Football

Juve squeeze past Spezia to earn first Serie A win of season

Juventus' Matthijs de Ligt celebrates scoring their third goal with teammates. (REUTERS/Jennifer Lorenzini)

LA SPEZIA, Italy: Juventus pulled themselves out of the Serie A relegation zone Wednesday after earning their first league victory of the season at the fifth attempt, coming from behind to win 3-2 at Spezia.

Massimiliano Allegri's side moved up to 12th in Italy's top flight on five points following the hard-fought win, but at one point they looked to be heading for an embarrassing defeat.

Emmanuel Gyasi and Janis Antiste had put Spezia ahead shortly after the break with two deflected strikes following Moise Kean's 28th-minute opener, the Italian's first goal for Juventus since returning from Everton.

However substitute Federico Chiesa levelled midway through the second half with his first league goal of the season and in the 72nd minute Matthijs de Ligt struck the winner when the ball fell kindly to him from a Paulo Dybala corner.

It was a far from convincing performance though and Spezia could have levelled late on, with Wojciech Szczesny at his best to push away Giulio Maggiore's volley with five minutes remaining.

"It was a difficult match, in the first half we played well but they managed to fight back," said De Ligt, who has fallen down the pecking order and was only playing because Giorgio Chiellini wasn't fit.

"We're in a period where everything that can go wrong does. Both of their goals came from deflections, let's hope we can have some luck in the future."

Juve are eight points behind league leaders Inter Milan, who could be joined on 13 by city rivals AC Milan when they host Venezia later Wednesday.

They have now conceded at least one goal in 19 consecutive league matches, a trend that needs to change with Chelsea visiting Turin in a week's time.

"We need to get out of our comfort zone and improve some more, we still make too many errors with the final pass and shot," Allegri said to DAZN.

In the other early match Salernitana earned their first point of the season when they came back from two goals down to draw 2-2 at home with Verona.

Nikola Kalinic put the away side ahead with a deft first-half brace but Cedric Gondo pulled one back just before halftime when the ball dropped to him following Franck Ribery's free-kick.

Mamadou Coulibaly then struck the leveller with 14 minutes left to send a passionate home crowd wild, although the promoted outfit stay bottom of the league.

Verona were unlucky not to snatch the points as they twice struck the woodwork through Kalinic and Antonin Barak.

Cagliari host Empoli in Wednesday's other late match.

 

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