Killer instinct in the final third and a firm grip on possession ultimately prove the decisive factors behind last night’s resounding success over the Biancocelesti
Clinical finishing and control of possession were the key ingredients of another stellar display as the Bianconeri maintained their 100 per cent start to this season’s Serie A campaign with last night’s 4-1 triumph over Lazio at Juventus Stadium.
Having inflicted a four-goal haul on Vladimir Petkovic’s men when the sides last met in the Italian Super Cup final a fortnight ago, lightning struck twice as the ruthless hosts showed no mercy in a convincing display in front of their home faithful.
A rampant Juventus represented a continual threat in the final third from start to finish, producing a total of 14 shots on goal, six of which found the target. From these, Arturo Vidal’s early double took his tally against the Biancocelesti - now his favoured Serie A victims - to seven, Mirko Vucinic registered his 100th goal in professional Italian football and Carlos Tevez made it three strikes in as many competitive appearances for his new employers.
However it wasn’t all plain sailing as Lazio, striving to exact revenge following a one-sided affair in the capital, improved somewhat on their previous showing, registering 11 attempts on target from an overall total of 16 shots.
But Miroslav Klose’s goal aside, the German’s first against the Bianconeri, the vistors were mainly restricted to speculative efforts from range, with Gigi Buffon frequently proving equal to the task.
It was in the possession stakes, however, where Juventus’ supremacy really came to the fore, commanding 60% of the ball and completing 77% of their attempted passes over the course of the 90 minutes.
Top of the class for efficiency was midfield wizard Andrea Pirlo, who saw 91 of his deliveries reach their intended target, while Leonardo Bonucci trailed closely behind on 89, two of which provided magnificent assists for Vidal and Vucinic.
Elsewhere, defensive duo Giorgio Chiellini and Andrea Barzagli ranked highly with 82 and 60 completed passes respectively, providing a clear demonstration of Conte’s desired method of building the play from the back.
Former Juve midfielder Antonio Candreva represented the most potent individual threat, with five efforts to his name, closely followed by team-mate Hernanes, who recorded four shots before receiving his marching orders shortly after the break.
Juventus attacking pair Vidal and Vucinic joined the Brazilian on four attempts apiece, statistically the biggest thorns in the visitors’ rearguard on a special night at Juventus Stadium.