Goals from Kwadwo Asamoah, Claudio Marchisio and Fernando Llorente allowed Juventus to resume their winning habit with this afternoon’s 3-1 victory over Chievo at Juventus Stadium.
A scrappy introduction was brought to life by Asamoah’s stunning opener on 17 minutes, his first goal of the current Serie A campaign, before Marchisio slotted home from a matter of yards to put the hosts firmly in the driving seat ahead of the half-hour mark.
A freak Martin Caceres own goal threatened to allow the Gialloblu a way back into the encounter shortly after the restart, but Llorente diverted an Andrea Pirlo corner past Michael Agazzi on 58 minutes to wrap up the points.
With one eye on Thursday night’s Europa League opener against Trabzonspor, Antonio Conte made three changes to his starting line-up from last weekend’s 2-2 draw against Hellas Verona.
Angelo Ogbonna replaced the injured Giorgio Chiellini on the left-hand side of defence, Marchisio came in for Paul Pogba, while Sebastian Giovinco was given the nod over Carlos Tevez to partner Llorente in attack.
Hungry and determined to make amends for the disappointment of last weekend’s 2-2 draw with Hellas Verona, Conte’s men dominated possession right from the word go but struggled to fashion any clear-cut opportunities inside the opening 15 minutes.
Llorente was the first to pull the trigger on six minutes, turning Michele Canini before angling a left-footed strike wide of the post, while Pirlo saw an instinctive volley rise over the bar after finding himself ideally placed on the edge of the area to send Arturo Vidal’s cleared knockdown back towards goal.
It felt a moment of magic would be required to unlock the Gialloblu defence, and Asamoah duly delivered on 17 minutes. Picking up the ball in the centre of midfield, the Ghanaian bustled his way through a crowd of bodies before playing a neat one-two with Llorente and curling a majestic strike beyond Michael Agazzi.
Twelve minutes later, Juventus doubled their lead when Pirlo’s low, venomous free-kick proved too hot to handle for Agazzi, who parried into the path of Marchisio to record his second goal of the current campaign.
With Chievo sitting deep and trying to prevent the Bianconeri from exhibiting their customary flowing football, Conte’s men maintained their patient approach and looked to capitalise on any chances that fell their way towards the end of the first half.
One such opportunity arrived at the feet of Arturo Vidal on the edge of the penalty area, with the Chilean midfielder unable to prevent his well-struck attempt from drifting over the top.
Despite beginning the second half with the same verve displayed in the first, Juventus were left to curse their misfortune as an attempted Stephan Lichtsteiner clearance ricocheted off Caceres and looped over a stranded Gigi Buffon to halve the deficit on 51 minutes.
That goal served as a much-needed boost of confidence for the visitors, who began to show greater adventure when moving forward.
Normal service was, however, resumed seven minutes later when Llorente met Pirlo’s teasing delivery into the box to take his tally of headed Serie A goals to six.
Keen to assess his attacking options ahead of a testing run of fixtures, Conte then introduced new signing Dani Osvaldo to the fray in place of Llorente, pairing him with Carlos Tevez, who replaced Giovinco.
Early signs of a promising partnership were present, with the duo showing some neat touches and good understanding over the course of their 18 minutes on the pitch.
Osvaldo did have a chance to crown his home debut in the black and white stripes with a goal, but blazed his left-footed strike over in the final minute of normal time.
The win lifts the Bianconeri 11 points above nearest challengers Roma, who meet Sampdoria in the first of their two games in hand tonight at 20.45 CET.