Ronaldo-less Juve held at Benevento

Christian Maggio of Benevento and Alvaro Morata of Juventus Turin battle for the ball during the Serie A match between Benevento Calcio and Juventus at Stadio Ciro Vigorito on November 28, 2020 in Benevento, Italy.

Juventus again showed their reliance on Cristiano Ronaldo as, with the superstar attacker absent, they drew 1-1 at promoted Benevento on Saturday, while Serie A title rivals Inter Milan beat high-flying Sassuolo 3-0 to move second.

The champions' fifth draw in nine league matches leaves Andrea Pirlo's side fifth, three points behind leaders AC Milan who face Fiorentina on Sunday.

Ronaldo did not play after scoring in Juventus's 2-1 victory over Ferencvaros on Tuesday which sealed their berth in the Champions League last 16.

"Every team is addicted to Ronaldo, even at Real Madrid he scored a lot," said Pirlo, describing the Portuguese star as "a catalyst".

"He is an important player and it's normal that he makes you win games, but even without Ronaldo we have to be good at winning games."

Alvaro Morata and Paulo Dybala started up front in Ronaldo's absence, which Pirlo put down to "tiredness".

"(Ronaldo) had a little problem and he wanted to play anyway in the Champions League.

"He had played many games with the national team, it is normal for him to get tired and rest."

Morata, who scored the late winner on Tuesday, opened the scoring in the 21st minute after collecting Federico Chiesa's cross-pitch pass to bring his tally to eight goals in all competitions this season.

Gaetano Letizia's volley just before the break earned a point for 13th-placed Benevento.

Dybala wasted chances to score his first league goal this season, including one four minutes from time when goalkeeper Lorenzo Montipo tipped over the bar.

Morata also missed opportunities to rescue Juventus before being shown a red card after the final whistle for arguing with the referee.

"When we lack players of experience and personality, we struggle," added Pirlo, also without injured defenders Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci.

In Bergamo, Atalanta crashed 2-0 to Hellas Verona days after their Champions League win by the same scoreline at Liverpool.

The Anfield game was Gian Piero Gasperini's side's only win in five matches, and they slipped to ninth in Serie A, six points off top spot.

Miguel Veloso put Verona ahead from the penalty spot after an hour with Atalanta goalkeeper Pierluigi Gollini limping off minutes later.

Mattia Zaccagni fired in the second seven minutes from time as Verona move sixth after their fourth win of the season.

A minute's silence was observed before all games in memory of Diego Maradona with a photo of the former Argentina and Napoli star projected on giant screens in the 10th minute, as players stopped to applaud.

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