Juventus
    03.04.2016 12:30 - in: Serie A S

    Saturday night stats

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    From a 20th win in 21 league outings to a seasonal assist personal best for Paul Pogba, Juventus.com rounds up the key numbers from Saturday night's win over Empoli
    ONWARDS AND UPWARDS

    There has been just one place from which to start a Juventus.com post-match statistical round-up in recent months and that has been an update on the Bianconeri's unbeaten run and points tally since October 31.

    Last night's was the league leaders' 20th victory in 21 Serie A matches and one that extended their dominance over visitors Empoli: the Azzurri have now collected just one point from a possible 30 in Turin.

    Though it will be Mario Mandzukic's tenth strike in all competitions that will steal the headlines, there was to be yet another notch on Juve's defensive belts last night as Gianluigi Buffon, Daniele Rugani, Andrea Barzagli and Giorgio Chiellini steered their side to a seventh consecutive home league clean sheet, a feat last achieved back in April 1978. 

    Just one goal conceded in 12 now for Buffon and co.

    DOWN TO DETAILS

    While yesterday's encounter pitted the division's most in and out of form teams against each other, the key statistics from Juventus Stadium painted a generally evenly balanced picture.

    In fact, Empoli would join a select group of teams to have enjoyed more of the ball than the home side on the night, a strong second-half spell seeing Marco Giampaolo's men end the game with a 59.4 per cent share in possession.

    As ever though, Juve would prove that ultimately it is what is done with the ball that counts, with the champions registering three times as many shots on target (nine vs. three) as their visitors, forcing away goalkeeper Lukasz Skorupski into a series of stellar saves from Simone Zaza, Alvaro Morata and Kwadwo Asamoah in the action's closing stages.

    Often able to control their opponents in central areas, the Bianconeri were actually outpassed on Saturday evening by their midtable guests, the Azzurri taking 770 touches to Juve's 600 while winning an equal number of midfield duels (19 apiece.)

    the key men

    A summary of the tie's key men inevitably must begin with a word on its matchwinner, Mario Mandzukic. The big Croat's 44th-minute strike was his first in the league since 20 December in a 3-2 win over Carpi and his seventh in Serie A since joining from Atletico Madrid in the summer. 

    Supplying the sublime pass for Mandzukic was none other than Paul Pogba whose lofted assist took his own personal tally to eight, a personal best in Italy's top-flight for the Frenchman. 

    Honourable offensive mentions must also go to Alvaro Morata: six dribbles - most of them of significant distance and quality - two shots on target and one smashing of the woodwork for March's player of the month.

    The night's unsung hero however was ex-Empoli ever-present Daniele Rugani whose 11 recoveries (a team high), 51 touches, 35 successful passes and two interceptions were proof of a composed and commanding performance from the youngster. 

    Next up? Milan. 

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