Cham­pi­ons Ju­ven­tus draw 2-2 against Verona in fi­nal Serie A match

The China Post - - SPORTS - BY DANIELLA MATAR

A last- gasp equal­izer saw cham­pion Ju­ven­tus held to a 2- 2 draw at Hel­las Verona in its last Serie A match of the sea­son while Luca Toni net­ted again to leave him on the verge of clinch­ing the Ital­ian league’s top goalscorer award — at the age of 38.

Toni’s equal­izer ear­lier in the sec­ond half left him on 22 goals in the fight for the “capoc­an­non­iere” prize, two more than Ju­ven­tus striker Car­los Tevez and Mauro Icardi, who could still over­take the Ital­ian World Cup win­ner when In­ter Mi­lan hosts Em­poli on Sun­day.

Roberto Pereyra and Fer­nando Llorente scored for Ju­ven­tus.

There was late drama as Tevez had a penalty saved be­fore Ju­ven­tus mid­fielder Si­mone Pepe was sent off in stop­page time and Juanito Gomez lev­eled mo­ments later.

It was the sec­ond penalty Tevez had failed to score from this sea­son. Had he net­ted both, he would now be level with Toni.

Else­where, Gi­a­como Bon­aven­tura scored twice against his for­mer club as AC Mi­lan won 3-1 at Ata­lanta in what was prob­a­bly Filippo In­za­ghi’s fi­nal match in charge.

Ital­ian league and cup win­ner Ju­ven­tus was look­ing to end the do­mes­tic sea­son on a high, a week be­fore at­tempt­ing to clinch a his­toric tre­ble against Barcelona in the Cham­pi­ons League fi­nal.

Ju­ven­tus, which had ear­lier hit the bar through Llorente, went in front three min­utes from the in­ter­val when Pereyra curled a de­light­ful fin­ish into the top far cor­ner from just out­side the penalty area.

Verona lev­eled al­most im­me­di­ately af­ter the break as Emil Hall­freds­son went on the coun­ter­at­tack and set up Toni for a low drive into the near cor­ner.

If he wins the award, Toni will be­come the old­est top scorer in Serie A his­tory. Dario Hub­ner, who was joint top scorer with David Trezeguet at the age of 35 in 2001-02, cur­rently holds the record.

Ju­ven­tus re­stored its ad­van­tage shortly af­ter the hour mark af­ter An­drea Pirlo’s su­perb chipped pass was cut back from the by­line by Si­mone Padoin for Llorente to side­foot home.

It looked set for a 27th league victory when it was awarded a penalty af­ter Rafael Mar­quez hauled down Llorente. How­ever, Tevez saw his ef­fort tipped round the post by Rafael — who cel­e­brated with Toni — and the match swiftly swung in the other di­rec­tion.

Pepe was shown a straight red card for a wild foul on Mat­tia Valoti and mo­ments later Juanito headed in the equal­izer to spark scenes of wild cel­e­bra­tion.

Juanito also scored a stop­page­time equal­izer when the two teams met in Verona last year.

In Berg­amo, Ata­lanta broke the dead­lock in the 21st minute when Daniele Baselli was left un­marked to head home a cross from Maxi Mo­ralez.

Mi­lan lev­eled 15 min­utes later af­ter An­drea Masiello fouled Gi­ampaolo Pazz­ini, who con­verted the re­sult­ing penalty.

And the turn­around was com­plete two min­utes later when Pazz­ini’s shot was de­flected onto the far post and Bon­aven­tura was there to score. The Italy mid­fielder, who pro­gressed through the ranks at Ata­lanta be­fore leav­ing for Mi­lan last sum­mer, didn’t cel­e­brate against his old team.

Bon­aven­tura made sure of the re­sult 10 min­utes from time. His poor ini­tial ef­fort came back to him off the left post and he rounded Ata­lanta de­fender Lionel Scaloni to turn in the re­bound.

Bon­aven­tura was sub­sti­tuted a minute from time and he went off to loud ap­plause from the Ata­lanta fans, who dis­played a ban­ner for him with the words “your shirt colors have changed, but you re­main in our hearts.”

Da­vide Di Molfetta re­placed Bon­aven­tura to make his Serie A de­but as did fel­low teenager Da­vide Cal­abria.

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