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Juventus survive early scare to beat Benevento 2-1

photo by AP photo

Toronto FC forward Sebastian Giovinco (10) goes down as he is brushed by New York Red Bulls defender Michael Murillo (62) during first-half MLS soccer game action in Toronto on Sunday.

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07th-Nov-2017       
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AP, Milan :
Last-place Benevento threatened a major shock in Turin before Juventus eventually fought back to win 2-1 Sunday and close the gap on leader Napoli in Serie A.
Benevento had not picked up a single point in its previous 11 league games - the worst start in the division's history - but took a surprise lead through Amato Ciciretti in the 19th minute.
That lead lasted nearly 40 minutes before Gonzalo Higuain leveled. Juan Cuadrado scored what was to prove the winner in the 65th.
"We went behind with the only shot we allowed our opponents, but we kept our heads. It seemed like a cursed match, the ball didn't want to go in, but we managed to turn it around," Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri said.
"The season is long, we have to maintain the speed of a cruise ship because too many ups and downs are not positive. It will be a battle right until the final day."
Juventus moved into second spot, a point behind Napoli, which was held 0-0 at Chievo Verona.
Inter slipped to third, two points behind Napoli, after drawing 1-1 at home to Torino.
Lazio was four points behind Napoli after its home match against Udinese was postponed because of heavy rain in the Italian capital.
Juventus was expected to sweep aside bottom Benevento and celebrate this week's 120th anniversary of the club's foundation.
The hosts hit the woodwork twice early but Benevento, which had scored just four goals all season, took the lead when Ciciretti curled a stunning free kick around the wall and into the bottom left corner.
Juventus wasted several chances before eventually finding the equalizer in the 57th. Blaise Matuidi headed Mattia De Sciglio's cross back to Higuain, who volleyed into the top right corner.
And the Bianconeri turned the match around completely eight minutes later when Cuadrado met Alex Sandro's cross from the left with a downward header at the far post.
Napoli dropped points for only the second time this season, unable to find a way past a solid Chievo team in a 0-0 stalemate.
Maurizio Sarri's team was eager to bounce back from Wednesday's 4-2 defeat to Manchester City and almost certain Champions League elimination.

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