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Chiesa sent off on debut as Juve held at Crotone

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Juventus winger Federico Chiesa was sent off on his debut and the Serie A champions also had a goal disallowed by VAR for offside by the tiniest of margins as they were held to a 1-1 draw at promoted Crotone on Saturday.

Chiesa, signed from Fiorentina during the recent transfer window, was given a straight red card for a studs-up challenge on Luca Cigarini on the hour before Morata’s goal was chalked off after a three-minute delay because his heel was offside.

Juventus were missing Cristiano Ronaldo after he tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday while Gianluigi Buffon, their second choice keeper, became the first player to make 650 Serie A appearances.

Juve, chasing a 10th straight title, have eight points from four games while Crotone picked up their first point.

Crotone started well and Simy put them ahead after 12 minutes, the Nigerian sending 42-year-old Buffon the wrong way from the penalty spot after a foul by Leonardo Bonucci on Arkadiusz Reca.

Juventus coach Andrea Pirlo was left to fret over two more dropped points and the “carelessness” of his team.

Just as they did in the 2-2 draw at AS Roma three weeks ago, Juve had an uphill battle going down a man after Chiesa’s exit.

“Unfortunately, in the last two matches we have been reduced to ten men due to our carelessness so we had to battle through. But we are a young team that needs more work,” said Pirlo.

Pirlo was handed his first coaching role in August after Juve sacked Maurizio Sarri and said he had still had little time to work with his team which includes several young new signings such as Chiesa, Dejan Kulusevski and Weston McKennie.

American midfielder McKennie was missing on Saturday having returned a positive test for COVID-19, as was Cristiano Ronaldo who tested positive on duty with the Portugal national team.

“We have worked very little in these first few months, the players have been on the national team and the youngsters need to gain experience playing these first games,” he said.

“So there are going to be moments of carelessness, it happens — we have a young, quality team which is still under construction, so we need time and the youngsters need to make mistakes. We haven’t had time to oil the machine.”

Juventus, chasing a 10th straight title, have eight points from four games and have dropped four behind leaders AC Milan.

“We knew there would be many teams fighting for the title, it will be a battle day-by-day,” said former Juve midfielder Pirlo. “We have to pick up points. Unfortunately we are losing some on the road but we will be back in front soon.”

Reuters / ESPN / Gazzetta Dello Sport

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