Juventus
    Juventus
      19.04.2014 20:34 - in: Serie A S

      Pogba makes it 17 straight Serie A home wins

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      The midfielder’s second-half drive shatters Bologna resistance to hand Juventus another priceless victory, breaking a top-flight home winning streak previously established by Torino

      A second-half Paul Pogba goal enabled the Bianconeri to chalk up a top-flight record 17th consecutive success on home soil in this evening’s 1-0 win over Bologna at Juventus Stadium.

      While the close scoreline may suggest an evenly contested encounter, the game itself proved a different story as wave after wave of Juventus attacks were repelled by stubborn Bologna defending throughout.

      And after remaining patient and refusing to abandon their game plan, Antonio Conte’s men eventually found the breakthrough their dominance merited when Pogba tucked a rasping drive into the bottom corner with 64 minutes played.

      Juventus made a strong start to proceedings and could have taken the lead on six minutes when Fernando Llorente picked out Pogba’s burst into the box, only for the midfielder’s side footed attempt to be blocked by Gianluca Curci.

      The French international was again at the thick of the action moments later, this time heading over the bar from a matter of yards after being found out by Andrea Pirlo’s pinpoint corner.

      Pogba's midfield partner then had a couple of opportunities to test the Bologna shotstopper with one of his trademark free-kicks, forcing Curci into a save with the first before seeing his second repelled by a well constructed Rossoblu wall.

      Next to go close was Claudio Marchisio, who nearly marked his 200th Serie A appearance with a goal when he toe poked Giorgio Chiellini’s inviting cross towards goal on 27 minutes, with Curci gratefully clutching the ball at the second time of asking.

      There could be little faulting the Bianconeri’s adventurous approach during the first half but Bologna, in desperate need of points to prevent being sucked back into the drop zone, kept plenty of men behind the ball and defended resolutely.

      In a similarly bright start to the second period, Juventus kept their foot firmly on the accelerator and flooded the final third with bodies in their bid for a breakthrough.

      The first signs of an opening goal came five minutes into the restart when Mauricio Isla was sent galloping into the box by Sebastian Giovinco, but Curci was quick off his line to smother the Chilean’s first time shot.

      After further chances came and went for Pirlo and Pogba, Juventus’ persistence was finally rewarded when the Frenchman picked up the ball in space and unleashed a stinging low drive which arrowed into the bottom corner on 64 minutes.  

      Bologna barely had time to regroup before they were once again required to deal with a fierce Bianconeri assault. This time it was Isla who renewed his duel with Curci, the goalkeeper doing well to tip his left-footed strike over for a corner.

      Needing to salvage something from the game in their battle to beat the drop, Bologna began to commit further bodies forward and registered their first shot on target on 82 minutes, Lazaros Christodoulopoulos’ drive from outside the area drawing a save from Gigi Buffon at his near post.

      The game drew to a close with a nervy five minutes of added time as the Rossoblu battled to protect Davide Ballardini’s unbeaten managerial record at Juventus Stadium, but the Bianconeri held on to record a thoroughly deserved win that takes them 11 points clear at the top ahead of Roma’s clash with Fiorentina this evening.

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