Juventus
    Juventus
      30.01.2017 13:05 - in: Serie A S

      #SassuoloJuve: Five talking points

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      Juventus.com delves into a quintet of discussion points from the Bianconeri's 2-0 win over Sassuolo on Sunday
      1. Higuain hot streak

      Five minutes were all that Gonzalo Higuain needed against Sassuolo to extend his red hot scoring streak to eight goals in his last six Serie A games.

      In doing so, Pipita became the first Juventus player since David Trezeguet in 2005 to find the net in six successive league outings and now sits level with Inter’s Mauro Icardi and Roma’s Edin Dzeko on 15 strikes apiece at the top of the Serie A scoring charts.

      Long may Pipita’s predatory form continue! 

      2. Frontline flair

      Yesterday was the latest evidence that the 4-2-3-1 formation adopted in the last week by Massimiliano Allegri is getting the best out of the array of attacking talent at the Tuscan tactician’s disposal.

      Higuain’s goals aside, Mario Mandzukic continues to make the left flank his own with another buccaneering display at the Mapei Stadium, with Juan Cuadrado providing crosses and trickery down the right and Paulo Dybala pulling the strings just behind Pipita.

      If there were any concerns that deploying so many forwards simultaneously would compromise the Bianconeri’s defensive strength in any way, so far they’ve been expunged comprehensively after two consecutive clean sheets in the league since the new formation’s introduction and very few scares posed by Lazio or Sassuolo along the way.

      3. Buffon brilliance

      Ever the proof that some things simply get better with age, Gianluigi Buffon put in another stellar performance between the sticks just one day after celebrating his 39th birthday.

      His double save to deny Matteo Politano and Alessandro Matri just split seconds later shows that the big man’s reflexes remain razor sharp.

      And the fine work paid off with a clean sheet and victory – the perfect late birthday present!

      4. Khedira quality

      Sami Khedira may be playing in a deeper midfield role than before, as Allegri accommodates the likes of Higuain, Dybala, Mandzukic, Cuadrado and Miralem Pjanic ahead of him, but the Germany international certainly has not lost that knack of knowing when to burst forward into the box nor his eagle eye for a goal.

      Sami’s no nonsense strike inside Andrea Consigli’s far post was the sort of finish that any striker would have been proud of. 

      Khedira’s fourth goal of the season was just the start of an exceptional afternoon’s work in Reggio Emilia, as he also made a joint-match high four interceptions, completed over 90 per cent of his passes (only Alex Sandro managed more) and he was the only player on the pitch to win all of his 50-50 challenges.

      Sehr, sehr gut, Sami!

      Marching on at the Mapei

      As Allegri had said in his pre-match press conference, after drawing and losing the last two away games against Sassuolo, it was high time for a victory at the Mapei Stadium, which thankfully came with the sort of conviction with which they won their very first trip to the ground in April 2014 (3-1 thanks to goals by Carlos Tevez, Claudio Marchisio and Fernando Llorente).

      If this return to winning ways in Reggio Emilia was pleasing enough, other results yesterday opened up a four-point gap between Juventus and second-placed Roma, the Bianconeri enjoying a game in hand still over their title rivals.

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