Inter let Juventus off the hook as tired Ronaldo stays home

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Inter Milan forward Romelu Lukaku has scored six goals in nine Serie A games.
Inter Milan forward Romelu Lukaku has scored six goals in nine Serie A games.

Cristiano Ronaldo stayed at home as Juventus battled to a 1-1 stalemate at lowly Lecce on Saturday, but the defending champions still stay top in Serie A as nearest rivals Inter Milan later drew 2-2 with Parma.

Both goals in Lecce came from penalties with Paulo Dybala’s strike from the spot after 50 minutes cancelled out by Marco Mancosu’s six minutes later as the promoted southerners grabbed their first point at home this season.

Juventus have 23 points from nine games, one more than Antonio Conte’s Inter, who let the champions off the hook to stay second.

Ronaldo did not make the trip to the heel of Italy after Tuesday’s 2-1 Champions League win over Lokomotiv Moscow, and ahead of two Serie A matches in four days next week.

“Ronaldo was tired both physically and mentally, so it would not have helped to make this journey,” said Juventus coach Maurizio Sarri.

“When a player expresses his fatigue, it was only right to give him a rest.

“Even without him we created ten chances on goal, but weren’t able to finish them off. We let ourselves be drawn into a dirty game.”

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