29.09.2013 14:44 - in: Serie A S

    Juve extend derby day dominance

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    Paul Pogba’s second-half header secures local bragging rights over rivals Torino and extends the Bianconeri’s sensational record in Derby Della Mole meetings

    A second-half Paul Pogba header enabled the Bianconeri to continue their imperious form against Torino and make it five wins out of six from an unbeaten start to this season’s title defence.

    The hosts last claimed local bragging rights back in 1995 and, despite matching the Bianconeri for heart and desire in a typically competitive affair at the Stadio Olimpico, were unable to bring a halt to their winless run as an improved Juventus second half performance eventually showcased the gulf in class between the two inter-city rivals.

    With one eye on Wednesday night’s Champions League Group B clash against Galatasaray, Antonio Conte made five changes from the side that beat Chievo in midweek, restoring Stephan Lichtsteiner and Kwadwo Asamoah to the flanks and handing Sebastian Giovinco his first start of the season.

    Early morning rainfall in Turin had made for a slightly greasy playing surface, but the conditions failed to impede the traditional passing game championed by Juventus, who made a strong start to proceedings by forcing a number of corners in quick succession.

    The new Carlos Tevez-Giovinco tandem looked sharp in attack, showing early signs of forging a strong understanding with clever off the ball movements that were closely monitored by Granata captain Kamil Glik.

    It was the Argentine who had the opportunity to draw first blood on 13 minutes, forcing Daniele Padelli to gather at his near post after being played into the penalty area by Giovinco.

    Yet for all the Bianconeri’s positive play, Torino, looking to exorcise the demons of a 18-year winless run against their neighbours, maintained the high intensity approach that characterises inter-city derbies, closing down to good effect and looking to threaten from set pieces.

    A free-kick awarded fractionally outside the penalty area provided an ideal chance for the hosts to test Gigi Buffon on 26 minutes, but current Serie A top goalscorer Alessio Cerci was unable to add to his haul of five strikes, curling his effort just past the upright.  

    As the first half drew to a close, two overzealous challenges in quick succession on Tevez and Giovinco threatened to send the temperature soaring, but Conte’s men retained their cool and fashioned a final effort before the break, Marchisio dragging a low attempt wide after finding space outside the area.

    Bolstered by Conte’s words at the break, Juventus burst out of the traps at the start of the second half and went close to finding the breakthrough through early strikes from Tevez and Giovinco.

    But it was to be third time lucky for the visitors who saw their renewed vigour pay off when Pogba reacted first to Tevez’s headed effort that had bounced back off the crossbar, guiding the ball over the line to spark scenes of jubilation amongst the Bianconeri travelling faithful on 54 minutes.

    The early goal appeared to take the sting out of Torino who, for all their endeavours in trying to breach the Juventus rearguard for the first time since 2002, were well marshaled by Conte’s highly organised unit.

    Reinforcements were introduced at varying stages of the second half, with Simone Padoin – making his 150th Serie A appearance – Mirko Vucinic and Fabio Quagliarella coming on for Asamoah, Giovinco and Tevez respectively.

    And the substitutes almost combined to put the final outcome beyond any doubt with three minutes remaining, Vucinic guiding Padoin’s precise cross towards the far post, only to be foiled by a fine Pandelli stop.

    The Bianconeri, who go to the top of the table ahead of tonight’s meeting between Roma and Bologna in Rome, will now immediately look towards Wednesday night’s visit of Galatasaray, when they will be hopeful of registering their first European win of the season in front of a passionate crowd at Juventus Stadium.

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