Juve’s season goes from bad to worse with home defeat by Atalanta

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Juventus suffered another setback as they lost 1-0 at home to Atalanta after a Duvan Zapata goal on Saturday, with a fifth defeat in 14 Serie A games leaving them in eighth place.

The hosts struggled to create any openings of note in the first half, with their defending not up to the required standard either as they left Zapata free to fire home in the 28th minute.

Juve failed to offer much of a response in pursuit of an equaliser, with Paulo Dybala’s late free-kick that clipped the crossbar as close as they came to a leveller.

Atalanta held on in relative comfort and stretched their unbeaten run to eight games in all competitions to stay fourth on 28 points, four points behind leaders Napoli and seven points ahead of Juve who are 11 points off the pace.

The victory was Atalanta’s first at Juventus since 1989.

Juve came into the match after their heaviest defeat in all competitions since 2004 on Tuesday – a 4-0 Champions League loss at Chelsea – and that result looked like it left a mark given their limp first-half display against industrious Atalanta.

After the hosts gave the ball away once more, a simple Berat Djimsiti pass cut through the Juve backline all too easily, with Zapata scoring for the seventh successive game in all competitions for Atalanta with an emphatic finish.

Captain Dybala had Juve’s best chance of the first half, but slotted wide from a good position on the edge of the penalty area.

After the break, Atalanta seemed content to sit back on their lead, with Juventus still struggling to make any inroads.

Weston McKennie looked to have worked himself into position for the equaliser but was denied by a last-ditch block, while substitute Federico Bernardeschi fired wide.

The home side did up the ante late on with Dybala thinking he had snatched a late point, but the ball clipped the bar and went over as the groans went around the Juventus Stadium again.

Reuters

Photo Atalanta players celebrate the victory at the end of the Italian Serie A soccer match Juventus FC vs Atalanta BC at the Allianz Stadium in Turin, Italy, 27 November 2021. EPA-EFE/MASSIMO RANA

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