A.P. — MILAN Paulo Dybala, formerly of Roma, returned to Juventus and assisted in the equalizer on Saturday, when José Mourinho’s team lost its undefeated Serie A record.
After Duan Vlahovi scored for Juventus after only 76 seconds, it looked like the Italian champions would cruise to victory. However, Juventus’ lead was short-lived, as Tammy Abraham equalized for the opposition in the 69th minute.
After starting the season with two wins, Roma’s 1-1 draw was their first loss of the year. In Serie A, Napoli is the only undefeated team heading into Sunday’s match against Fiorentina.
Dybala, who sobbed during his last home game for Juventus in May, returned to the club on Sunday.
After seven years with Juventus, Dybala left with 115 goals and 12 trophies to his name, including five Serie A championships.
When Juventus brought in Vlahovi in January, the often-injured Argentine forward lost favor with coach Massimiliano Allegri. When his contract with the Turin club expired, he moved on to Roma in July.
When Dybala’s name was announced during the warmup, the Juventus faithful cheered and urged him to wave to them before the game. Even after being taken off in the 77th minute, he received a standing ovation from the crowd. Still without a goal for his new team.
After a dull 0-0 draw against Sampdoria on Monday, Juventus needed a spark, and they got it when Vlahovi curled a free kick off the underside of the bar and into the top near corner on his very first touch of the ball.
In the 15 minutes that followed, the Bianconeri dominated play, resulting in two incredible saves from Roma goalkeeper Rui Patrcio.
In the 26th minute, they thought they had doubled their lead, but Vlahovi disallowed a goal by Manuel Locatelli due to a handball.
Shortly before halftime, Vlahovi had two other opportunities to double his tally with free kicks from similar distances to the one he scored on, but both were saved or went just wide of the goalpost.
After struggling for much of the first half, Roma found their footing in the second and eventually tied the game when Dybala acrobatically volleyed a corner back across goal for Abraham to head into the center of the net.
After another corner, the visitors nearly scored, but Juventus’ new signing Arkadiusz Milik made a crucial clearance.
CANNOT FIND IT YET
Cremonese fell to Torino 2-1 in its home opener, continuing its winless start to its first season back in Serie A since 1996.
Its next match, away at Inter Milan, is not likely to bring any better results.
AC Milan, the reigning Serie A champion, hosted Bologna late on a Saturday.
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