2018-2019 Italian Serie A
  • Mariusz Stepinski (38')
  • Emanuele Giaccherini (56' PEN)
  • Sami Khedira (3')
  • Mattia Bani (75' OG)
  • Federico Bernardeschi (90'+3')

Juventus rally for late win at Chievo in Cristiano Ronaldo's debut

Federico Bernardeschi scored in stoppage time to make Cristiano Ronaldo a winner on his Juventus debut as the Italian champions rallied to win 3-2 at Chievo Verona on Saturday.

Ronaldo may have been kept out of the scoresheet in his first game in Serie A, but his teammates did just enough to earn three points to open the season.

Sami Khedira's early goal for Juve was erased by Mariusz Stepinski in the first half, and Emanuele Giaccherini converted a penalty to put the hosts ahead before Mattia Bani's own goal allowed the visitors to equalise and Bernardeschi hit the 93rd-minute winner.

Juventus led inside three minutes when Miralem Pjanic's free kick into the box found Giorgio Chiellini, who nodded back for Khedira to slot the opener.

The visitors had a penalty shout soon afterwards when Douglas Costa chased down a long ball and fed Joao Cancelo, who could not keep his shot on target under pressure.

Ronaldo took aim at goal for the first time in the 18th minute, dragging his shot just wide from 16 yards.

Juventus appeared in control but Chievo netted against the run of play seven minutes before half-time when former Juventus winger Giaccherini crossed for Mariusz Stepinski, who guided a free header past goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny.

And the hosts took a shock lead 10 minutes after the break when Cancelo made a late challenge on the driving Giaccherini inside the area and the former Juventus winger converted the penalty, though he declined to celebrate.

Ronaldo nearly pulled Juventus level in the 66th minute when he spun away from three defenders and curled a shot toward the far post, but Chievo keeper Stefano Sorrentino did well to dive to his left and paw the attempt aside.

The Portuguese superstar had further chances as well, as Sorrentino blocked his free kick and Cacciatore deflected another attempt onto the roof of the net.

The equalizing goal did eventually come on 75 minutes after Bani headed Federico Bernardeschi's corner into his own net under pressure from Leonardo Bonucci, who was making his return to Juventus after a year away.

Juventus thought they had the winner in the 86th minute when Mandzukic powered in a header and, although it was cleared by Cacciatore, goal-line technology showed it had crossed the line.

However, Sorrentino was injured while colliding with Ronaldo in the build-up, and the play went to a video review that eventually ruled out the goal for either a foul or a handball.

But scarcely a minute after play had resumed after a lengthy delay, substitute Bernardeschi got a toe to Alex Sandro's low cross to direct the ball past Sorrentino's replacement Andrea Seculin for the decisive goal.