TURIN ⸺ Two goals from Alvaro Morata helped Juventus come from behind to beat Lazio 3-1 in Serie A on Saturday, closing the gap on leaders Inter Milan to seven points.
Joaquin Correa capitalised on an underhit backpass from Juve’s Dejan Kulusevski before finishing well to give the visitors a surprise 14th-minute lead.
With Cristiano Ronaldo on the bench, the champions struggled to create any real openings until Adrien Rabiot scored a rare Serie A goal, firing into the roof of the net from a tight angle six minutes before the break to level.
Sergej Milinkovic-Savic almost put Lazio back ahead but was denied by the crossbar, and Juve capitalised by edging ahead through a fine Morata finish in the 57th minute.
Three minutes later, Morata slotted home from the penalty spot after Aaron Ramsey had been fouled to make sure of a win that moved Juve on to 52 points, one behind AC Milan in second.
Milan and Inter are in action on Sunday and Monday respectively.
A third defeat in four league games dented Lazio’s top-four hopes, with Simone Inzaghi’s men down in seventh on 43 points, six behind fourth-placed Atalanta.
“We played a great game after the goal conceded from our mistake,” Juve’s Federico Chiesa told DAZN. “After the draw in Verona (last weekend) something clicked.
“From now on every match is a final. Let’s play like this if we want to win the Scudetto.”
With a Champions League last 16 second leg against Porto to come in midweek, Ronaldo was rested by coach Andrea Pirlo, and without Serie A’s top scorer, Juve looked flat in attack.
After Correa had superbly guided home his third league goal of the season, the visitors looked comfortable with their lead.
Out of the blue, however, Rabiot stunned Lazio goalkeeper Pepe Reina, beating him at his near post to score only his second goal in all competitions this season.
The hosts got lucky as Milinkovic-Savic’s brilliant turn and strike hit the woodwork, but there was nothing fortunate about Morata’s first goal as Juve countered at pace before the Spanish striker hammered home.
Milinkovic-Savic clumsily bundled Welshman Ramsey over to present Morata with the chance to seal the win, which he coolly converted to give his side hope of catching Inter and making it 10 titles in a row.
Reporting by Peter Hall, editing by Ed Osmond; Reuters