The notion that the Bianconeri dominated proceedings on Sunday against Chievo is well supported by the following statistics: 64.4 per cent possession, 63.3 per cent of their 50-50s won, 30 shots to the Gialloblu’s six, 724 passes to their 390 and, last but not least, four goals to zero. This scoreline equalled their largest margin of victory this term, recorded against Udinese two weeks beforehand.
Stadio Bentegodi statistics
Absent on that particular afternoon in Udine, this time around Paul Pogba played a leading role in the middle of the park, both from a defensive perspective, winning the ball back on 10 occasions (a team-high), and an offensive one, helping himself to nine shots, five of which on target and one finding the back of the net.
This was the fifth time that he has scored this term and the fourth on the road. The Frenchman also provided his fifth assist of the season, already registering two more than he managed over the course of the last campaign.
One of the more notable plus-points from yesterday was the immensity of understanding between Pogba and Paulo Dybala. The duo ripped through Chievo’s defence with regularity and were really at the centre of Juve’s attacking manoeuvres, completing 39 and 40 passes respectively in the opposition half.
Only two passes behind Pogba, on 37, was the ever-impressive Alex Sandro. The Brazilian made telling contributions going backwards, regaining possession for the team eight times, making three interceptions and as many tackles.
Going forwards, he had the joint second-highest number of shots (level with Dybala on five) and created the joint second-highest amount of scoring opportunities (tied with Stephan Lichtsteiner on four), capping off the performance with his second strike in as many weeks, having registered his maiden Bianconeri goal against Udinese.
Also on the scoresheet yesterday was a man who has enjoyed a memorable week up front: Alvaro Morata. The Spaniard had not scored in Serie A since 4 October against Bologna, but his brace at the Bentegodi Stadium represented four strikes in as many days following his double against Inter in the Coppa Italia on Wednesday.
Morata’s clinical finishing of late is backed up by the fact that 66.6 per cent of his efforts on target over the course of the last two matches have also found their way in.
A major factor in Juve’s attack-minded players being given the license to roam in the final third was Claudio Marchisio’s ever-disciplined display in defensive midfield. The Little Prince chipped in with three tackles, four interceptions, winning 100 per cent of his aerial battles.
This made life easier for the visitors’ rearguard, who nonetheless excelled in north-east Italy: Andrea Barzagli making a team-high five interceptions, Leonardo Bonucci contributing with four clearances, whilst Martin Caceres dispossessed the opposition three times. Gigi Buffon, meanwhile, had just two saves to make on the day, staying on his toes when required to ensure a fourth Serie A clean sheet already in 2016.