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No Okereke, no problem as Venezia hold wasteful Juventus

23:19 EAT 11/12/2021
David Okereke
Despite missing the services of their Nigerian import, the Winged Lions settled for a point against the visiting Old Lady

Venezia made light of David Okereke’s absence with a 1-1 draw against Juventus on Saturday as they ended their three-match losing streak.

The former Nigeria U23 star – who was loaned from Club Brugge – was missing due to a muscle injury suffered in the 4-3 defeat to Hellas Verona last time out.

Regardless, they shared the spoils with the 36-time Serie A kings at the Stadio Pier Luigi Penzo in Venice.

Buoyed by consecutive wins in their last three outings, the Old Lady went into the game full of confidence and they dominated from the blast of the referee’s whistle.

Although both teams put up a strong display, it was the visiting side who took the lead in the 32nd minute through Alvaro Morata.

Profiting from a cross from Luca Pellegrini in the penalty box, the former Chelsea striker managed to get his knee to the ball that sailed past goalkeeper Sergio Romero.

Despite relentless efforts from the hosts, they went into the half-time break with a goal deficit.

In the second half, Juve continued from where they stopped in the first 45 minutes, but their major undoing was putting the ball past the goal line.

With five minutes before the hour mark, Venezia restored parity with a sumptuous finish from Mattia Aramu.

Thanks to a pass from Ridgeciano Haps, Aramu curled in a beautiful strike outside of the box, which curled past the outstretched arm of Wojciech Szczesny in goal.

After that, the Old Lady failed to carve out any real goalscoring opportunities to take the lead as Argentine goalie Romero put up a good shift in the office.

At the end of full-time, Venezia settled for a point although they remain in the relegation zone.

Tyronne Ebuehi – who would be hoping to make the Nigeria squad for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations – was handed a place in the starting XI but he was subbed off for Pasquale Mazzocchi in the 77th minute.

Whereas, Morocco international Sofian Kiyine was introduced for Dennis Toerset Johnsen in the 57th minute.

The draw sees Juventus remain in sixth position after garnering 28 points from 17 matches. They would be hoping to return to winning ways when they square up against Bologna on December 18.