TURIN, Italy (AP) — Massimiliano Allegri’s job at Juventus could be on the line — again.
Allegri, who was fired by the club three years ago, returned as Juventus coach last year but his team may be heading for another early Champions League exit after losing 2-1 at home to Benfica on Wednesday.
A João Mário penalty and a David Neres goal, either side of halftime, canceled out Arkadiusz Milik’s early opener and consigned Juventus to its second straight defeat in the competition after a 2-1 loss at Paris Saint-Germain last week. It is the first time Juventus has lost its first two Champions League matches.
Juventus, which has also only won two of its opening six matches in Serie A, was booed off the field at full time.
The Italian team started well on Wednesday as it took the lead with less than four minutes on the clock when two of its new signings combined with Milik heading in a Leandro Paredes free kick.
However, it started to fade and Benfica had several chances to equalize, notably when a Rafa Silva strike came off the right post six minutes from halftime.
The visitors did level shortly after when Juventus midfielder Fabio Miretti caught Gonçalo Ramos on the foot by the byline of the area and João Mário struck the resulting penalty into the roof of the net.
And Benfica turned the match around completely 10 minutes into the second half. Juventus goalkeeper Mattia Perin did brilliantly to parry Rafa Silva’s fierce effort but could do nothing to keep out Neres’ followup.
The only positive note for Juventus was Ángel Di María coming on as a substitute as he continues his return from injury.
He hit the post in the 71st minute and also had a hand in creating a goal for Dušan Vlahović seven minutes from time but it was ruled out for offside.
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The Associated Press