When a run of consecutive league wins without conceding a goal like the one Juventus are currently enjoying is as long as six, it becomes clear that prowess rather than chance is the key.
And one of the stalwart contributors to the defensive solidarity that has been the foundation of so many clean sheets is Andrea Barzagli, who was also one of the stars of the show at the Castagna d’Oro award ceremony today.
For the third consecutive year, and this time together with Arturo Vidal, the 32-year-old defender took part in the 29th edition of the event organised by Juventus Club Mottarone.
Speaking at Baveno, on the shores of Lake Maggiore, Barzagli offered his assessment of the Bianconeri’s current form, starting with yesterday’s 1-0 triumph against Udinese.
He began: “It was a crucial win which arrived in the last minute of a difficult match. We did well and were fortunate to believe in ourselves.
“Udinese proved themselves to be in a better physical condition than us, and they made us suffer on two occasions when Gigi made the difference.”
Gigi Buffon was another hero of the victory over the Zebrette, keeping a clean-sheet to ensure that the last time Juve’s captain conceded in the league - 550 minutes of action ago against Fiorentina - has by now become a distant memory. It was that 4-2 away loss against the Viola, Barzagli believes, that has been a catalyst for bouncing back stronger defensively than ever.
“At the beginning we conceded quite a few goals, even though not necessarily more than in other years, perhaps more because of lapses in concentration than anything.
“But after the Fiorentina game we’ve rediscovered that defensive solidarity which is fundamental to winning in Italy."
Despite the side’s seemingly unstoppable form of late, the Tuscany-born defender showed that his feet are still firmly on the ground when posed the idea that Juventus are running away with it in Serie A.
“It’s to early to talk of that, we’re still at the beginning. Roma have done extraordinary things so far, and we’ve done well to keep up with them and then overtake. But the road ahead is long, and we’re already concentrating on Friday’s game in Bologna.”
It’s a long road which, for the next few games, Antonio Conte’s men will now have to face without Andrea Pirlo, injured in yesterday's match against the Zebrette. But Barzagli insisted that the rest of the squad would rally to double their efforts in the midfield maestro’s absence.
“Andrea is important for us, he’s one of the best in the world and lends us his vast experience. Luckily we have excellent players who can come into the midfield, though there’s nobody like him.
“As a great team, we’ll look to play our own game just the same without him.”