The Bianconeri continued their resounding start to the championship season with a comprehensive 4-1 dismantling of Lazio on a pulsating night of Serie A football at Juventus Stadium.
Arturo Vidal’s early first-half double seemingly gave the visitors a mountain to climb, but Miroslav Klose’s instant reply restored Biancocelesti hopes ahead of the break.
However, Mirko Vucinic’s well-taken finish on 48 minutes and a late moment of magic from Carlos Tevez ensured Juventus will enter the international break with their title defence off to the best possible introduction.
The Bianconeri, fielding an unchanged line up from last weekend’s 1-0 win over Sampdoria in Genoa, started promisingly and a slick move between Vucinic and Tevez almost resulted in the Argentine being sent through one-on-one with Federico Marchetti, only to see the linesman to raise his flag after spotting an offside.
But the visitors, keen to bounce back from their recent Super Cup humbling at the Stadio Olimpico, also threatened in the early stages, Hernanes drawing a strong save from Gigi Buffon at his near post after latching on to a loose ball on the edge of the area.
With Tevez frequently dropping deep to good effect, Antonio Conte’s men represented a real menace to the Biancocelesti rearguard, who were forced to contain the likes of Vidal, Stephan Lichtsteiner and Kwadwo Asamoah breaking forward into the box on regular occasions.
It wasn’t long before the Bianconeri reaped the rewards of their enterprising play. This time it was Paul Pogba’s exceptional vision that unlocked the defence, teeing up Vidal with a glorious through ball which the Chilean expertly guided past the advancing Marchetti.
Flowing with confidence and sensing further joy in the final third, Juventus continued to bombard their opponents with precise attacking forays and gained a crucial second goal when Vidal gathered Leonardo Bonucci’s raking through ball on his chest before steering a crisp left-footed strike into the bottom corner on 26 minutes.
Lazio, however, refused to crumble and found their way back into the game just two minutes later, with Miroslav Klose following up Hernanes’ blocked effort to hand his team an instant lifeline.
Having spent the vast majority of the first half on the back foot, the goal appeared to breathe new life into Vladimir Petkovic’s charges, who went close through Stefan Radu and an audacious Antonio Candreva 40-yard free-kick before Paolo Tagliavento brought an end to an entertaining opening 45 minutes.
Conte’s half-time team talk clearly had the desired effect as Juventus began the second period by restoring their two-goal cushion just three minutes after the restart.
Yet another precise Bonucci pass from his own half picked out Vucinic, who shrugged off the attentions of Diego Novaretti to find the bottom corner with a controlled finish.
As Lazio attempted to fashion a response to falling further behind, their hopes of salvaging anything from the encounter were dealt a significant blow when Hernanes was sent from the field of play shortly after the hour mark after collecting two yellow cards.
With the Bianconeri now restricting their visitors to ambitious strikes from range, goal number four was very much in their sights and almost arrived when Tevez connected with Vidal’s cut-back, only for the woodwork to come to the rescue of Petkovic’s men.
The Argentine’s moment would come, however, and it proved to be well worth the wait as he twisted Cana on the edge of the area before rounding off a memorable night’s action with a well-placed finish.