Hellas Verona vs. Juventus, final score 2-2: Last minute equalizer sees Old Lady drop points

Dino Panato

With Roma dropping points in a draw with Lazio, Juventus should've been able to extend their lead at the top of the table. Instead, set pieces proved their undoing once more, with Verona grabbing a goal in the 94th minute.

With a 2-0 lead early in the second half, it looked like the match in Verona would be all too easy for Juventus. But the Old Lady let down their guard in the second half, and Hellas Verona were all too happy to take advantage.

Despite a near-perfect home record in the first half of the season, Verona had to be a bit nervous about league-leaders Juventus coming to town. Andrea Mandorlini isn't the sort of coach to change his tactics, and the hosts weren't set to bunker down and grab a point, or to try and sneak a win on the counter.

Perhaps they should've been.

It took just four minutes for Carlos Tévez to put the bianconeri ahead. Kwadwo Asamoah came bombing down the left, sending the ball into the center of the area. The cross didn't look all that dangerous, but Rafael, perhaps a bit shaken by having to dig a Tévez header from underneath the bar just moments before, decided to grab for it anyway. However, the goalkeeper was only able to palm the ball away, practically putting it on Tévez's toe to allow him a tap-in.

Tévez had another in the back of the net in the 21st minute, latching on to a through-ball from Paul Pogba to slot in to the bottom left corner. It looked as though the Argentine may have been slightly offside, but once the goal has been given, does it really matter? Except for providing a reason for the fans to get angry, of course.

Verona made things interesting early in the second half, when Luca Toni scored with the hosts' first shot of the match. The veteran striker easily slipped ahead of Juve defenders Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini to get on the end of a beautifully taken free kick from Rômulo. Gianluigi Buffon could do nothing to stop the header from close range.

With 12 minutes to go and Chiellini replaced by Angelo Ogbonna thanks to injury, Toni slipped past the bianconeri defense once more. This time San Gigi was there to rescue, tipping the ball away in an act that looked as though it would preserve all three points for the Old Lady.

Deep into extra time, the Bentegodi rang with the fans' shouts, demanding a penalty for a handball from Stephan Lichtsteiner. However, the referee judged the action to be involuntary, waved away appeals and booked Emil Hallfredsson for protesting too vigorously. Again, it looked like Juve would walk away with all three points.

But Juventus let their guard slip once more. Andrea Pirlo conceded a free kick for a foul on Juan Iturbe and, again, Rômulo stepped up to take. This time it wasn't Toni but substitute Juan Gómez Taleb, getting behind the defense once more and heading in the equalizer.

Hellas Verona: Rafael; Albertazzi, Marques, Moras, Cacciatore (Taleb 86); Hallfredsson, Donadel (Cirigliano 69), Rômulo; Janković (Martinho 62), Toni, Iturbe

Goals: Toni 52'; Taleb 94'

Juventus: Buffon; Chiellini (Ogbonna 75), Bonucci, Cáceres; Asamoah (Peluso 80), Pogba, Vidal, Pirlo, Lichtsteiner; Llorente (Osvaldo 66), Tévez

Goals: Tévez 4', 21'

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