Juventus beats Verona 1-0 to move into top 4 in Serie A

MILAN (AP) — Despite a bad start to the season, Juventus could end the year in the top four in Serie A.

Moise Kean's goal was enough for Juventus to win 1-0 at bottom club Hellas Verona on Thursday to move third in the league standings, although a win for Lazio at home to Monza later would drop the Bianconeri to fourth.

Juventus hosts Lazio at the weekend in the final round before Serie A stops for the World Cup and the traditional winter break.

It was Juve’s fifth straight league victory after winning just three of its opening nine Serie A matches. Massimiliano Allegri’s side was also eliminated from the Champions League after the group stage.

Verona remained five points from safety after a ninth straight defeat.

Despite Verona’s poor form, Juventus struggled at the start and it was the home side which went closest to taking the lead, with the Bianconeri failing to create any real scoring opportunities.

However, Juventus finally broke the deadlock on the hour mark when Adrien Rabiot threaded a ball through to Kean and his shot was deflected in off Verona defender Paweł Dawidowicz.

Verona thought it had been given a chance to snatch a late equalizer when it was awarded a penalty for contact between Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci and home forward Simone Verdi, seven minutes from time. But referee Marco Di Bello revoked his decision after reviewing the incident on the pitchside monitor.

Juventus defender Alex Sandro was sent off in stoppage time for fouling Kevin Lasagna just outside the area, denying Verona a clear goalscoring opportunity.

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Daniella Matar, The Associated Press