Juventus failed to win for the first time in 13 Serie A matches as lowly SPAL earned a 0-0 draw at Stadio Paolo Mazza on Saturday.
Heavily favoured to strengthen their grip on the Scudetto against the relegation-threatened Biancazzurri, Juve could instead have their lead trimmed back to two points on Sunday when Napoli host Genoa.
Alex Sandro's early blocked shot and a marginally misdirected Paulo Dybala free-kick were the best of few opportunities extracted from the plucky hosts.
SPAL had begun with the confidence of a team unbeaten in their previous three outings and richly deserved the point that moves them out of the bottom three.
Juve, conversely, looked heavy-legged in their fourth match in 11 days and struggled to produce anything that would cause concern Real Madrid, their Champions League quarter-final opponents.
Massimiliano Allegri's side did manage to equal their own Serie A record of 10 consecutive clean sheets – last achieved in 2015-16 – but it will be scant consolation as the door creaks open for Napoli.
0- Juventus haven't found the net in a competitive match played on the road for the first time since last September, against Barcelona. Stop. #SpalJuve— OptaPaolo (@OptaPaolo) March 17, 2018
Alex Sandro returned to the starting XI in an advanced role and the move almost paid off early, with only a sliding Filippo Costa denying him a clear sight of goal.
Gonzalo Higuain and Paulo Dybala soon tried their luck without success, while Daniele Rugani was capably managing SPAL's encouraging incursions.
Juve had scored twice by the 22nd minute in the last meeting between these teams, which ended 4-1 to the Turin club, but there was to be no early breakthrough on this occasion as the hosts held their shape beyond the half hour.
Kwadwo Asamoah sliced over the crossbar before a curling Dybala free-kick brushed the top of the net as the opening period edged to a close without the expected opener from a slightly off-colour Bianconeri.
Douglas Costa set a more enterprising tone after the restart with a firm left-footed effort that was palmed away by Alex Meret.
Dybala – overlooked by Jorge Sampaoli for the latest Argentina squad – next fired wide and, with scores still level by the hour, Allegri ushered Mario Mandzukic off the bench to replace Asamoah.
The visitors' command of possession passed 60 per cent amid their constant probing for the all-important winner, but they were frustrated in their attempts as a Mandzukic header in the 82nd minute failed to trouble Meret.
Instead, SPAL remained compact and held on for a precious point, just their fourth they have managed against Juve at Stadio Paolo Mazza since 1957.
Key Opta facts:
- Juventus failed to score for the first time since December (v Inter) in Serie A.
- Juve have equalled the record of 10 consecutive clean sheets in Serie A, established by the Bianconeri in March 2016.
- SPAL are now a streak of four Serie A games without a loss, which represents their best run of the season.
|Liverpool enjoying best start in 57 years after PSG win|
|Galatasaray 3 Lokomotiv Moscow 0: Terim´s side make light work of Russians|
|Club Brugge 0 Borussia Dortmund 1: Super sub Pulisic scores late winner|
|Schalke 1 Porto 1: Fahrmann saves one penalty, but Otavio scores another|
|Red Star Belgrade 0 Napoli 0: Points shared as Italians fail to make possession pay|
|Liverpool 3 Paris Saint-Germain 2: Firmino strikes late as Reds edge five-goal thriller|
|Monaco 1 Atletico Madrid 2: Costa and Gimenez seal comfortable win|
|Chaos reigns in Serie B as league denies suspension claim|
|India secure Asia Cup victory despite valiant Hong Kong effort|
|Messi makes "extraordinary routine", says Valverde after Barca star surpasses Ronaldo|
|Spalletti´s Inter to take heart from Tottenham turnaround|
|Casillas features in landmark 20th Champions League campaign|
|Spurs deserved more from best performance of the season - Pochettino|
|Brown absent from Steelers facility on Monday due to ´personal matter´|
|Toronto´s Bussey given eight-match biting ban|
|Barcelona 4 PSV 0: Marvellous Messi lights up Camp Nou|
|Inter 2 Tottenham 1: Icardi, Vecino complete dramatic late turnaround|
|Allegri, Chiellini defend Costa over spitting ban|
|Firmino only fit enough for bench duty|
|Kovac applauds Sanches ahead of Benfica homecoming|
|Tomlin confirms Steelers WR Brown was absent from facility on Monday|
|Mourinho tells United to follow Federer´s lead amid Young Boys pitch concerns|
|Costa banned for four Serie A matches for spitting|
|PGA Tour announces changes to FedEx Cup Playoffs format|
|Rashford to start against Young Boys, Mourinho confirms|
|Ryder Cup heading to Congressional in 2036|
|I never listen to stupid things - De Gea unconcerned by criticism|
|Aguero trains as Mendy sits out Man City session|
|Lampard fined after accepting improper conduct charge|
|Serie B suspended after Pro Vercelli win appeal|
|Mitchell returns to England as defence coach|
|Brady completes Cornet upset in Guangzhou|
|Lopetegui giving no guarantees to ´fighter´ Navas|
|Di Francesco denies racially abusing Costa|
|Saunders apologises for ´sickening´ online video|
|Tianjin Quanjian 0 Kashima Antlers 3 (0-5 agg): Semi-final spot booked in resounding fashion|
|Madrid cannot live on Ronaldo´s glories, warns Ramos|
|Real Madrid are Champions League favourites, insists Man City coach Arteta|
|Stokes & Hales charged with bringing game into disrepute|
|Stephens slips to Vekic defeat in Tokyo|
|Simeone should teach Griezmann values - Ramos questions Ballon d´Or ambition|
|Arteta ready to step into Guardiola´s shoes after missing out on Arsenal job|
|Naive or scheming - Ozil´s agent slams Kroos, Neuer and Muller|
|Bolton´s Darby forced to retire after Motor Neurone Disease diagnosis|
|Root vows dressing support for Moeen over Ashes abuse claims|
|Madrid more dangerous without Ronaldo - Dani Alves|
|Federer fires ominous Djokovic warning to rivals|
|Arsenal confirm Gazidis departure to Milan|
|Man´s best friend? D´Arcy Short ruled out by dog bite|
|Salah has strong bond with ´friend´ Klopp|
|Mistakes were made in Serena´s US Open row - Federer|
|Burgess wants ´truth to come out´ over lewd video allegations|
|Injury brings premature end to Sharapova´s season|
|The next one´s mine - Griezmann underlines Champions League desire|
|A novice coach and a solar-powered stadium – who are Champions League debutants Young Boys?|
|Free-scoring Liverpool and PSG do battle, Kane eyes elite club - Champions League in Opta numbers|
|Braves fall to Cardinals, still move closer to clinching NL East|
|Mack leads Bears past Seahawks|
|Maradona makes winning start in Mexico|
|Barcelona captaincy has changed Messi, says Bartomeu|
|Lithuania qualify for FIBA World Cup after double-overtime win|
|Yelich makes history with another cycle|
|Silva: PSG, Liverpool have world´s two best attacks|
|It´s like a cow seeing a train – Pochettino uses unusual analogy to talk experience|
|Brady discusses Patriots´ trade for Gordon|
|Bills coach McDermott hasn´t spoken to Davis, says he ´didn´t feel a need´|
|Coutinho can´t explain Barcelona´s Champions League struggles|
|Henderson: Run to final can inspire Liverpool in Champions League|
|Eriksen: Everyone expects Kane to score a hat-trick every game|
|Gruden doesn´t regret decision to trade Mack|