MILAN — Juventus ended a troubled year on a positive note after beating Roma 1-0 to close in on Serie A leader Inter Milan on Sunday, Dec. 31, 2023 (PH time).
Adrien Rabiot scored and Juventus moved within two points of Inter, which drew on Friday.
Juventus started the year mired in scandal after former president Andrea Agnelli and the entire board resigned in November 2022 following an investigation by Turin prosecutors into false accounting, which led to the team being deducted 10 points.
The false accounting case also led to Juventus being excluded by UEFA from the third-tier Europa Conference League for this season.
Without the distraction of Europe, Juventus has been fighting hard at the top of the Serie A table and knew it had the chance to close the gap on Saturday.
Former Juventus striker Paulo Dybala recovered from injury to surprisingly start and his team almost took an early lead but Bryan Cristante’s shot came off the right post.
Dybala went close to scoring against his former team but instead it was Juventus which broke the deadlock right at the start of the second half. Rabiot beat the offside trap to latch onto a cheeky Dušan Vlahović backheeled flick and slot into the bottom near corner.