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29 Sep 2012

Super Juve cruise past Roma

Three goals in ten minutes stun the Giallorossi and lift Juve clear of Napoli at the summit of Serie A. Pirlo, Vidal, Matri and Giovinco on target in a 4-1 victory

Juventus returned to winning ways with a magnificent 4-1 success over Roma at Juventus Stadium.

The Bianconeri’s unrelenting attacking persistence was rewarded by strikes from Pirlo, Vidal and Matri in ten first-half minutes - which proved enough to stifle the challenge of Zdenek Zeman’s shell shocked visitors.

The Giallorossi did, however, rally after the break and threatened to find a way back into the encounter after reducing the deficit through Osvaldo’s penalty. But Giovinco came off the bench to make the points safe and send Juventus clear of Napoli at the top of Serie A.     

Antonio Conte elected to tweak his selection for the team’s fifth game in two weeks, restoring Marchisio and Vucinic to the starting line-up after the duo were named amongst the substitutes on Tuesday night in Florence. Caceres stepped in for Lichtsteiner on the right-hand side, while De Ceglie replaced Asamoah on the opposite flank. Matri was preferred to Giovinco in attack.

Backed by another capacity crowd in Turin, Juventus raced out the blocks at a breathtaking pace and almost took the lead when Caceres sent an inviting ball across the area which was lashed wide by Marchisio at the back post.

However, Conte’s men did not have to wait too much longer to break the deadlock, with Pirlo stepping up to drill a fine free-kick into the bottom corner after Marchisio was sent tumbling by Taddei on 11 minutes.

The breakthrough triggered the start of a frenzied ten minutes that extinguished any Giallorossi hopes of returning to the capital with a result.  

Castan’s handball in the box saw Vidal presented with the opportunity to double the hosts’ lead from the spot. And the in-form Chilean seized the chance with both hands, beating Stekelenburg with a well-placed penalty into the corner.

The visitors were well and truly put to the sword when Matri sprang the offside trap to perfection and tucked home to send Juventus Stadium into delirium.

And it could have been even worse for Zeman’s men as Marchisio rattled the bar with an audacious attempt from an acute angle, before Vucinic was next to strike the frame of the goal following good build-up play from Matri.  

Not even the half time break could interrupt the Bianconeri’s momentum, with Vucinic testing Stekelenburg’s reflexes with a swerving drive shortly after the restart. Matri was next to go close after being found unmarked in the area, only to see the Dutch goalkeeper claw his dinked attempt away to safety.

Seeking a reaction from his side, Zeman introduced Destro and Perrotta at the expense of Totti and Tachtsidis. The substitutes added extra vitality to the Giallorossi and helped them swing the balance of play back in their favour.

The increased pressure eventually paid off when Osvaldo kept his cool to send Buffon the wrong way from the spot with just under 20 minutes remaining.

But the Bianconeri, galvanised by the introductions of Asamoah and Giovinco, stood firm and wrapped up the points at the death.

Finding himself in unfamiliar territory down the right wing, Barzagli drove forward and laid on a perfect pass for Giovinco, who rounded Stekelenburg before tapping the ball home.