MILAN, Oct 25 — Paulo Dybala saved Juventus on Sunday with a controversial late penalty which earned his team a 1-1 draw at Inter Milan, while Napoli’s perfect start to the season came to an end with a goalless draw at Roma.
Argentina forward Dybala slotted home his spot-kick with a minute left after Denzel Dumfries was ruled to have kicked Alex Sandro as he tried to clear the ball, a decision that enraged Inter to the point that coach Simone Inzaghi was sent off by referee Maurizio Mariani.
His leveller came in his first appearance after a month out with a thigh injury, the 27-year-old coming on as a substitute in the 63rd minute.
“We were up against a very good team and given the way the game was going, we’re happy with the point,” Dybala said to DAZN.
Juve are up to sixth on 15 points, level with Atalanta and Fiorentina, while champions Inter are seven points behind Napoli and city rivals AC Milan in third place.
Inter thought they had won the match thanks to a goal from Edin Dzeko, who rolled into an empty net in the 17th minute after Hakan Calhanoglu’s rocket of a shot rebounded to him off the crossbar.
It was another important goal from Dzeko, who also starred in Inter’s 3-1 Champions League win over Sheriff Tiraspol midweek and has quickly become a fan favourite at the San Siro after arriving from Roma in the summer.
Juve were fortunate to get a point, not only because of the way the penalty came about, but because of another underwhelming display.
Massimiliano Allegri’s side offered little in the way of goal threat even after the introduction of Federico Chiesa and Dybala just after the hour mark.
Inter, meanwhile, were livid at being denied a win in what is traditionally their biggest domestic home match of the season thanks to what they saw as a very soft penalty.
“That was the only way we were going to concede a goal... we ran the game from start to finish, we gave them nothing,” said Inzaghi to DAZN.
“I’m not happy because the referee is two metres away, says everything is fine and then is called (by VAR)... we deserved more.”
Napoli run ends
Napoli’s winning streak ended at eight games following their draw at the Stadio Olimpico.
Both sides will be ruing missed chances which could have decided a tight, at times bad-tempered, match between two rivals in which both coaches were sent off.
Roma boss Jose Mourinho was sent to the stands for dissent with nine minutes left while an incredulous Luciano Spalletti was shown a red card after the final whistle for what referee Davide Massa thought was sarcastic applause.
It was a decent result for Roma, who needed a good showing following their 6-1 humilation at the hands of Norwegian outfit Bodo/Glimt in midweek.
“It’s a good point, we came here knowing Roma wanted to react after Thursday’s defeat and had their fans behind them,” Kalidou Koulibaly said to DAZN.
Simeone hits four
Earlier Giovanni Simeone struck all four goals as Verona hammered Lazio 4-1.
Simeone, the son of former Lazio player and long-time Atletico Madrid coach Diego, struck twice in each half to sink Maurizio Sarri’s side, who briefly threatened when Ciro Immobile halved the deficit seconds after the break.
Verona move up to 11th on 11 points after starting the day hovering above the drop zone, while Lazio drop to eighth.
Sarri had selected the great-grandson of Italian dictator Benito Mussolini in his squad for the match, but did not play him.
Defender Romano Floriani Mussolini, 18, came through the youth ranks at the club after previously playing for their local rivals Roma.
Fiorentina, meanwhile, are seventh after their 3-0 stroll past struggling Cagliari, while Atalanta drew 1-1 at home with Udinese in the day’s early match. — AFP