Stunner: Frosinone earns 1st ever Serie A point at Juventus
Sep. 23, 2015
ROME (AP) — Promoted Frosione earned its first ever Serie A point in stunning fashion Wednesday, scoring a last-minute equalizer for a 1-1 draw at four-time defending champion Juventus.
Midfielder Leonardo Blanchard, who has been with Frosinone since the small club located near Rome was in the third division, leaped above Paul Pogba to head in a corner two minutes into added time at the Juventus Stadium.
With Juventus captain Gianluigi Buffon rested, reserve goalkeeper Neto was easily beaten.
Frosinone had scored just one goal and conceded seven in losing its opening four games, having reached the top division for the first time in its 103-year history.
"The goal was liberating for the entire squad," Blanchard said, noting that he's a Juventus fan and had supported the Bianconeri at the Champions League final against Barcelona at the end of last season.
"I was in Berlin with my face painted white and black for the Champions League final and now I'm here celebrating a goal scored against Juventus" he said. "Life is incredible."
Simone Zaza had put Juventus ahead early in the second half, just after hitting the crossbar.
In the first half, Frosinone's Nicolas Castillo hit the post during a sequence in which the visitors protested for a penalty for a perceived hand ball by Juventus defender Andrea Barzagli. But the referee ruled to play on.
An Italy international, Zaza got a rare start with Mario Mandzukic and Alvaro Morata both injured. Zaza played alongside Juan Cuadrado, Roberto Pereyra and — in the second half — Paulo Dybala.
"Rather than being angry I'm upset," Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri said. "We had a corner in our favor at the end and we didn't handle it well, which handed the opponents a chance.
"We have young forwards without much experience at a big club," Allegri added.
Juventus is also sorely missing three key players who helped the club finish runner-up to Barcelona in Europe and then departed: Andrea Pirlo, Arturo Vidal and Carlos Tevez.
Key Juve midfielder Claudio Marchisio is also injured.
"We knew coming into this stadium that playing our game would have been impossible. It was going to take cynicism and sacrifice," Blanchard said with a Juventus shirt draped over his shoulder. "But we've got our point."
With only one win from its opening five matches, Juventus fell 10 points behind leader Inter Milan, which maintained its perfect record with a 1-0 win over injury-hit Hellas Verona.
Felipe Melo, the midfielder who followed manager Roberto Mancini from Galatasaray to Inter, scored his first goal with his new club shortly into the second half with a crisp header following a corner.
Inter has won all five of its matches by a one-goal margin.
Verona was without injured forward Luca Toni, last season's league scoring co-leader, and replacement Giampaolo Pazzini limped off in the first half.
Roma, meanwhile, was beaten 2-1 after Kostas Manolas scored an own goal five minutes from time.
Eder had scored in the 50th from a free kick for his league-best sixth goal before Roma's Mohamed Salah equalized midway through the second half with a shot from inside the area after taking a smart pass from Miralem Pjanic.
Manolas' blunder came when he misdirected an attempted clearance after a cross from Eder.
Inter moved three points clear of Fiorentina, which beat Bologna 2-0 with second-half goals from Jakub Blaszczykowski and Nikola Kalinic.
Sassuolo is third, four points back, after Sergio Floccari scored in a 1-0 win at Palermo.
Chievo, Sampdoria and Torino are next, five points behind.
Chievo beat Torino 1-0 with a late goal from Lucas Castro.
Also, Napoli was held to a 0-0 draw at promoted Carpi after outscoring the opposition 10-0 in its last two games; and Lazio beat nine-man Genoa 2-0 with goals from Filip Djordjevic and Felipe Anderson either side of halftime.
Andrew Dampf can be followed at www.twitter.com/asdampf