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Juventus throw away two-goal lead to draw with Sassuolo

Juve’s winless run stretched to three matches.

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Cristiano Ronaldo’s fine goalscoring run ended as Juventus were held to a 3-3 draw at Sassuolo (Massimo Paolone/LaPresse via AP)

Cristiano Ronaldo’s fine goalscoring run ended as Juventus were held to a 3-3 draw at Sassuolo (Massimo Paolone/LaPresse via AP)

Cristiano Ronaldo’s fine goalscoring run ended as Juventus were held to a 3-3 draw at Sassuolo (Massimo Paolone/LaPresse via AP)

Juventus’ march towards a ninth successive Serie A title suffered another setback after they were held to a 3-3 draw in a helter-skelter clash with Sassuolo.

Maurizio Sarri’s men raced into a two-goal lead inside 12 minutes after Barcelona-bound midfielder Miralem Pjanic teed-up goals for Danilo and Gonzalo Higuain.

But the hosts battled back and, after Filip Djuricic halved the deficit before the break, went ahead through two goals in four second-half minutes from Domenico Berardi and Francesco Caputo.

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Gonzalo Higuain, second right, put Juventus 2-0 ahead against Sassuolo (Massimo Paolone/LaPresse via AP)

Gonzalo Higuain, second right, put Juventus 2-0 ahead against Sassuolo (Massimo Paolone/LaPresse via AP)

AP/PA Images

Gonzalo Higuain, second right, put Juventus 2-0 ahead against Sassuolo (Massimo Paolone/LaPresse via AP)

Alex Sandro levelled 26 minutes from time but Juve, who saw Cristiano Ronaldo fail to score for the first time in seven matches, were unable to find a winner.

The Turin club sit seven points clear of second-placed Atalanta following a third successive game without victory and have five fixtures remaining.

Third-placed Lazio are eight points adrift of the leaders after being held to a goalless draw at Udinese.

Elsewhere, Roma remain on course for a Europa League spot after securing a third win in a row by beating Verona 2-1.

Jordan Veretout’s penalty and a header from Edin Dzeko put the hosts in control at Stadio Olimpico, with Matteo Pessina pulling one back just after the interval.

Seventh-placed AC Milan overturned a half-time deficit to boost their hopes of qualifying for Europe with a 3-1 success over Parma at the San Siro.

Goals from Franck Kessie, Alessio Romagnoli and Hakan Calhanoglu secured victory following Jasmin Kurtic’s 44th-minute opener.

Coppa Italia winners Napoli, who are already guaranteed Europa League qualification, were forced to settle for a 1-1 draw at mid-table Bologna.

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Kostas Manolas, left, put Napoli ahead against Bologna (Filippo Rubin/LaPresse via AP)

Kostas Manolas, left, put Napoli ahead against Bologna (Filippo Rubin/LaPresse via AP)

AP/PA Images

Kostas Manolas, left, put Napoli ahead against Bologna (Filippo Rubin/LaPresse via AP)

Greece defender Kostas Manolas headed the visitors into an early lead but, after veteran Bologna striker Rodrigo Palacio had a goal disallowed for offside, Gambia international Musa Barrow equalised 10 minutes from time.

Struggling Lecce’s hopes of avoiding relegation were dealt a blow following a 3-1 home loss to Fiorentina.

Federico Chiesa, Rachid Ghezzal and Patrick Cutrone struck first-half goals for the Florence club before Yevhen Shakhov claimed a late consolation for the 18th-placed hosts. Fiorentina defender Erick Pulgar also missed a first-half penalty.

In Wednesday’s other game, Federico Bonazzoli’s double and a goal from former Southampton striker Manolo Gabbiadini gave Sampdoria a comfortable 3-0 success over Cagliari.

PA