Belotti scores his first Serie A goals for Roma in draw with Salernitana
MILAN (AP) — Andrea Belotti finally scored his first league goals for Roma but they weren't enough to help José Mourinho’s team win its Serie A opener after it was held 2-2 by Salernitana on Sunday.
It could have been worse for Roma as it appeared to be heading for a loss following two impressive goals from Antonio Candreva before Belotti netted a late equalizer.
Roma's city rival Lazio also dropped points as two late goals saw it lose 2-1 at Lecce. Juventus won 3-0 at Udinese, while Atalanta beat Sassuolo 2-0.
Serie A champion Napoli and Inter Milan won on Saturday AC Milan visits Bologna on Monday.
Mourinho was suspended for the match at the Stadio Olimpico as was star Roma forward Paulo Dybala and Lorenzo Pellegrini.
That saw Belotti given a rare start and he thought he had finally netted his first league goal for Roma — after a year at the club — but his seventh-minute strike was ruled out by the video assistant referee for a tight offside decision.
However, Belotti didn’t have to wait much longer as barely 10 minutes later he brought down Diego Llorente's ball over the top, rounded Salernitana defender Norbert Gyömbér and beat Guillermo Ochoa from 12 yards.
Ochoa pulled off a great save in the 33rd minute to prevent Roma from doubling its lead as he kept out Chris Smalling's header from close range.
And Salernitana equalized three minutes later. Candreva started the action near the halfway line and then burst forward, collected a pass from Federico Fazio and turned Smalling inside out before firing into the roof of the net.
Candreva’s second goal, four minutes after the break, was even more impressive as the 36-year-old controlled a cross-field pass and twisted his way past Bryan Cristante to curl a precise and powerful strike into the top far corner.
Salernitana appeared to be heading for a first-ever win over Roma before Belotti headed in a corner with eight minutes remaining.
Juventus put a miserable season behind it with a 3-0 statement victory at Udinese.
Federico Chiesa opened the scoring in the second minute. Dušan Vlahović's penalty and Adrien Rabiot's header in stoppage time gave Juventus a comfortable lead at the interval.
Vlahović also had a late goal ruled out for offside.
Hardly anything went right for Juventus last season. It was hit with a 10-point penalty for legal issues stemming from a false-accounting case and finished seventh. It was then also given a UEFA ban that will keep it out of the Europa Conference League.
DE KETELAERE OFF THE MARK
Charles De Ketelaere netted his first goal in Italian soccer on his Atalanta debut.
De Ketelaere had joined Atalanta on loan after a disappointing season at AC Milan following a big-money move from Belgian club Brugge.
The Belgium international, who had earlier hit the crossbar, headed in the opener seven minutes from time. Nadir Zortea sealed the result in stoppage time.
Lazio appeared to be heading for victory following a strike from Ciro Immobile in the 26th minute. But Lecce leveled through Pontus Almqvist with five minutes remaining before Federico Di Francesco scored the winner two minutes later.
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