Atalanta 1-0 Juventus: Ruslan Malinovskiy tidy up late winner to strike Andrea Pirlo’s side’s Champions League hopes as visitors sense Cristiano Ronaldo’s absence
- Atalanta beat Juventus 1-0 thanks to the late winner Ruslan Malinovskiy
- The result leaves the visitors in fourth place and risks missing out on the Champions League
- Napoli and Lazio both have a match in hand and could close the gap to Juventus
- Old Lady has not won any of their league games without Cristiano Ronaldo
Juventus slipped to a final gasp for a 1-0 defeat at Atalanta on Sunday as Gian Piero Gasperini’s side jumped the champions to third place in the Serie A standings.
Missing Cristiano Ronaldo due to injury, Juventus struggled to tear down the in-form hosts without their Portuguese talisman and were forced to defend against the Serie A top scorers for much of the second half.
It looked like Juventus had done enough to hold on to a point, but substitute Ruslan Malinovskiy took a fifth straight league win for Atalanta in the 87th minute, sparking wild revelry.
Atalanta got a crucial three points thanks to a late winner from Ruslan Malinovskiy
Andrea Pirlo’s team is now in danger of missing out on the Champions League qualification
Atalanta moved up to 64 points, two for Juventus, from 31 games played after a first win over Juve for more than 20 years.
Juves hopes for a 10th consecutive Scudetto are now almost over, as they are behind leader Inter Milan, who will face Napoli later on Sunday, by 12 points. Victory for Napoli would put them on a par with Andrea Pirlo’s side.
Lazio was four points behind Juventus in sixth place, having played one less game, after an entertaining 5-3 win over Benevento – their fifth straight win in the league – while Bologna beat Spezia 4-1.
In-form Atalanta brought the game to Juventus early in Bergamo, with Matteo Pessina losing a great opportunity to give the hosts the lead.
Alvaro Morata missed a big chance in the first half, but saw his bet disappear from the line
Atalanta conceded the most goals of the top six and hesitation in his own penalty area from Joakim Maehle gave Alvaro Morata a great opportunity to break the deadlock. However, the Spaniard’s tame effort was pulled off the line late in the opening period.
Paulo Dybala, who started for the first time since early January, was tired as the game went on and had to be replaced, leaving Juventus with no options up front.
As a result, Pirlo’s side leaned back, happy to grab the point, but just after Malinovskiy’s stunning free-kick was brilliantly saved by Wojciech Szczesny, he surfaced with the winner, his strike taking a massive deflection on the way to goal .
Malinovskiy was previously denied a goal, but found the back of the net for a late winner shortly afterwards