Juventus eke out 2-1 win

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October 19, 2017
Juventus' Mario Mandzukic, centre, celebrates after scoring during their Champions League Group D match against Sporting Lisbon, at the Allianz stadium in Turin, Italy, yesterday.

TURIN, Italy (AP):

Juventus' defensive frailties were again exposed as they laboured to a 2-1 win at home to Sporting Lisbon in the Champions League yesterday.

Mario Mandzukic scored the winner six minutes from time after free-kick specialist Miralem Pjanic had cancelled out an own-goal by Juventus defender Alex Sandro in the first half.

Juventus, who have reached the final twice in the last three seasons, remained three points behind Group D leader Barcelona after the Spanish side beat Olympiakos 3-1. It moved three points above Sporting.

"It's a period in which we're not playing brilliantly, we have had injuries and some players haven't come back in good shape after the international break," Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri said. "We need to remain focused. What we did last year is in the past."

Allegri's side had dropped points in its previous two Serie A matches and made a series of errors in a 2-1 home loss to Lazio last Saturday.

Juventus have struggled defensively this season following the departures of Leonardo Bonucci and Dani Alves, and Sporting stunned the Allianz Stadium by going in front in the 12th minute.

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