MILAN: Roma condemned Juventus to a second straight defeat at the start of the season for the first time in the Old Lady of Turin’s history with a 2-1 Serie A victory on Sunday (Monday in Manila).
Runners-up to Juventus the past two seasons, Roma raced into a 2-0 lead with 11 minutes to play thanks to Bosnia pair Miralem Pjanic and Edin Dzeko after Juventus had been reduced to 10 men following Patrice Evra’s sending-off.
The champions pulled a consolation goal back, their first of the league season, through Paulo Dybala in the final minutes.
But Roma held on to beat Juventus in the league for the first time since a Francesco Totti winner sealed a 1-0 win in February 2013.
“We dominated them so we’re looking at the glass half-full, but we went to sleep at the end and gave them a really soft goal,” Roma captain Daniele De Rossi told Sky Sport.
“But I think we played incredibly. You can’t forget, Juventus were challenging for the Champions League (in the final) a few months ago.”
Beaten 3-1 by Barcelona in the final of last season’s Champions League, Juve have now failed to win their opening two games of a Serie A season for the very first time, having lost 1-0 at home to Udinese last week.
“I’m not worried, but we have to change something, namely our mental approach,” said Juve coach Massimiliano Allegri, whose side has undergone several changes since last season.
“Unfortunately, in football these things happen.”
French left back Lucas Digne made his Roma debut following a loan move from Paris Saint-Germain and held his own amid a tense and high-octane encounter.
Roma went about their task with a swagger in a dominant first half that left Juve’s Gianluigi Buffon by far the busier of the two goalkeepers.
Iago Falque, Mohamed Salah, Radja Nainggolan and Alessandro Florenzi kept the Roma midfield ticking as Juventus struggled to find their rhythm, with Buffon relieved when Pjanic’s angled effort came off the far upright.
A Giorgio Chiellini yellow card, for the defender’s second foul from behind on Pjanic, was indicative of a niggly encounter in which several players clashed. Roma had earlier seen claims for a penalty waved away after Florenzi came crashing down in front of Mario Mandzukic as he ran in to the box.
The first chance of the second half fell to Juventus, but Martin Caceres skewed off target after De Rossi had cleared Chiellini’s header into his path.
But Roma turned the tempo up a notch again.
The pace and movement of Florenzi and Salah were causing problems, and Pjanic again came close to the opener when he held off markers to spin on a loose ball in the area.
Roma had the momentum and a Salah-led counter-attack edged the hosts closer to the opener, Dzeko winning possession just outside the penalty box only for Buffon to save desperately with his legs.
Moments later, Buffon was left rooted to the spot after Pjanic stepped up and curled a free kick over the wall and in to send the stadium into raptures.
On a rare Juve attack, Paul Pogba flashed a header wide from a corner but Pjanic almost had his second when his snap-shot from Dzeko’s pass in close was blocked.
On-loan Chelsea winger Juan Cuadrado came on for Simone Padoin in the closing stages but Juve had to reshuffle when Evra saw red for a second bookable offence when he and Pogba sandwiched Nainggolan.
Roma capitalized immediately. Iturbe, who had replaced Salah moments earlier, was afforded space on the left of the area and lobbed an inviting cross for Dzeko to meet high in the air and head into Buffon’s bottom left corner.
Dybala’s consolation three minutes from time gave Juve brief hope but at the death Roma keeper Wojciech Szczesny performed heroics to keep out Bonucci’s header from a corner.