offers were delayed by at least 15 minutes. A full list of exchanges and delays can be found here.
Juventus F. . C.. . , Benevento Calcio, Serie A, Cristiano Ronaldo, Andrea Pirlo, Álvaro Morata, UEFA Champions League
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