26.02.2017 15:00 - in: Serie A S

    Fortress Juventus Stadium: 30 and counting

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    Saturday night's 2-0 win over Empoli was the Bianconeri's 30th in a row in Serie A at Juventus Stadium, a run of packed full of stunning numbers...

    Rewind to October 2015. An opening day defeat to Udinese followed by draws against Chievo and Frosinone had made for a frustrating start to the champions’ title defence particularly in a place where they had hitherto been practically invincible; Juventus Stadium.

    The Bianconeri had won 25 home league games in a row two years previously but were unable to kick into gear in the same fashion as a slow start to the season saw them as low as 14th in the table. The visit of Bologna in the early autumn however marked the beginning of something truly special.

    Not that anyone would have known that watching the game. After five minutes, bottom club Bologna were in front as Anthony Mounier pounced to guide Adam Masina’s clever cross into the net via the arm of Gianluigi Buffon.

    From the 33rd minute onwards that day, the Old Lady’s home supporters would taste one thing and one thing only: success. An Alvaro Morata equaliser set the hosts back on track before further goals from Sami Khedira – his first as a Juventus player – and Paulo Dybala sealed a valuable victory. 

    Fast forward to Saturday 25 February 2017 and that nondescript first home league win of 2015/16 has become 30 consecutive Serie A victories after last night’s 2-0 success over Empoli, extending Juve’s own personal record.

    To understand just how dominant Juventus have been on their own patch in the past year and a half, you need only to look at their goal difference in that time.

    Alex Sandro’s cool finish across the goalkeeper yesterday evening was his side’s 71st goal of the run. At the other end, Norberto Neto, Leonardo Bonucci, Daniele Rugani, Sandro and Dani Alves kept a 20th clean sheet. Since Mounier’s early volley in October, the Bianconeri have conceded just 10 times at home in Serie A, unsurprising given that Neto and Buffon have faced just 59 shots on target in that time, just under two per game. 

    If you let Juventus score then, chances are that you are going to lose. One goal has been enough for Massimiliano Allegri’s men on eight occasions – the most common scoreline – most of which producing the most important victories of the season against Milan (November 2015), Napoli (February 2016), Roma (December 2016) and Inter just a few weeks ago.

    The final day thrashing of Sampdoria by five goals to nil remains the highest scoring game of the 30-match winning streak – an evening rounded off by the lifting of a fifth consecutive Scudetto title – with 2-0s and 2-1s filling in the spaces between, occurring five and four times respectively. 

    The Bianconeri have found the net three times on eight occasions, the most memorable of which disposed of Bologna, in a wonderful quirk of the calendar, on 8 January 2017, a win that surpassed the club’s previous record of 25, one that is now being bettered with each passing Sunday at Juventus Stadium.

    Our top marksman in that time? It couldn’t be anyone other than Paulo Dybala; the Argentine sensation has scored 16 times since sealing the points for victory number one all that time ago.

    Should the remaining home fixtures this term against Milan, Chievo, Genoa, Torino and Crotone also be successful ones for Allegri’s side, the tally would rest at 35, four short of the all-time record set by Barcelona across the 1957/58 and 1960/61 seasons.

    Onwards and upwards, one game at a time. 

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