Strikes from Stephan Lichtsteiner, Giorgio Chiellini and Arturo Vidal return the Bianconeri to winning ways in this evening’s solid 3-1 victory over Inter in Turin
A confident display enabled the Bianconeri to stretch their lead at the top of Serie A to nine points with this evening’s superb 3-1 Derby d’Italia triumph over Inter at Juventus Stadium.
Just 15 minutes had passed when Stephan Lichtsteiner seized the advantage by ghosting into the area to head Andrea Pirlo’s cross past the despairing dive of Samir Handanovic.
Things got even better for the league leaders three minutes into the restart, captain for the evening Giorgio Chiellini making it two with an instinctive finish following good work from Paul Pogba.
Arturo Vidal, a domineering presence throughout, put the icing on the cake on 56 minutes, reacting quickest to Pogba’s saved effort to guide a low shot into the corner.
Inter kept going, though, and pulled a goal back on 72 minutes when Rolando pounced on a loose ball in the area to drill a low strike beyond Gigi Buffon’s replacement for the night Marco Storari.
Juventus, welcomed out on to the field by the spectacular winning choreography from the Love Ju initiative, started strongly and could have opened the scoring in the third minute, Carlos Tevez foiled twice in quick succession as Handanovic got down well to block his close-range efforts.
As the Bianconeri began to get into their stride with some neat combinations in midfield, Arturo Vidal was sent flying by a strong challenge from Zdravko Kuzmanovic, resulting in Gianluca Rocchi brandishing his first yellow card of the encounter on 12 minutes.
Three minutes later, Juventus saw their good work come to fruition when Lichtsteiner peeled off his marker to head Pirlo’s inch-perfect cross beyond the despairing dive of Handanovic, sparking scenes of wild celebration amongst a capacity crowd in Turin.
Inter, who approached the game with just one win from their last nine Serie A encounters, toiled to find a way back into the affair but found it hard against a Juventus side who kept the ball well and squeezed out any spaces in the final third.
Chances continued to fall in the Bianconeri’s favour as they found themselves firmly entrenched in the visitors’ half. Pogba unleashed one of his trademark blockbusters (only to see it rise over the bar), Leonardo Bonucci headed Pirlo’s corner fractionally wide of the goal and Tevez warmed the fingertips of Handanovic after working himself a decent shooting opportunity inside the area.
Despite the one-way traffic in the final third, Antonio Conte’s men had to remain alert of Inter’s threat on the break. Nerazzurri top scorer Rodrigo Palacio fired a warning sign five minutes ahead of the interval when played in by Kovacic, only to squander a good opportunity by skewing his shot high and wide of the upright.
Supporters barely had time to return to their seats for the second half before Juventus extended their lead. Following a cleared corner, Pogba bustled his way into the box and nudged the ball into the path of Chiellini, who made no mistake with a clinical right-footed finish from close range.
Back came Inter, only for Palacio to again prove wasteful in front of goal, skying a left-footed shot on the turn following Ricky Alvarez’s neat centre.
But Juventus were in no mood to protect their lead and instead went for the jugular. Pogba had the crowd on their feet when his close-range attempt was spilled by Handanovic, only for Vidal to pick up the pieces by ramming home his eleventh Serie A goal of the season on 55 minutes.
A Rolando strike on 72 minutes meant the visitors were able to salvage something from the affair, but the Bianconeri defence, now featuring substitute Caceres on in place of an injured Andrea Barzagli, maintained their compactness to extinguish any faint hopes of a full blooded revival.
The result sees Juventus go nine points out in front of nearest challengers Roma - who have a game in hand after today’s clash with Parma was rained off - ahead of next weekend’s intriguing trip to Serie A surprise package Hellas Verona.