TURIN, Italy (Reuters) – A stoppage-time goal from Sergej Milinkovic-Savic earned Lazio a dramatic 2-2 draw at Juventus in Serie A on Monday, a point that sealed the Rome club’s spot in next season’s Europa League, overshadowing Giorgio Chiellini and Paulo Dybala’s farewell.
Already assured of a fourth-placed finish this term, Juventus could take the game to Lazio with the pressure off, racing into a 10th-minute lead after Dusan Vlahovic’s flying header found the net.
Veteran defender Chiellini was then taken off early, and given a standing ovation by fans in what will be his last home match for Juventus before he leaves the club after 18 years in Turin.
Spanish striker Alvaro Morata then doubled Juve’s lead in the 36th minute as they looked on course to give their supporters something to cheer after a disappointing season on the whole for Serie A’s most successful side.
Juve took their foot off the gas in the second half, however, with Alex Sandro’s own goal six minutes after the break giving Lazio hope of getting something from the match.
The visitors did not look like they had another goal in them, with Juve coach Massimiliano Allegri taking Dybala off to allow him his moment of applause before he too leaves the club.
But Milinkovic-Savic had the final say, with the last kick of the game, to ensure Lazio in fifth cannot be caught by Fiorentina in seventh, so a Europa League campaign awaits next term.
“Tonight was a wonderful evening, full of emotions,” Allegri told Sky Sport Italia. “The evening of Chiellini and Dybala.
“A few videos of Chiellini should be sent to our training ground to show how he applies himself. On a personal and human level, he also helped me a lot when I arrived at Juventus. He introduced me to Juventus.
“Dybala was an important player for seven years, I raised him because he was a child and the fans gave him a well-deserved tribute. It would have been nice to finish with a win for them, but tonight’s game sums up our year – we need to get used to winning again.”
(Reporting by Peter HallEditing by Christian Radnedge)