The Bianconeri were 13 points off top spot after a shock 2-1 home defeat to Sassuolo, then lost Federico Chiesa and Mattia De Sciglio to injury, joining Moise Kean and Aaron Ramsey on the sidelines. Daniele Rugani had been tipped to start, but pulled out hours beforehand with gastroenteritis, while Matthijs de Ligt had a slight muscular issue. Hellas took some big scalps at the Bentegodi, beating Roma and Lazio, while Igor Tudor was assistant manager to Andrea Pirlo at Juve last season.
The lack of confidence was evident in the opening minutes, when Danilo panicked and put the ball out for a corner with Wojciech Szczesny ready to gather.
Darko Lazovic tested Szczesny at the near post, as did Alvaro Morata with a cheeky back-heel flick saved by Lorenzo Montipò.
Verona took the lead when Szczesny got his gloves to an Antonin Barak effort, but could do nothing to prevent Simeone scoring on the rebound.
Cholito Simeone scored four goals against Lazio last weekend and picked up right where he left off, netting another moments later. He cut inside from the left and placed a magnificent right-foot curler into the far top corner from outside the box. It was simply unstoppable.
Simeone had the ball in the top corner again after 28 minutes, but the whistle had already gone for Gianluca Caprari’s foul on Arthur.
Paulo Dybala blasted over and Alex Sandro hit the side-netting, then on the stroke of half-time Dybala failed to make the most of a Miguel Veloso error, his curler bouncing off the crossbar.
Dybala aimed another just wide after the restart, then Weston McKennie almost scored with his first touch, at full stretch to meet a free kick at the back post, forcing a one-handed Montipò save.
Verona began to defend deeper and deeper, eventually conceding with 10 minutes to go when McKennie was left in far too much space on the edge of the box to control Danilo’s pass and smash into the roof of the net.
Morata should’ve passed on the counter, but went for goal from an improbable angle, then Nikola Kalinic was inches wide after springing the offside trap on Caprari’s assist to face Szczesny one-on-one.
Verona had taken a 2-0 lead in five of their previous six games, but only won two of them, so the tension was rising at the Bentegodi in the final minutes.
Montipò made a sensational fingertip save to push Dybala’s strike round the near top corner, while Antonin Barak also blasted just over the bar at the other end.
Verona 2-1 Juventus
Simeone 11, 14 (V), McKennie 80 (J)