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HT: Morata replies to Crotone spot-kick

  /  autty

Federico Chiesa set up Alvaro Morata’s equaliser after a Simy penalty, as Juventus are 1-1 in Crotone at half-time.

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The Bianconeri were forced to revamp, as Cristiano Ronaldo and Weston McKennie had COVID-19, Alex Sandro, Matthijs de Ligt and Aaron Ramsey were injured, while Paulo Dybala was not 100 per cent fit yet. Federico Chiesa was therefore thrown straight into the starting XI after his deadline day transfer from Fiorentina, with Manolo Portanova a surprise pick. Crotone missed Denis Dragus, Ahmad Benali, Koffi Djidji, Emanuel Riviere and Niccolò Zanellato.

Simy had the first chance, scuffing his finish wide from the edge of the area, and a bright Crotone start also earned them a penalty for Leonardo Bonucci’s mistimed tackle on Arkadiusz Reca. Simy converted by sending Buffon the wrong way with a stuttering run-up to give the Squali the lead. It was not a good way for Buffon to mark his 650th Serie A appearance.

However, Chiesa immediately made an impact on his debut, running on to a Dejan Kulusevski through ball to roll it across for Alvaro Morata’s tap-in from six yards.

The equaliser sparked a period of Juventus dominance, increasingly pinning the hosts back, but without truly testing goalkeeper Alex Cordaz until the 42nd minute. Kulusevski danced on the ball, Morata immediately threaded through for Portanova, who fired straight at on-rushing Cordaz.

However, Crotone came very close to restoring their lead on the stroke of half-time, Reca flying down the left to put in a cross and Pedro Pereira testing Buffon at the back post.

Crotone 1-1 Juventus (Half-Time)

Simy pen 12 (C), Morata 21 (J)

Crotone: Cordaz; Magallan, Marrone, Luperto; Molina, Messias, Cigarini, Vulic, Reca; Pedro Pereira, Simy

Juventus: Buffon; Danilo, Bonucci, Demiral; Portanova, Arthur, Bentancur, Frabotta; Kulusevski; Morata, Chiesa

Ref: Fourneau

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