A Carlos Tevez hat-trick enabled league leaders Juventus to stretch their run of successive Serie A triumphs without conceding to eight courtesy of this evening’s comfortable 4-0 win over Sassuolo at Juventus Stadium.
The inspirational Argentine hotshot gave the hosts the lead their early pressure merited when he tapped home Arturo Vidal’s blocked shot on 15 minutes, before Federico Peluso increased the advantage with a powerful header just shy of the half-hour mark.
A constant thorn in the Neroverdi rearguard throughout, Tevez doubled his personal tally shortly before half-time, capitalising on an underhit backpass to glide past a stranded Gianluca Pegolo before tapping home.
And, after seeing several opportunities to extend their lead go begging, the Bianconeri wrapped up a successful afternoon when Tevez stole a yard on his marker to turn Mauricio Isla’s near post cross beyond Pegolo for goal number four with 68 minutes played.
Keen to take their frustrations out on the Serie A newcomers following Wednesday’s Champions League exit, Juventus began well and created their first chance inside the opening two minutes of play. Vidal picked out Tevez lurking with intent on the edge of the area, but the Argentine’s shot was always rising and cleared the crossbar with some ease.
Just seconds later it was Sassuolo’s turn to mount an attack of their own. The visitors, who have developed a reputation as somewhat of a surprise package when facing this season’s title challengers on their own turf, raced down the other end but Alessandro Longhi will feel he should have done better after thrashing Marcello Gazzola’s cross wide of target.
As the first half progressed, Juventus continued to make the gulf in class show and found the breakthrough they had been craving on 15 minutes. After combining neatly with Fernando Llorente, Vidal spun inside the area and stung the fingertips of Pegolo, with Tevez on hand to pick up the pieces by slotting home.
Their lead was soon doubled when goalscorer turned provider on 28 minutes, Tevez clipping in an accurate free-kick from the right-hand side which was sent crashing past Pegolo by the head of Peluso, the defender’s first league goal in the black and white stripes of Juventus.
Further chances continued to fall in the favour of a now rampant Bianconeri. Kwadwo Asamoah was a whisker away from providing the golden touch to Isla’s cross at the back post, while Tevez again showcased his abilities from dead ball situations with a free-kick that was clawed away from the top corner by the Sassuolo shotstopper.
The goalkeeper was called into action once again to thwart Isla’s fizzing effort that seemed odds on to burst the back of the net, but there was little he could do when a loose backpass was intercepted by a lively Tevez, who comfortably rounded his opposite number to make it three on the stroke of half-time.
In need of a response to a seemingly insurmountable deficit, Sassuolo wasted little time in introducing promising attacker Simone Zaza, co-owned by Juventus, to the fray following the start of the second half, and it was he who provided the visitors’ most valid goal threat with two half-chances inside the opening 15 minutes of the restart.
But the Bianconeri, now with Paolo De Ceglie occupying the left flank in place of goalscorer Peluso, continued to play on the front foot and made it four on 68 minutes when Tevez stole a yard on his marker to bundle Isla’s cross over the line for his tenth goal in 16 Serie A appearances.
The goal proved to be the striker’s final contribution on a memorable evening, with Fabio Quagliarella coming on in his place shortly after he had received the standing ovation his all-action performance fully deserved.
It was almost an instant impact for the Campania-born striker, whose penchant for the spectacular saw him perform a stunning shot on the turn that rose just over the crossbar.
Having stolen a march on nearest rivals Roma, away to Milan on Monday, the Bianconeri, currently six points ahead of the chasing pack, will now plot to get their Coppa Italia campaign off to the best possible start when Avellino travel to Juventus Stadium on Wednesday night.