20.05.2024 23:00 h

Juventus score three late goals to salvage draw at Bologna

In a match that might have been a test of Thiago Motta's credentials to take over Juventus, his Bologna team made a blazing start but collapsed at the end and drew 3-3 with the Turin giants on Monday.

Former Italy midfielder Motta's contract with Bologna, where the 41-year-old has been since 2022, expires at the end of the season.

His team have been a revelation this season and are already qualified for next season's Champions League.

Monday's draw preserved third place, ahead of Juventus on tiebreak.

Juventus playing their first match since Massimiliano Allegri was fired following a spectacular tantrum as his team won the Italian Cup last week, started in a daze.

After two minutes, Riccardo Calafiori side-footed into the roof of net as the ball dropped to him in space following a corner.

On 11 minutes, Argentinian Santiago Castro, a 19-year-old making his first Serie A start, headed in at the near post. The only challenge he had to survive was from teenage team-mate Kacper Urbanski, also eager to nod in from close range.

With Juventus seemingly uninterested in running or tackling, unmarked Jens Odgaard then smashed home a 13th-rebound but was deemed offside.

Juventus showed more bite after their half-time encounter with interim coach Paolo Montero, the former Uruguay defender who had been managing the club's Under-19 team.

With the visitors pressing, Castro pinched the ball in midfield in the 53rd minute and launched a Bologna counter-attack. It finished with centre back Calafiori running in alone on goal and chipping Wojciech Szczesny.

After both coaches made five changes, Bologna imploded in five chaotic minutes.

Federico Chiesa pounced on an error by Jhon Lucumi to pull a goal back for Juventus after 76 minutes.

Motta had taken off both goalscorers. Montero, it turned out, had sent on two.

Substitute Arkadiusz Milik added the second for the visitors from a deflected free kick after 83 minutes. A minute later another replacement Kenan Yildiz skipped through the home defence and levelled.

Montero danced in the rain on the touchline.

He is in charge for the last two games of the season.

Motta has been rumoured for weeks to be joining Juve next season, with Allegri's sacking on Friday only heightening the speculation.

"I haven't decided, nor signed anything," Motta told reporters ahead of Monday night's game.

"Next week I'll sit down with the president (Joey Saputo) to take a decision together. Then we will make an announcement together.

Allegri was sent off in the final minutes of last Wednesday's 1-0 Cup Final win against Atalanta for ranting at match officials and is also alleged to have manhandled threatened the chief editor of newspaper Tuttosport.

The 56-year-old won 12 trophies, including five Serie A titles, and reached two Champions League finals with Juventus over two spells as manager.