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Ronaldo penalty miss as Juve held by Atalanta

Milan (AFP) – Cristiano Ronaldo missed a penalty as champions Juventus squandered the chance to move second in Serie A on Wednesday with a 1-1 draw at home against Atalanta.

Juventus picked up their sixth draw in 12 games, to sit third, three points behind leaders AC Milan who play at Genoa later on Wednesday.

Behind AC Milan, Inter Milan and Napoli go head-to-head in the San Siro.

“You have to take these games home,” said Juventus coach Andrea Pirlo. 

“We had many opportunities and we weren’t able to close it. When you leave the game in the balance anything can happen.”

Federico Chiesa curled in a powerful shot to put Juventus ahead before the half hour mark in Turin.

But Atalanta hit back with Remo Freuler grabbing the equaliser 12 minutes after the break shortly after captain Papu Gomez came off the bench.

The build-up to the game had been overshadowed by tensions between coach Gian Piero Gasperini and Gomez, left out of their last two league games amid speculation he could leave the Bergamo club in January.

Ronaldo, who had fired over the target in the fifth minute, missed a rare penalty after an hour when Chiesa was fouled.

The Portuguese striker’s weak effort was easily saved by Atalanta keeper Pierluigi Gollini.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner is currently joint top of the Serie A scorers charts alongside Zlatan Ibrahimovic on 10 goals.

Gollini also denied Alvaro Morata after 48 and 62 minutes from close range.

Spaniard Morata had missed a golden chance after 12 minutes, sending a weak back-heel flick wide in front of an open goal.

At the other end of the pitch, Juventus goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny saved a Cristian Romero header with a quarter of an hour to go.

“It’s a great result,” said Gasperini. “We were very good, at one point we were convinced of winning it. 

“We played with personality against a team that are one of the favourites for the Scudetto.”

Atalanta are eighth in the table.

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