Bergamo (Italy), Dec 27 (IANS) A late goal by Portugal superstar forward Cristiano Ronaldo maintained Juventus’ undefeated run with a 2-2 stalemate against host Atalanta at the Stadio Atleti Azzurri d’Italia.
Defending champion Juventus, thus, remained atop the standings with 50 points from 18 matches, earning 16 wins and two ties, while Atalanta sit provisionally in the seventh place with 25 points, reports Efe.
Ronaldo connected with Mario Mandzukic’s high cross to head in at close range near the right post in the 78th minute here on Wednesday.
Atalanta’s Albanian defender Berat Djimsiti awarded Juventus an early lead on an own goal just two minutes into the game.
Colombia striker Duvan Zapata drew the hosts level in the 24th minute, seizing on an assist from his teammate, Argentina attacking midfielder Alejandro Gomez.
After the intermission, Juventus’ Uruguay midfielder Rodrigo Bentancur was shown his second booking to be sent off the pitch.
Just three minutes later, Zapata made the most of his side’s numerical advantage, netting Atalanta’s 2-1 lead and his own brace in the 56th minute, which was also off an assist from Gomez.
Ronaldo, who started the game on the bench, rescued Juventus with the 2-2 equalizer just 13 minutes after taking the field.
Elsewhere in Italian league, Lazio claimed a 2-0 away win over Bologna at Stadio Renato Dall’Ara, to stay in the 4th spot with 31 points, while the hosts stayed in the 18th and third-to-last place with 13 points.
Brazil defender Luís Felipe gave Lazio the 1-0 lead at the half-hour mark, making the most of his Spanish teammate Luis Alberto’s assist.
In the closing minutes, Felipe set his Bosnian teammate Senad Lulic up for the insurance goal in the 89th minute.
Meanwhile, Sampdoria topped last-placed ChievoVerona 2-0 at Luigi Ferraris stadium, to snatch the fifth place from Milan, who tied 0-0 with Frosinone earlier in the day.
Uruguay playmaker Gaston Ramirez scored a brace in minutes 47 and 59, to secure the victory for Sampdoria who currently have 29 points.
In other Serie A action, visiting Parma stunned ten-man Fiorentina 1-0 at Stadio Artemio Franchi, thanks to the winner scored by Italian striker Roberto Inglese in the first-half stoppage time.
Parma, thus, climbed into the 10th spot in the standings with 25 points, on goal differential behind Fiorentina who moved down into the eighth place.
Meanwhile, Brazilian forward Diego Farias scored Cagliari’s 1-0 winner over visiting Genoa in the first-half stoppage time off an assist from Croatian teammate Darijo Srna, and both teams fell to the 13th and 14th spots in the standings.