Goals in either half from Arturo Vidal and Fernando Llorente enabled Juventus to overcome Palermo 2-0 this afternoon at Juventus Stadium, lifting them three points clear of nearest rivals Roma at the summit of Serie A.
The Chilean brought a quiet first-half to life when he gathered Carlos Tevez’s pass before steering a low left-footed shot into the bottom corner on 32 minutes.
Llorente doubled the Bianconeri’s lead midway through the second period, rising highest in the area to glance Andrea Pirlo’s corner beyond Stefano Sorrentino for his first goal of the season.
In a low-key introduction to the game, Juventus probed for an opening but were largely kept at bay by the disciplined defenders of Palermo, who stayed tight on Tevez and tracked the movements of Llorente.
It was the latter, recalled to the starting line-up after sitting out the midweek defeat against Olympiacos, who produced the first effort on target, but Stefano Sorrentino was there to thwart his header with a straightforward stop on 17 minutes.
After the visitors had fired two quick warning signs through Franco Vazquez, Juventus lifted the tempo and broke to devastating effect, with Carlos Tevez playing in Vidal to open the scoring with a low strike into the bottom corner on 32 minutes.
Juventus began the second-half on the front foot and in search of a second but laboured to create any clear-cut opportunities during the opening stages of the restart, Claudio Marchisio’s long-range effort that flew over the bar the only real opportunity of note.
This was all about to change, though, as the set-piece precision of Andrea Pirlo fashioned an opportunity for Llorente, who gleefully opened his account for the season with a trademark header past Sorrentino on 64 minutes.
After extending their advantage, the hosts kept their foot firmly on the accelerator and were unlucky not to add a third when substitute Sebastian Giovinco’s shot cannoned back off the post in the dying stages.
Having returned to winning ways, Juventus will look to continue their march on Wednesday night, with Genoa providing the opposition at the Luigi Ferraris in Liguria.