A second-half Carlos Tevez winner in last night’s hard-fought encounter against Catania enabled the Bianconeri to intensify their grip on top spot and extend their unbeaten Serie A run to 21 games.
On a testing evening where quality in the final third was lacking for both teams, Juventus converted their 60 per cent command of possession into victory through a neat combination between Dani Osvaldo and Tevez on 59 minutes.
Receiving the Italian international’s fifth flick-on of the night outside the area, the Argentine strode towards goal and cracked home a low effort across goal which puts him level with Ciro Immobile as Serie A’s most lethal marksman on 16 strikes.
Up until that point, both sides had shown plenty of passion and endeavour, but little threat on goal. In fact, Tevez’s vital contribution represented the first shot on target, one of two for the Bianconeri across the 90 minutes, while Catania’s figure of zero efforts directed between the posts meant Marco Storari enjoyed a quiet evening at the Angelo Massimino.
This, coupled with some dogged defending by Juventus, proved instrumental in wrapping up a fifth consecutive clean sheet and confirming a regained defensive solidarity which had eluded them in each of the previous six games beforehand.
Central to this were the performances of Giorgio Chiellini and Martin Caceres. The former completed the most successful passes (67) and enjoyed the most touches (95), while the latter won four tackles and caught the eye with his unwavering commitment in defending the Bianconeri goal.
The win took the league leaders on to a total of 78 points for the campaign, a haul at this point of the season only bettered by Inter in 2006/07 (79), while the ongoing run of 42 consecutive games with a goal continues to represent an overall Serie A record.