Rabiot steers Juventus past Roma to cut gap at the top

Adrien Rabiot's second-half goal earned Juventus a 1-0 home win against AS Roma that took his side within two points of leaders Inter Milan in Serie A on Saturday.

Juve got the breakthrough two minutes after half-time when Frenchman Rabiot was left unmarked as he collected a flick from Dusan Vlahovic inside the box and calmly slotted home.

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Juve finish the year in second place with 43 points from 18 games behind Inter, who drew 1-1 at Genoa on Friday and have 45. Jose Mourinho's Roma are seventh with 28 points.

"It was a good game, because playing against Roma is never easy, especially when Mourinho is on the opposition bench," Juve manager Massimiliano Allegri told DAZN.

"At this moment, I think we are in good shape physically, the last three days of training were good too and we had some impressive passing moves today.

"We gave the ball away a bit too often and need to work on that, but above all on the diagonal passes and how to play out from the back."

Adrien Rabiot's goal ensured Juventus ended 2023 on a high note.
Emmanuele Ciancaglini/Ciancaphoto Studio/Getty Images

Roma displayed their attacking intent early as Bryan Cristante's volley was deflected on to the post.

Roma, who have staged several late comebacks to pick up points this season, struggled to create chances after going behind.

The hosts went close to extending their lead but Weston McKennie missed a clear chance from point-blank range as keeper Rui Patrício saved with his feet.

Federico Chiesa thought he had wrapped up the win after receiving a deflected ball inside the box and turning it into the net but he was flagged offside.

"We talked about this before the game and we created really more than anyone expected against a defensive wall in Turin," Mourinho told DAZN.

"I am very happy with the way we approached the game strategically, very happy with the character shown by my team, but it's about points and we didn't get the result."

Roma are five points behind Fiorentina in fourth and in a fight to qualify for the Champions League.

"If we get there, it would be absolutely fantastic, considering our conditions and limitations. If you do not dream, you will never get there," Mourinho said.

Roma host Cremonese in the Coppa Italia round of 16 on Jan. 3. Juve entertain Salernitana in the same competition the next day.