Last time out against the Granata

Last time out against the Granata
Last time out against the Granata
Last time out against the Granata

Following their 2-0 Europa League round of 32 first leg victory over Trabzonspor at Juventus Stadium only three days earlier, the Old Lady were back on home soil for an intriguing Derby della Mole encounter with arch-rivals Torino.

Boasting the exciting attacking trio of Alessio Cerci, Omar El Kaddouri and former Bianconero Ciro Immobile, Giampiero Ventura’s outfit made the short trip across the city, looking to keep up their impressive start to the campaign with a European spot firmly in their sights.

Prior to kick-off, Juventus’ home faithful set the scene with a spectacular pre-match choreography that certainly took everyone’s breath away. It was a sight befitting of such an important match-up.

Our magnificent home in all its glory. #JuveTorino pic.twitter.com/qawfyN72uK

— JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) February 23, 2014

The Bianconeri began in earnest, looking to put their inter-city rivals to the sword early on and Andrea Pirlo was first to test Daniele Padelli with a 30-yard strike that was comfortably gathered by the Torino custodian with seven minutes played.

Torino then shot a warning sign of their own through El Kaddouri who broke through the Juventus rearguard before hooking his effort over the crossbar with only Gigi Buffon to beat.

But the Old Lady steadied themselves once more after a spirited spell from the away side, Carlos Tevez forcing Padelli into a sprawling save as Juventus began to turn the screw.

On 28 minutes, the Bianconeri were awarded a free-kick about ten yards away from the corner flag in what seemed an impossible angle to get a shot in – unless you were the Maestro of course.

Pirlo – who seemed in the mood to get his name on the scoresheet – delivered one of his trademark set-pieces towards goal but the ball landed agonisingly on the roof of the net.

It was only a matter of time until Juventus broke through and their persistence finally paid off when they took the lead on the half-hour mark.

Kwadwo Asamoah squared the ball to Tevez on the edge of the box who collected the pass with one touch before swivelling and firing into the bottom corner past Padelli’s despairing dive. It was a deserved goal at a crucial moment in the first half.

GOAL! #JuveTorino 1-0. @carlitos3210 spins past his marker and lashes an unstoppable shot into the bottom corner from the edge of the area!

— JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) February 23, 2014

Torino attempted to get themselves on level terms just before the break when captain Kamil Glik connected with a Granata corner to head towards goal. With a barrage of bodies striving to get on the end of the shot, Buffon was able to grab the ball at the first time of asking to keep Juventus’ lead intact.

HALF-TIME: #JuveTorino 1-0. Rizzoli's whistle brings the first half to a close at #JStadium. @carlitos3210 on target with 30 minutes played.

— JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) February 23, 2014

Despite Matteo Darmian’s shot stinging Buffon’s fingertips early on in the second half, it was a case of one-way traffic for the home side as Juventus attempted to up the ante and finish their opponents off.

Paul Pogba – whose goal proved the difference in Juventus’ 1-0 victory over Torino at the Stadio Olimpico back in September – sent Fernando Llorente through with a deft flick but the Spaniard saw his low effort pushed away by Padelli.

Torino fashioned themselves another opening on 65 minutes however El Kaddouri’s fiercely-struck free-kick flew well over the crossbar from just outside the Bianconeri area.

Tevez almost put the game beyond any doubt a mere 60 seconds later when he latched on to Arturo Vidal’s through ball via the aid of a deflection but the visitors’ shotstopper came out to smother bravely at L’Apache’s feet.

The Granata rallied during the final quarter of an hour but were unable to find their way past Buffon and the stubborn Bianconeri backline as Nicola Rizzoli’s final whistle brought a tense encounter to an end.

February's result ensured a domestic double over their arch-rivals as Juventus extended their lead at the summit of Italy’s top flight to nine points over the chasing pack.

FULL-TIME: #JuveTorino 1-0. @carlitos3210's first-half effort completes a seasonal derby double over Torino! #TorinoèBianconera #ForzaJuve

— JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) February 23, 2014

Captain Buffon paid tribute to the evening’s matchwinner during his post-match interview:

#Buffon: Top players make the difference in tricky games. @carlitos3210 was the one who decided today's #JuveTorino.

— JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) February 23, 2014

L’Apache then gave an expert step-by-step guide as he took us through his goal:

#Tevez: It was a great goal. I saw I had a bit of space when the ball came to me, turned well and made a good connection. #JuveTorino

— JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) February 23, 2014

Defensive pillar Martin Caceres ended proceedings by praising the team’s collective defensive display as they racked up their twelfth clean sheet of the 2013/14 Serie A campaign.

#Caceres: Hats off to the team. It's not easy playing every three days, but the important thing is to be ready when called upon. #JuveTorino

— JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) February 23, 2014

Relive Tevez’s stunner and the best of the rest of February’s Derby della Mole highlights right here:


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