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Cambiaso ends Juve’s three-year absence from Serie A summit

AFP – Juventus moved top of Serie A for the first time in over three years on Saturday after Andrea Cambiaso’s stoppage-time winner in a dramatic 1-0 success over struggling Verona.

Massimiliano Allegri’s side moved one point ahead of Inter Milan thanks to substitute Cambiaso pushing in his first Juve goal from close range in the 97th minute of an otherwise uninspiring performance in Turin.

The hosts, who have kept five straight clean sheets, looked like they were set for a disappointing stalemate after Moise Kean had two goals disallowed and Kenan Yildiz looped a golden late chance over the bar.

But instead they lead the league for the first time since last winning it in August 2020.

“It was a huge goal and a really important win. We’re top and we’re going to enjoy it, for the next few hours anyway,” said Cambiaso, who was booked for taking his shirt off in the wild celebrations which followed his goal.

Juventus’ Andrea Cambiaso celebrates with the goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny. PHOTO: AFP

Asked by Sky Sport if that was the best booking of his career, he joked: “Absolutely. It was well worth getting the yellow card!” Fans have been banned from distributing thousands of whistles with which to barrack Lukaku but will still offer a hostile atmosphere for the Belgium striker.

Verona haven’t won since August and are two points above the relegation zone in 16th place.

Moise Kean thought he had given Juve the lead in the 13th minute wen he skipped past three Verona players and rifled a low drive past Lorenzo Montipo. But after sliding on his knees to celebrate his first goal of the season the Italy international thumped the ground in anger after his strike – which in any case was deflected home by Dusan Vlahovic – was ruled out for his ankle being offside when he initially collecting the ball.

Referee Ermanno Feliciani saw on the pitchside monitors that Kean had accidentally elbowed Davide Faraoni in the build-up and left Kean both goalless and livid.

“He didn’t deserve to be taken off but he had two goals disallowed and got booked so I thought this really is not his night, get him off!” joked Allegri.

Chiesa almost immediately forced Montipo into a brilliant save but Juve struggled to break down a stubborn Verona defence and when Yildiz failed to score from Arkadiusz Milik’s flick-on the away side looked ready to collect a precious point.

But the home fans exploded with joy when Milik headed Federico Gatti’s cross onto the post and Cambiaso was on hand to tap in the winner at the death.