Bonucci nets double as Juventus edge out Venezia

Juventus' Italian defender Leonardo Bonucci (L) celebrates with Juventus' French midfielder Adrien Rabiot after scoring his team second goal during the Italian Serie A football match between Juventus and Venezia at the Juventus stadium in Turin, on May 1, 2022.

A double from veteran defender Leonardo Bonucci earned Juventus a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Venezia in Serie A on Sunday to all-but secure Champions League football for next season.

The hosts made a lightning start in Turin as Luca Pellegrini thundered an effort against the crossbar before Bonucci marked his 35th birthday with the opening goal in the seventh minute.

Bottom side Venezia, who sacked their coach Paolo Zanetti in midweek, responded well, and went close to a first-half leveler, but Thomas Henry's header flew just wide.

The visitors kept coming in the second half and got the equaliser they deserved when Mattia Aramu arrowed a strike into the net in the 71st minute, with the Juventus defenders arguing among themselves in the aftermath.

With Juve looking all out of ideas up front, it was left to Bonucci once more to prod home the winner from close range 14 minutes from time.

The victory helped Juve move to within a point of Napoli in third and crucially 10 clear of Lazio in fifth. Venezia stay bottom on 22 points, six adrift of the safety zone.

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