A commanding display in every respect was enough to stave off the threat of Serie A strugglers Catania and yield last night’s 4-0 win at Juventus Stadium, the Bianconeri’s most comprehensive success of the 2013/14 campaign so far.
It was the reigning champions’ second consecutive win in the space of four days after Genoa were comfortably put to the sword on Sunday afternoon. And having only come away with two strikes to show for their 23 attempts against the Rossoblu, last night’s greater precision in front of goal ensured a more rounded scoreline from the same number of attempts.
With 10 shots on target throughout the course of the 90 minutes, Juventus proved a consistent menace to opposition goalkeeper Mariano Andujar. The principal attacking threat was posed by the team’s top Serie A goalscorers, Arturo Vidal and Carlos Tevez, who recorded their fifth and six respective championship strikes of the season either side of half time.
The South American duo’s positive influence on the team is reflected in the figures, with both involved (either through goals or assists) in 15 of Juventus’ overall haul of 22 league goals so far this season.
Further evidence of the Bianconeri’s firm grip on the game can be found when consulting the possession statistics. These highlight a 88.8 per cent pass completion rate from 642 deliveries, providing a stark contrast to Catania’s 67.7 from 299.
Crucial to the team’s dominance in the midfield battle was the metronomic Andrea Pirlo, who saw his strong overall performance rewarded by the 36th minute free-kick which gave the hosts a two-goal cushion going into the break.
It was the playmaker’s second goal of the campaign and eighth set-piece in the black and white stripes of Juventus since making the move from Milan in the summer of 2011.
Even more impressive, though, is his confirmed status as Serie A’s most lethal dead ball specialist, with 16 converted free-kicks in 10 championship seasons lifting him to the top of the pile.
Unfortunate not to get on the scoresheet, following four shots on goal in an impressive 20 minute cameo, was second-half substitute Sebastian Giovinco.
But the Piedmont-born frontman still had something to show for his endeavours on the night of his 100th Juventus appearance, a neatly worked assist for Leonardo Bonucci to round off a deserved triumph in style.