Dybala helps Roma to 1-1 draw on his return to Juventus

MILAN (AP) — Roma forward Paulo Dybala returned to Juventus and helped in the equalizer though his new team lost its perfect start to Serie A on Saturday and it could have been much worse for José Mourinho’s side.

Dušan Vlahović scored after just 76 seconds and Juventus appeared to be in firm control until Tammy Abraham’s 69th-minute leveller.

“After the first half I was embarrassed for my guys, I told them in the dressing room that I was embarrassed to be their coach, I was praying in the first 30 minutes that the first half would end with us only one goal down,” Mourinho said.

The 1-1 draw marked Roma’s first dropped points after opening the season with two wins. Napoli, which plays at Fiorentina on Sunday, is the only team left in Serie A with a perfect record.

It was an emotional return for Dybala, who cried at his final home match for Juventus in May.

“I am going to go in the changing room and give him a hug,” Abraham said. “It’s difficult for him, coming back to his old team and his old stadium.

“I am sure it’s emotional for him, especially getting an assist — but luckily that assist was for me!”

Dybala spent seven years at Juventus, scoring 115 goals and helping the Bianconeri to 12 trophies, including five Serie A titles.

But the often-injured Argentina forward fell out of favor under coach Massimiliano Allegri after Juventus signed Vlahović in January. He left the Turin club when his contract ran out, joining Roma in July.

Dybala was applauded by the Juventus fans when his name was read out during the warmup, and they implored him just before kickoff to give them a wave, which he did. He was also applauded off when he was substituted in the 77th minute. He’s still in search of his first goal for his new club.

Juventus was looking for a reaction after a drab 0-0 draw at Sampdoria on Monday and it immediately got it when Vlahović curled in a free kick off the underside of the bar with his first touch of the ball.

The Bianconeri were dominating and forced Roma goalkeeper Rui Patrício into two fantastic saves in the following 15 minutes.

They thought they doubled their lead in the 26th but Manuel Locatelli’s goal was ruled out because of a Vlahović handball.

Vlahović also had chances to double his tally shortly before halftime with two free kicks from similar distance to the one he scored from, but one was saved and the other flew narrowly over the bar.

Roma levelled when Dybala acrobatically volleyed a corner back across goal for Abraham to head into the center of the net.

The visitors almost snatched a late winner following another corner but Juventus new signing Arkadiusz Milik cleared the shot off the line.

GIROUD’S BACK

Olivier Giroud scored his first goal of the season on his first start to help defending champion AC Milan beat Bologna 2-0.

Giroud had been fit for only appearances off the bench in Milan’s two previous matches as he recovered from a muscular problem.

The veteran forward started on Saturday and scored a fantastic goal in the 58th minute with an acrobatic volley after Rafael Leão floated the ball over.

Leão scored the opener in the 21st minute, slotting the ball in at the near post following a fantastic assist from new signing Charles De Ketelaere.

Giroud’s double in the final match of last season clinched Milan its first Serie A title in 11 years.

STILL SEARCHING

Cremonese lost at home to Torino 2-1 to leave it still looking for its first points in its first season back in the top-flight since 1996.

Sassuolo drew at Spezia 2-2.

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