A solitary Simone Padoin effort against his old club on 72 minutes enabled Juventus to keep their 32nd Scudetto celebrations going and maintain this season’s imperious Serie A home record with tonight’s 1-0 win over Atalanta.
Antonio Conte rang the changes following last night’s confirmation of a third consecutive title but there was no change in desire as the Bianconeri continued their quest for a 100-point finish by seeing off the Nerazzurri in front of a carnival atmosphere at Juventus Stadium.
April’s player of the month Sebastian Giovinco had two chances to open the scoring inside the opening 10 minutes, first through a low strike that flashed past the post on five minutes and then with a shot on the volley after being teed up by Dani Osvaldo.
The January loan signing subsequently had a couple of opportunities of his own, striking over the top from just outside the area before seeing his dipping header tipped over the bar by Andrea Consigli following a decent Stephan Lichtsteiner cross towards the back post.
While the visitors marginally shaded possession throughout the first 45 minutes, it was the Bianconeri who had the lion’s share of the opportunities – nine to five – before Andrea De Marco sent both teams into the break.
On for the start of the second-half in place of Giovinco was Fabio Quagliarella, who almost made an instant impact when the ball broke to him on the edge of the area on 47 minutes, only for his fierce right-footed strike to flash over the bar.
Upping the rhythm and galvanised by the introduction of Carlos Tevez, Juventus fashioned three chances in quick succession midway through the second period, Quagliarella and Pogba both seeing their shots parried by Consigli before Tevez blazed over from an acute angle.
The goal the Bianconeri continued to push for eventually came on 72 minutes when Padoin found himself in the right place at the right time to crash Pogba’s cut-back off the post and into the back of the net from the edge of the area.
There was to be further joy for the Juventus faithful with five minutes remaining as Simone Pepe came off the bench for his first appearance since December’s Coppa Italia outing against Avellino.
Scenes of celebration erupted at the final whistle as the Bianconeri congratulated each other on the field of play before sprinting towards the fans to thank them for their contribution to a historic achievement that will live long in the memory.
Next up in the quest for another milestone of 100 points is a trip to face Roma, who the Bianconeri meet on Sunday night.