25.01.2016 10:30 - in: Serie A S

    Wednesday night in numbers

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    An 11th consecutive Serie A win crowned by a 12th league goal of the season for Paulo Dybala is just one of a host of figures in the Bianconeri’s favour from last night’s encounter with Roma

    “Complicated but crucial,” were the words used by Massimiliano Allegri to preview Sunday’s 1-0 victory in his pre-match press conference and the boss’ comments ahead of the tie ultimately rang true.

    Complicated in the way it took 77 minutes for the Bianconeri to finally break through the Roma ranks and that only came about thanks to two moments of brilliance from Paul Pogba, whose reverse pass slid Paulo Dybala into space in the penalty area, and Dybala himself to take a touch and slot the ball calmly past Wojciech Szczesny.

    Crucial in the sense that last night’s win was the 11th in a row for Allegri’s men, bringing them to within one of equalling a club record for consecutive league victories, set two years ago by Antonio Conte’s 2013/14 vintage.

    Despite coming up against a committed and physical Roma outfit, there was a degree of justice about La Joya’s late winner, as the champions outgunned their visitors in every department, seeing more of the ball (54 per cent), taking five times as many shots (11 to two), whipping in more crosses (17 to six) and attempting significantly more passes (630 to 520). 

    The standout stat to arise from the encounter, however, was the way in which the home side restricted the Giallorossi, before last night one of the most prolific shooters in the division, to a paltry two strikes on Gianluigi Buffon’s goal, almost matching the feats of last month’s Coppa Italia tie with Torino when the visitors failed to muster even one.

    As for the Juventus-Roma story, recent history and previous Turin encounters between the two sides ensured that Sunday’s result went exactly to form.

    Not only was Dybala’s low finish the 10th goal to be conceded by the Romans in the last 15 minutes of a game this season (only Frosinone have shipped more), but also condemned the Giallorossi to a fifth consecutive defeat at Juventus Stadium since its inauguration in September 2011.

    In fact, the Bianconeri have now found the net 27 times in their last 13 home meetings with Roma in an unbeaten run stretching back to 23 January 2010. It is much the same story for new boss Luciano Spalletti, whose wait for a win over Juve goes on: 16 defeats and three draws for the veteran coach in 19 attempts.

    As for the key men out on the field, it was yet another night to celebrate for Dybala, who has now had a hand in 19 of his team’s 38 league goals so far this campaign (12 goals, seven assists), 10 of which have come in the last six matches. 

    Any hard-fought victory however, as underlined by Paul Pogba last night, comes from the collective and there were positives all over the field for the Old Lady.

    Starting from the back, Patrice Evra’s two shots on target showed his unrelenting energy to get up the field and contribute to his side’s attacking play while there was a welcome return to action for Andrea Barzagli, whose 118 touches and 97 passes demonstrated his importance to the Bianconeri cause.

    Pogba himself had reason to be pleased with his own contributions, supplying the assist for Dybala’s winner, one of three chances created by the Frenchman to add to his four crosses. In goal meanwhile, there was not a single save to be made for a certain Buffon. 

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