Atalanta 2 -2 Juventus: Last-gasp Buffon error proves costly

Gianluigi Buffon's late blunder proved costly as Remo Freuler's late goal held Serie A champions Juventus to a 2-2 draw against Atalanta. 

Remo Freuler capitalised on a rare error from Gianluigi Buffon to salvage a hard-fought 2-2 draw for Serie A's surprise package Atalanta in a dramatic encounter with league leaders Juventus.

Dani Alves' header appeared to have given Massimiliano Allegri's men a hard-fought three points at Atleti Azzurri d'Italia, as Juve fought back from a 1-0 half-time deficit.

However, Freuler was on hand to claim a deserved point for the hosts, who remain unbeaten at home since December, in the 89th minute and perhaps offer slim hope to Juve's nearest rivals Roma in the title race.

The late drama came at the culmination of an end-to-end encounter on Friday, with Juve having pulled level through Leonardo Spinazzola's own-goal after Andrea Conti had put Gian Piero Gasperini's side ahead on the stroke of half-time.

Atalanta goalkeeper Etrit Berisha was on top form throughout and he pulled off a string of excellent saves to deny Gonzalo Higuain and Sami Khedira respectively, although bizarre officiating had denied Juve a penalty midway through the second half.

And it was Berisha's counterpart Buffon that was left embarrassed in the end as, despite another stately performance from the Juve veteran, his fumble allowed Freuler to equalise for an Atalanta side that remain fifth.

For Juve, a draw takes them nine points clear of second-placed Roma, who face local rivals Lazio on Sunday, and Allegri's men will now switch their focus to the first leg of their Champions League semi-final against Monaco.

In spite of Allegri's warnings against complacency in the pre-match build up, an unusually tepid Juve failed to stamp any authority on proceedings in a scrappy opening.

Juve's inept display should have been punished on the half-hour mark, but Buffon showed his quality with a superb one-on-one save to deny Andrea Masiello.

Juan Cuadrado could have made Atalanta pay for Masiello's miss soon after, only for the Colombia winger to volley wide after connecting with Giorgio Chiellini's diagonal pass.

However, the hosts did have their deserved lead soon after.

Alejandro Gomes was the architect with a perfectly-weighted dink to the back post where Conti was on hand to bundle home.

But for all their first-half promise, Atalanta's lead was cut short in the 50th minute.

Miralem Pjanic delivered an exquisite free-kick that, under pressure from Leonardo Bonucci, Spinazzola could only turn into his own net.

After Higuain had tested Berisha, Juve should have been given a penalty when Rafael Toloi handled in the area, but the referee - despite initially pointing to the spot - awarded the free-kick Atalanta's way due to Mario Mandzukic having strayed offside.

Berisha was on top form again with just over 20 minutes remaining, denying Higuain after instinctively keeping out two efforts from Khedira.

But the Albania international could do nothing to prevent Alves heading in what appeared to be Juve's winner in the 83rd minute.

Pjanic was again the provider with a wonderful cross and the former Barcelona man headed in unmarked at the far post.

The drama was not over, though, as Atalanta rallied. Frueler unleashed a shot that Buffon could only parry back into the danger zone and the Swiss midfielder followed up to tuck home the rebound.



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