A Carlos Tevez double and strikes from Paul Pogba and Roberto Pereyra helped the Bianconeri see off Hellas Verona and move five points clear of Roma at the summit of Serie A with this evening’s comfortable 4-0 victory at Juventus Stadium.
Two goals in the first seven minutes from Pogba and Tevez made it a mountain to climb for the Gialloblu, who endured another tough night in Turin following Thursday’s 6-1 Coppa Italia humbling.
After opening his Bianconeri account in the last 16 tie, Pereyra extended Juventus’ advantage on 66 minutes, rifling a purposeful finish past Rafael after being played in on goal by Giorgio Chiellini.
Three became four eight minutes later, with Tevez adding to his tally courtesy of a cheeky finish through the legs of Rafael to round off an excellent night at the office for the reigning champions.
Quick out of the blocks with Sebastian Giovinco’s opener on five minutes in midweek, Juventus went one better this time around, taking the lead with less than 180 seconds on the clock through Pogba’s long-range effort that flashed past Rafael and into the bottom corner.
Four minutes later, it was two. The returning Tevez, looking energised after being handed a breather on Thursday night, found himself in the right place at the right time to meet Alvaro Morata’s ball from the right-hand side and dispatch a clinical poacher’s finish into the back of the net.
Another man making his return to the starting line-up, Andrea Pirlo, was next to go close with a 30-yard direct free-kick that arched ominously towards the top corner, only for Rafael to get up and tip the ball out of harm’s way on 12 minutes.
While the intensity of a blistering opening period was bound to drop, Juventus maintained a firm grip on proceedings with heavy spells of possession. Further chances in a dominant first half fell to the feet of Martin Caceres and Pogba, who lashed wide and drew a diving save from Rafael respectively.
There was little change to the flow of the game come the restart, with the Bianconeri setting up camp in the Gialloblu half and committing bodies forward in their search for a third. A moment of individual Morata brilliance almost yielded this on 49 minutes, but his low strike from 25 yards flashed past the upright.
With the bit firmly between his teeth, Morata almost set up a chance for strike partner Tevez after bursting towards goal from deep, but his cross was overhit and the Argentine was unable to take the pace off the ball with his subsequent header.
But it was Tevez’s fellow countryman Pereyra who would put the final outcome beyond any doubt on 66 minutes, sending an emphatic finish crashing past Rafael after being played through on goal by Chiellini’s threaded pass.
Still hungry for more, Tevez wrapped things up with little over 15 minutes remaining, rolling the ball through Rafael’s legs from an acute angle before making way for Thursday’s star man Giovinco.
Having treated their adoring supporters to two goal-laden displays in the space of four days, Juventus will now have a full week to prepare for their next Serie A encounter, which comes in the form of another Verona-based outfit, Chievo, in seven days’ time at Juventus Stadium.