Fri, 18 Jun 2021

ROME, May 15 (Xinhua) -- Juventus kept its hopes of UEFA Champions League qualification alive after a topsy-turvy 3-2 victory over Inter Milan in the Derby d'Italia on Saturday, in which both sides had one player sent off.

Juve had a full squad to choose from, as Cristiano Ronaldo led the forward line, while Inter traveled to Turin without Arturo Vidal and Aleksandar Kolarov.

The Bianconeri had a more aggressive start and broke the deadlock in the 24th minute as Giorgio Chiellini earned a penalty after a VAR check. Ronaldo saw his attempt saved by Samir Handanovic, but the Portuguese was alert to tap in the rebound.

The away side got back on level terms in almost the same style 10 minutes later, as Matthijs de Ligt kicked down Lautaro Martinez and the referee pointed to the spot with the help of VAR. Romelu Lukaku kept his cool to convert it.

Juve restored the lead on the stroke of half-time, as Dejan Kulusevski's square pass was redirected into the path of Juan Cuadrado, who unleashed a missile from outside the box that squirmed through Handanovic's gloves.

The Old Lady was one player down 10 minutes after the break, as Rodrigo Bentancur collected his second yellow card after a challenge on Lukaku.

Juve was pinned back after that and Inter scored the leveler again in the 84th minute as Chiellini prodded Nicolo Barella's cross into his own net. The goal was initially disallowed, but the referee confirmed it after viewing the monitor.

It was not over yet though, as Cuadrado saved Juve again when the Colombian won a penalty minutes later after a collision with Ivan Perisic, and he stepped up to send Handanovic the wrong way and make it 3-2.

Inter was also reduced to 10 men in the dying minutes as Marcelo Brozovic was booked for the second time when he tried to prevent Cuadrado from staging a counter-attack.

Juve temporarily moved into the Champions League zone with 75 points, two points ahead of fifth-placed Napoli who visit Fiorentina on Sunday.

Atalanta booked a spot in the Champions League group stage for the third consecutive season with one game to spare as La Dea edged past Genoa 4-3.

In another highly-anticipated Derby della Capitale, a pair of strikes from Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Pedro Rodriguez helped Roma beat Lazio 2-1.

Also on Saturday, Spezia crushed Torino 4-1.

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