Cristiano Ronaldo missed a penalty as Juventus were held to a 1-1 Serie A draw by Atalanta in Turin on Wednesday. (More Football News)
Andrea Pirlo's side had looked well on their way to a fifth consecutive win in all competitions when Federico Chiesa scored his first league goal for the club since joining on loan from Fiorentina after 29 minutes.
Remo Freuler pulled the visitors level with a sumptuous strike in the 57th minute, though, before Ronaldo's dismal spot-kick was kept out by the impressive Pierluigi Gollini four minutes later.
A point lifted the champions up to third, but they could finish the day six points behind leaders Milan should Stefano Pioli's men overcome Genoa. Atalanta, meanwhile, moved up to eighth ahead of Wednesday's late fixtures.
Juve started brightly and should have scored twice inside the opening 15 minutes, but Ronaldo blazed over from close range and Alvaro Morata inexplicably scuffed a backheeled attempt wide with the goal at his mercy.
Chiesa made up for his team-mates' profligacy shortly before the half-hour mark, collecting Rodrigo Bentancur's pass and whipping a sublime strike into Gollini's top-left corner from 22 yards.
Wojciech Szczesny denied Duvan Zapata and Ruslan Malinovskiy soon after as an improved Atalanta ultimately fell short of restoring parity before the interval.
Morata fired straight at Gollini immediately after the restart when clean through before Freuler thundered home a spectacular equaliser after 57 minutes, the Switzerland international firing in from 25 yards for his first goal of the season.
Ronaldo then squandered a golden opportunity to restore Juve's lead, clipping a tame penalty into the arms of Gollini after Chiesa had been fouled in the area, while the Atalanta goalkeeper did wonderfully to deny Morata shortly after.
Szczesny pawed away Cristian Romero's header and Gollini kept out Weston McKennie's powerful drive late on as both sides had to settle for a point.
What does it mean? Draws proving costly for champions
Pirlo's side have yet to taste defeat in Serie A this season but if they are to secure a 10th consecutive league title they will need to start turning draws into wins sharpish. They have now drawn six of their 12 games and will consider this a huge missed opportunity to put pressure on Milan, particularly given Ronaldo's uncharacteristic miss from the spot.
6 - Juventus have drawn at least six of their first 12 league games of the season for the first time since 1984/85, when they closed in sixth place. Stop.#JuveAtalanta— OptaPaolo (@OptaPaolo) December 16, 2020
Chiesa belatedly proving his worth
Chiesa endured a difficult start to life with Juve, receiving a red card on his debut against Crotone in October, but he looks like he is finding his feet. He caused problems throughout for the Atalanta backline and scored a stunning goal to put his side ahead. He did blot his copybook with some dreadful passing, however, completing just 54.5 per cent – the lowest ratio of any Juve player.
Ronaldo endures a rare off game
He scored twice from the spot in the weekend win over Genoa, but Ronaldo's accuracy from 12 yards against Atalanta was sorely missing. His penalty miss capped a poor game, the Portuguese superstar finding the target with just one of his three shots in a display that saw him lose possession 12 times.
Key Opta Facts
- For the third season in a row, Juventus have not lost any of their first 12 league matches (last season 10 wins and two draws).
- Atalanta have lost only one of their last 16 league away games, 1-4 against Napoli in October (W9, D6).
- Chiesa has scored three goals vs Atalanta in Serie A: all at home, all in the first half, all with his right foot and all from outside the box.
- Chiesa has scored just five goals from outside the box in Serie A (out of 27 in total), three of these vs Atalanta.
- Ronaldo has missed four out of the 30 penalties he has taken for Juventus (three in Serie A and one in the Coppa Italia).
Juve will hope to return to winning ways when they travel to Parma on Saturday, while Atalanta host Roma a day later.