Roma striker Tammy Abraham got off the mark for the season with the equaliser in a 1-1 draw against Juventus on Saturday, as Paulo Dybala set up the England striker’s second-half goal to mark his return to Turin with an assist.
Dusan Vlahovic swept in a spectacular free-kick after 76 seconds to put the hosts in front and they thought they had doubled their lead when Manuel Locatelli fired into the top corner, only for VAR to disallow the goal for an earlier handball.
Juve were on top for much of the opening hour, but were punished for their lack of cutting edge when Dybala volleyed a cross into the for Abraham to nod in from close range.
Roma, who face Monza next on Tuesday, climbed to third place in the standings, level on seven points with Lazio and Torino above them.
Juventus are sixth with five points, but could slide further down the table before the end of the weekend. They face Spezia on Wednesday.
Massimiliano Allegri came in for criticism after last weekend’s sluggish 0-0 draw at Sampdoria, and the pressure was on the Juve coach to mastermind a reaction despite injuries to key men Leonardo Bonucci, Angel Di Maria, Federico Chiesa and Paul Pogba.
He got exactly that, as Vlahovic soon fired an unstoppable free-kick off the bar and in to give the hosts a dream start.
The often-maligned Juve midfield impressed as the hosts dominated the first half, with 19-year-old Fabio Miretti making an eye-catching impact in his first start of the season.
The youngster’s midfield partner Locatelli found the net in spectacular style when he curled a first-time finish into the top corner from the edge of the box after 27 minutes, but VAR spotted a handball from Vlahovic in the build-up and disallowed the goal.
Mourinho saw that immediate action was required and made two half-time changes, bringing on Nicola Zalewski and Stephan El Shaarawy and changing formation to 4-2-3-1.
It didn’t lead to an instant improvement, but the visitors worked their way back into the game and found their reward when a corner found Dybala at the back post, who cleverly sent it back across goal to give Abraham an easy finish.
Roma threatened a late winner when Juve made a mess of another corner and had to scramble the ball off the line, but it was the last major chance as the point was shared.
Talking point – Miretti brings balance
A consistent theme for Juventus over the last two or three years has been the struggle to find the right midfield balance.
It’s far too early to laud Allegri’s selection on Saturday night as the answer to all their problems, but the performance of 19-year-old Fabio Miretti, and the way he linked up with Manuel Locatelli and Adrien Rabiot, was encouraging.
Juve’s slick first-half transitions were a far cry from last weekend’s goalless draw at Sampdoria, when an image showing an almost circular formation of Juventus players with nobody in the middle of the park went viral.
Miretti looks to the manor born, possessing excellent technical skills, passing and a confidence and composure that belies his years. Perhaps the teenager could help the Old Lady finally find their identity in the centre of the pitch.
Player of the Match – Dusan Vlahovic
The Serbian made a spectacular start by demonstrating wonderful technique to curl a free-kick off the bar and in, leaving Rui Patricio with no chance.
But the tenacious, determined way Vlahovic led the line set the tone for the rest of the team, particularly in the first half, as he tussled with defenders to win free-kicks and lead charges upfield.
It was a much-improved display from last weekend, when he had just nine touches in an isolated evening.
Juventus: Szczesny 6; De Sciglio 6, Danilo 7, Bremer 7, Alex Sandro 7; Locatelli 7, Rabiot 7, Miretti 7; Cuadrado 7, Vlahovic 7, Kostic 6. Subs: Zakaria 6, McKennie 6, Milik 6, Rovella N/A, Kean N/A
Roma: Rui Patricio 6; Mancini 6, Smalling 7, Ibanez 7; Karsdorp 6, Matic 6, Cristante 6, Spinazzola 6; Dybala 7, Pellegrini 7; Abraham 7. Subs: Zalewski 6, El Shaarawy 6, Celik 6, Kumbulla 6, Bove N/A
2’ GOAL! (VLAHOVIC) JUVENTUS 1-0 ROMA
Juventus immediately win a free-kick in a good position as Matic takes down Cuadrado on the edge of the box. Vlahovic steps up and sweeps a wonderful left-footed effort off the bar and in! An unstoppable effort from the Serbian.
27’ DISALLOWED GOAL (LOCATELLI) JUVENTUS 1-0 ROMA
Locatelli sweeps a curling effort into the top corner first time at the edge of the area. However, VAR picks up on a handball from Vlahovic in the build-up to that goal and it’s disallowed.
68’ GOAL (ABRAHAM) JUVENTUS 1-1 ROMA
A corner is swung beyond the far post and volleyed off the ground by Dybala, and Abraham is on hand to head home his first goal of the season from six yards.
85’ CHAOS IN THE BOX! JUVENTUS 1-1 ROMA
Big chance for Roma! A corner is swung in and hits Danilo. Szczesny flies out to try and grab the loose ball but misses it, and Juve somehow manage to scramble it off the line.