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Serie A: Juve held at Venezia, Vlahovic continues red-hot form

 

Juve’s bid to reach the Champions League next season suffered a fresh blow on Saturday with a 1-1 draw at Venezia, while Dusan Vlahovic continued his hot streak in Fiorentina’s 4-0 hammering of Salernitana.

Mattia Aramu earned promoted Venezia an excellent point against the 36-time Italian champions with a curling low drive nine minutes after halftime.

The 26-year-old’s fifth goal of the season moved Venezia six points away from the relegation zone, a great response after throwing away a three-goal lead to lose to rivals Verona last week.

“We had a real desire to bounce back after that horrible defeat, we’ve got a great point and we showed what we’re made of,” said Aramu to DAZN.

“We wanted to show everyone because it hasn’t been an easy week.”

Juve meanwhile are sixth after being leapfrogged by Fiorentina earlier in the day and are six points behind fourth-placed Atalanta, who sit in the final Champions League spot and travel to Verona on Sunday.

Massimiliano Allegri’s side had looked to be on their way to their fourth straight win in all competitions when Alvaro Morata poked home Luca Pellegrini’s cross in the 32nd minute.

And they were unlucky not to retake the lead 10 minutes after Aramu’s leveller through Federico Bernadeschi, whose superb chest and volley effort was brilliantly tipped away by Sergio Romero in the Venezia goal.

Matters were made worse for Juve by the early loss of Paulo Dybala to injury, the latest of a series of niggling problems for the Argentine.

The 28-year-old, who was substituted at halftime of Juve’s 1-0 win over Malmo on Wednesday, limped off the field in the 12th minute and after being replaced by Kaio Jorge was seen with a bandage around his right knee.

“I’m worried, we risked it a bit,” said Allegri to DAZN.

“On Wednesday he left the field with a light muscle problem. We thought he was OK but instead that wasn’t the case.”

VLAHOVIC STRIKES AGAIN

Dusan Vlahovic is two goals clear at the top of the scoring charts in Italy after taking his tally this season to 15 with a brace against Salernitana.

Serbia forward Vlahovic lashed home Fiorentina’s second five minutes after halftime and tapped in Riccardo Sottil’s low cross six minutes from the end in a thumping win at the Stadio Artemio Franchi in which Giacomo Bonaventura and Youssef Maleh scored the other goals.

“Dusan is good, he needs to keep that hunger he has, he needs to keep training as he is… he has a tremendous future in front of him,” said Fiorentina teammate Jose Callejon to DAZN.

Vlahovic, 21, has now scored 32 Serie A goals in 2021 and is leading Fiorentina to what looks to be their best season in years.

With 10 wins so far this campaign Fiorentina have already beaten last year’s tally and are aiming to qualify for Europe for the first time since 2016, as they sit four points behind Atalanta.

He had been targeted with insults by supporters earlier in the season after refusing to sign an extension to his current contract which expires in the summer of 2023.

However his form – seven goals in his last five matches – has brought the crowd in Florence back on his side.

Salernitana’s sixth defeat in their last seven matches leaves them rooted to the bottom of the league on eight points from their 17 matches.

*Courtesy: AFP

 

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