Juventus overcame both the ejection of goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon and a first-half penalty to take a well-deserved point from the Stadio Olimpico at the final whistle of Saturday's Serie A match away to Lazio.
Antonio Candreva converted the spot-kick following Buffon's red card in the 27th minute, but on the stroke of the hour mark, Fernando Llorente found the far, top corner of the Lazio goal with a sublime header to pull his side level.
Both sides made a choppy start to the contest with Juventus, in particular, seemingly content to play the ball through the air in the hope that either Llorente or Carlos Tevez would be able to make something happen.
But it was Lazio who created the first pair of meaningful opportunities—Miroslav Klose nearly capitalizing on Buffon's mishandling of the ball in the 14th minute and Abdoulay Konko almost getting on the end of a wonderful Hernanes pass before Buffon was able to smother it.
Then, in the 24th minute, Buffon was shown a straight red card after taking Klose to ground, and after Marco Storari replaced the club captain, Candreva scored from the spot to give the hosts the lead.
Juventus were rocked by the decision, as it seemed Klose was running away from goal when he was brought down, but nine minutes from the interval, Llorente came close to equalizing following a smart layoff from Tevez.
The guests looked like a completely different side immediately following the restart and had a chance to restore level terms in the 48th minute when Lorente's shot was blocked by Luis Pedro Cavanda following Arturo Vidal's backheel.
But the Bianconeri would have to wait just 12 more minutes for a goal that by then was surely coming.
Again it was Tevez making things happen—pushing off his marker and passing to Lichtsteiner, whose accurate cross from the right found Llorente, who headed beyond the reach of Lazio goalkeeper Etrit Berisha.
From there, the game took on a furious pace as both sides pushed and probed for a go-ahead goal.
Tevez forced Berisha into an outstanding save in the 63rd minute, and with time winding down, Lazio-substitute Keita Balde rang a curling shot off the crossbar with Storari beaten.
Key Player Grades
Antonio Candreva: A
|Lazio Player Ratings|
The Italy international was a consistent attacking threat on Saturday. Per WhoScored.com, he completed 96 percent of his passes, took three shots at target and won three dribbles against opposition defenders. He also scored from the spot to temporarily put Lazio ahead.
Carlos Tevez: A+
|Juventus Player Ratings|
Llorente may have scored the goal for Juventus, but Tevez was the inspiration behind the fight-back—winning possession deep downfield and winning physical battles against his markers in the attacking third. He also had a hand in the Llorente tally that wound up earning the Bianconeri a point.
Next up for Lazio is a Coppa Italia appointment away to Napoli, after which they’ll travel to Chievo for a Feb. 2 Serie A match. A week following, they'll face Roma in the local derby. Juventus, meanwhile, will host Inter Milan on Feb. 2 and will travel to Hellas Verona on Feb. 9.
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