KENYA BROWN - Monday, September 28, 2020
Weston McKennie started his second game for Juventus in the Italian capital of Rome as they labored to earn a point against Roma in the latest round of action in Serie A.
Roma 2-2 Juventus
Cristiano Ronaldo's two goals would cancel out strikes from Jordan Vertout as 10-man Juventus and Roma shared the points in the end at Stadio Olimpico.
Head coach Andrea Pirlo would pencil Weston McKennie into the starting eleven for this game and the American midfielder went on to play 58 minutes in which he did not have much of an impact compared to last weekend.
After an encouraging 3-0 win Sampdoria in the season opener last weekend, the Bianconeri were looking to build on that performance as they headed to the Italian capital to take on their first real test.
Juventus was put under immense pressure from the start of the game as Roma looked to gain possession of the ball to launch their own attack. And that pressure would pay off for them just before the half-hour mark when the referee pointed to the spot for a penalty. Adrien Rabiot was the guilty party as he put his arm up to block an attempted shot on goal. Vertout would go on to convert the penalty.
This put the visitors under pressure to give a response, and they would do so in the 42nd minute when the referee called a stop to play again for another handball. This time it would be Roma's Lorenzo Pellegrini that caused the infraction. Ronaldo went on to settle the matter as he sent the goalkeeper the wrong way to tuck the ball home.
However, Juventus could not celebrate that goal for too long as Roma was on the hunt again for another goal, and they got it in first-half stoppage time. The host launched a counter-attack following a Juventus free-kick. Henrikh Mkhitaryan would fly down the left side of the field with the ball and supply a low cross to Vertout who slotted it past Wojciech Szczesny to retake the lead.
The reigning Serie A champions were not on their game this day as the host had them chasing after the ball. Meanwhile, Roma's confidence was building as they looked to apply misery on their opponents. They came very close to adding a third goal in the 55th minute when Eden Dzeko was given a golden chance to score. However, Juventus was fortunate that his shot hit the post.
Pirlo looked to shake things up in the midfield as he replaced McKennie with Juventus' other new signing Arthur in the 58th minute. But he would be forced to make further changes minutes later when Rabiot was sent off for a second yellow card following a bad tackle on Mkhitaryan.
Even though they were down to 10 men, the visitors pushed for the equalizer, and they got in the 68th minute as Ronaldo came to the rescue again. Danilo's cross from the right would find the Portuguese international on the edge of the six-yard box and he headed it home.
It was a fortunate point for Juventus as the team, as a whole, was not on their game.
Juventus sits in fourth place in the standings with four points.
Andrija Novakovich came off the bench to play 20 minutes as Frosinone started the Serie B season with a 2-0 loss to Empoli.