25.01.2015 17:22 - in: Serie A S

      Pogba magic inspires two-goal win over Chievo

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      Paul Pogba’s fourth strike in as many games sets Juventus on the way to this afternoon’s 2-0 success over Chievo. Stephan Lichtsteiner weighs in with the second.

      Second-half strikes from Paul Pogba and Stephan Lichtsteiner enabled the Bianconeri to overcome a plucky Chievo outfit in this afternoon’s 2-0 triumph at Juventus Stadium.

      Despite enjoying heavy spells of pressure throughout 60 minutes of play, determined Gialloblu defending meant Juventus were forced to sit tight and wait for their moment to arrive.

      And their patience paid off in spectacular fashion on the hour mark when Pogba produced a trademark gem from outside the area to shatter the relegation-threatened visitors’ hopes of claiming something from the affair.

      One became two 14 minutes later, with substitute Lichtsteiner sending the Bianconeri eight points clear at the top by picking up the pieces from close range after yet more magic from Pogba.

      A solid start to proceedings saw the Bianconeri fashion two decent opportunities to gain a quick advantage inside the opening seven minutes.

      First Roberto Pereyra found Albano Bizzarri quick off the mark to block his goalbound tap connection following a Patrice Evra cross and then from the resulting corner, Giorgio Chiellini headed inches over the bar.

      But for all their territorial supremacy during a one-sided first half, Juventus made hard work of breaking down a well-organised Chievo outfit whose spirited approach displayed they weren’t just in Turin to make up the numbers.

      This doesn’t mean to say the Bianconeri didn’t have their chances though. After Chiellini had seen another header drop just off target on 21 minutes, Alvaro Morata, making his third start in as many games, also went close moments later, nodding Martin Caceres’ cross beyond the far post from a decent position.

      The returning Arturo Vidal, fully recovered from a recent bout of tonsillitis, was next to try his luck on 27 minutes, drawing a diving save from Bizzarri after arching a fierce shot towards goal from outside the area.

      Despite the hosts’ increasing overall pressure, the final 15 minutes of the first half were characterised by lack of flow and a nasty clash of heads involving Evra and Nicolas Frey, forcing the latter to depart the action on a stretcher.

      Raising the tempo for the start of the second period, Juventus, driven by Claudio Marchisio in the absence of the flu-stricken Andrea Pirlo, immediately set about their visitors, with the Bianconeri number eight unlucky to see his rasping 20-yard drive whistle inches past the post.

      Another chance then came and went for Vidal, who lacked the composure to turn Evra’s cutback on target, instead skying his attempt high and wide of the mark.

      It felt as if a moment of magic would be required to find the breakthrough and with 60 minutes on the clock, Pogba dug deep to conjure up another masterpiece from his seemingly endless repertoire.

      Shifting past his marker with a neat display of footwork, the Frenchman then took a touch before lashing an unstoppable left-footed strike past Bizzarri for his fourth strike in as many games.  

      And he was at it again 14 minutes later, performing an outrageous piece of skill to pull substitute Simone Padoin’s cross down under control before crashing in a volley that was saved by Bizzarri, with fellow substitute Lichtsteiner arriving first on the scene to slam home at the far post.

      A late rally from the visitors saw Ezequiel Schelotto strike the post from inside the area, but the Bianconeri held on to protect a deserved three points and second successive clean sheet.

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