TURIN, Italy (AFP) – Leonardo Bonucci struck at the death as Juventus claimed the bragging rights from a bad-tempered 3-2 win over Roma that saw three expulsions and at least one dubious penalty in Turin on Sunday.
Roma coach Rudi Garcia was sent off in the first half, while Juve striker Alvaro Morata and Roma defender Konstantinos Manolas saw red in the closing minutes after the match’s final, angry exchange.
Garcia said midweek the top-of-the-table clash would be a “great advert” for Italian football.
And there was no lack of drama at a packed-out Juventus stadium as Roma, despite their first defeat of the season, further underlined their status as the biggest challengers to Juve’s three-year grip on the Italian championship.
Juve midfield great Andrea Pirlo returned for his first match of the season following his recovery from injury, with Garcia preferring Greek defender Jose Holebas to Ashley Cole at left back.
After seeing an early chance expertly blocked by Seydou Keita, Carlos Tevez scored the first of a brace of penalties just before the half hour.
The match turned in the 26th minute when Juve were awarded a freekick following Totti’s foul on Pirlo, whose subsequent freekick hit the arm of Maicon in the defensive wall.
Players from both sides immediately surrounded referee Rocchi, who wavered before giving in to Juve’s demands for a penalty.