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Embattled Juventus moves atop Serie A for 1st time in more than 3 years

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ROME, Italy — Embattled Juventus is back atop Serie A for the first time in more than three years.

Substitute Andrea Cambiaso scored seven minutes into stoppage time for his first goal with Juventus to earn the record 36-time Italian champion a 1-0 win over visiting Hellas Verona on Saturday.

Having controlled throughout, Juventus finally found the target when Cambiaso knocked the ball in from close range after an effort from Arkadiusz Milik hit the post.

Juventus, which won nine straight titles between 2012 and 2020, was last in first place on Aug. 1, 2020 — 1,183 days ago and a run of nearly 125 matches — under Maurizio Sarri.

“These are three important points that add continuity after the game in Milan,” Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri said, referring to a 1-0 win at Milan last weekend.

The top of the standings could change on Sunday, however, when both Milan clubs have a chance to move back ahead of Juventus.

Inter Milan, which is one point behind Juventus, hosts Roma and former Nerazzurri striker Romelu Lukaku. AC Milan, which is two points back, visits defending champion Napoli.

Juventus was penalized 10 points for false accounting last season and has had midfielders Nicolò Fagioli and Paul Pogba banned for betting and doping, respectively, this season.

Juventus was also banned by UEFA from the Conference League this season due to the false accounting scandal.

Juventus dominated Saturday but Moise Kean had two goals waved off following VAR reviews — the first for offside and the second for a foul by the Bianconeri striker.

Besides Kean’s efforts, Juventus substitute Federico Chiesa had a dangerous shot tipped over the bar by Verona goalkeeper Lorenzo Montipò and then Verona captain Davide Faraoni cleared another shot from Chiesa off the line.

MILINKOVIC-SAVIC’S SAVES

Seventh-place Bologna drew 1-1 at Sassuolo in a regional derby as Joshua Zirkzee and Daniel Boloca traded goals. Bologna has drawn all five of its away matches.

Torino won 1-0 at Lecce with a first-half goal from Alessandro Buongiorno as goalkeeper Vanja Milinkovic-Savic made six saves for a fifth clean sheet. Only Marcin Bulka (seven) and Yann Sommer (six) have kept more clean sheets in Europe’s five biggest leagues this season.

Source: AP soccer