Juventus beats Brescia 2-1 on Balotelli's Serie A return

Juventus' Matthijs de Ligt celebrates during the Italian Serie A soccer match between Brescia and Juventus at the Rigamonti stadium in Brescia, Italy , Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2019. (Filippo Venezia/ANSA via AP)
Juventus' Leonardo Bonucci and Brescia's Mario Balotelli, left, vie for the ball during the Italian Serie A soccer match between Brescia and Juventus at the Rigamonti stadium in Brescia, Italy, Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2019. (Filippo Venezia/ANSA via AP)
Juventus' Paulo Dybala, left, takes on Brescia's John Chancellor during the Italian Serie A soccer match between Brescia and Juventus at the Rigamonti stadium in Brescia, Italy , Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2019. (Filippo Venezia/ANSA via AP)

MILAN — Mario Balotelli was kept quiet on his return to Serie A as his Brescia side lost 2-1 at home to eight-time defending champion Juventus on Tuesday.

An own goal from Brescia defender Jhon Chancellor and Miralem Pjanic's second-half strike saw Juventus come from behind after Alfredo Donnarumma's early opener.

"We are proud of what we have done," Donnarumma said. "Mario is accustomed to different movements, so we communicate a lot on our movements off the ball. Playing alongside him is an honor for me and I hope we can do a lot of things from now on."

It was Juve's fourth win in the opening five matches and was achieved without Cristiano Ronaldo, who was rested with a slight muscular injury.

Balotelli was signed by hometown club Brescia in the offseason on a free transfer but was suspended for the first four matches following a red card in his final match for Marseille.

"He arrived with the right motivation," Brescia coach Eugenio Corini said. "He is working hard, he is an extraordinary player who I am sure will give us a big hand. It's being close to home that is good for him, I see him relaxed and fully involved in the team."

Balotelli was named in the starting lineup against Juventus, playing his first match in Italy since a disappointing season-long loan at AC Milan ended in 2016.

But it was teammate Donnarumma who gave Brescia the lead in the fourth minute with a powerful shot which bent back Wojciech Szczesny's gloves.

Juventus leveled shortly before the break when a corner from the right was bundled into his own net by Chancellor.

Balotelli had chances either side of that goal with a pair of free kicks, but Szczesny fingertipped one over the bar and the other went past the post.

Juventus scored what was to prove the winner shortly after the hour. Paulo Dybala sent a free kick into the wall but Pjanic fired the rebound into the bottom left corner.

In Tuesday's other game, Hellas Verona dominated but was held to a 0-0 draw by fellow struggler Udinese.

Verona had the better of the chances and went close to breaking the deadlock late on but Udinese goalkeeper Juan Musso palmed Mariusz Stepinski's header onto the underside of the crossbar and it bounced off the post on its way out.

___

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/apf-Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Must Read

German biathletes Schempp, Dahlmeier win mass...

Feb 19, 2017

Simon Schempp and Laura Dahlmeier won the mass start world titles on Sunday, raising Germany's haul...

Serbia loss gives Wales and Ireland fresh hope in...

Oct 6, 2017

Serbia has failed to clinch a World Cup berth in Vienna and has lost to Austria instead, giving...

With many injured skiers out, Vonn set for...

Oct 26, 2017

Big names set to miss season-opening World Cup ski races but Lindsey Vonn unexpectedly starts

Martins Dukurs takes European skeleton title with...

Dec 15, 2017

Latvian slider Martins Dukurs won the European skeleton title for a third straight year by earning...

Stoch wins 3rd straight 4 Hills Tour stop,...

Jan 4, 2018

Polish ski jumper Stoch wins 3rd straight stop of 4 Hills Tour, Germany's Freitag crashes

Search

About Us

From transfer news, tactical analysis to predictions, get only the best of the world of sports daily with Daily Sports Club.

Contact us: sales[at]dailysportsclub.com

Subscribe Now!