Juventus
    Juventus
      07.03.2016 11:00 - in: Serie A S

      #AtalantaJuve in numbers

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      The Bianconeri’s 2-0 triumph in Bergamo brings good news both in attack and defence. Juventus.com analyses the win in detail
      Buffon brilliance

      If keeping clean sheets forms a major factor in winning titles (as is evident from the fact that in nine of the last ten seasons, the team with the best defence has gone on to win the league) then the Bianconeri would appear to be heading along the right track.

      Yesterday’s 2-0 victory in Bergamo was their ninth consecutive clean sheet in Serie A, equalling both a club and Italian top-tier record in the process, while for club captain Gianluigi Buffon there was the added delight of rewriting the history books:

      Phenomenal fightback

      Massimiliano Allegri’s men have collected 52 points from a possible 54 over their last 18 league games (almost half a season), since suffering defeat to this Fridays’s opponents Sassuolo on Matchday 10.

      Needless to say, the club’s rise since that sobering evening in Reggio Emilia has been a remarkable one, given that they had only claimed 12 points from a possible 30 up until that point.

      One of the many ingredients in Juve’s comeback of recent months has been an ability to keep going until the end. Mario Lemina’s goal was the side’s 14th to be scored in the last 15 minutes of matches. Only Lazio (15) have netted more in the final quarter-hour.

      Accuracy all-important

      One of the major differences to be drawn from the displays of Atalanta and Juventus was the precision of their respective shots and passes.

      While the hosts got away more efforts on goal (13) than the Bianconeri (nine), they only hit the target three times in contrast to the visitors’ five.

      Allegri’s charges also proved more accurate than Edy Reja’s men in terms of distribution, ending the encounter with an impressive 79.4 per cent pass completion rate to the Nerazzurri’s 69.5.

      Interestingly, Atalanta improved markedly in this regard after the interval, passing with greater precision than Juventus over the course of the second half (75 per cent to 73.5), but they were ultimately unable to make their pressure count when and where it mattered.

      Pretty in pink

      There was certainly an air of déjà vu about Andrea Barzagli’s 24th minute strike. Not only was the defender celebrating his previous goal against the very same opponents all those 46 months ago, but he was also donning the pink shirt, adopted for home matches during the 2011/12 season.

      Meanwhile, Lemina’s fine finish on 86 minutes was the perfect tonic on his maiden league appearance in over four months since recovering from injury.

      Other key contributions on the afternoon came the way of Mario Mandzukic. The Croatian striker set up both of his side’s goals, laid the ball off six times to team-mates, whipped in three crosses and won two tackles.

      Paulo Dybala also made his presence felt, drawing five fouls from the opposition and completing a team-high eight dribbles, while Claudio Marchisio enhanced his reputation as the Bianconeri’s most accurate distributor, seeing 61 of his passes successfully reach other men in pink.

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