Another superb Carlos Tevez strike stretched the Bianconeri’s lead at the top of Serie A to 17 points with this afternoon’s 1-0 triumph over Genoa in Turin.
Twenty-five minutes were on the clock when the Argentine picked up from where he left off in Dortmund, producing another moment of magic with an explosive run and right-footed shot that left Mattia Perin with no chance.
Tevez had the chance to extend both his own personal tally and the Bianconeri’s lead when Roberto Pereyra was tripped in the box by Facundo Roncaglia on the hour mark, only for substitute Genoa goalkeeper to guess correctly and deny him from the spot.
Buoyed by that reprieve, the Rossoblu pushed for an equaliser during a finale to the game that set nerves jangling, but the hosts managed to ride out a late surge to sign off for the international break with their 12th home league win of the season.
Despite the first opportunity of the encounter falling to the visitors, a side-footed attempt from M'Baye Niang that curled wide of Gigi Buffon’s upright, it was the Bianconeri who had the lion’s share of possession in the opening 10 minutes, starving Genoa of the ball with frenzied pressing in all areas of the field.
To their credit, the visitors recovered quickly and started to ask some questions of their own, pinning the Bianconeri back inside their own half and forcing them to defend deep during a decent spell of pressure.
But the hosts remained patient and found the opener on 25 minutes courtesy of a trademark piece of Tevez magic. Fresh from his two-goal display in Dortmund, the Argentine picked up the ball on the edge of the area, dropped his shoulder and weaved into the box before crashing an unstoppable strike in off the bar past a helpless Perin.
With the Bianconeri continuing to up the ante, two excellent chances for them to extend their lead arrived just before the half-time whistle. First, Fernando Llorente saw his close-range header saved by Perin, then Giorgio Chiellini rattled the woodwork with a follow up strike from a matter of yards.
The second half began with Genoa making two changes in quick succession: former Juventus frontman Marco Borriello replaced Niang, while substitute goalkeeper Eugenio Lamanna came on for the injured Perin moments later.
The shotstopper was handed a baptism of fire almost immediately, called to deal with a Tevez spot kick after Pereyra had been tripped inside the box by Roncaglia. It was a test Lamanna passed with flying colours, diving low to his right to thwart the Argentine from 12 yards.
Seventy-two minutes were on the clock when Massimiliano Allegri opted to freshen things up, introducing Simone Pepe and Alessandro Matri to the fray after also bringing them on during the week against Dortmund.
Former Rossoblu frontman Matri, who returned to Juventus in the winter transfer window, had the chance to make an immediate impact, nodding Pepe’s inswinging free-kick towards goal but finding Lamanna equal to it.
The end of the game brought a few hesitant moments as Genoa pushed for an equaliser, but strong Bianconeri defending, including a sensational interception by Andrea Barzagli at the back post when Diego Perotti looked odds-on to score, kept the visitors at bay to preserve a crucial three points.