The Bianconeri slipped to their third Serie A defeat of the season in this afternoon’s pulsating clash against Torino at the Stadio Olimpico, with the hosts coming from behind to claim a 2-1 win that marked their first Derby della Mole triumph in 20 years.
All seemed to be going to plan when Andrea Pirlo put Juventus ahead on 35 minutes courtesy of another free-kick from his seemingly endless repertoire, but celebrations proved short-lived as the hosts clawed their way back into proceedings through Matteo Darmian’s equaliser with the half-time whistle looming.
A near-post finish from familiar face Fabio Quagliarella on 57 minutes forced Juventus to turn up the heat in search of a second-half equaliser, yet a combination of the woodwork – three posts to be precise - and some excellent Daniele Padelli goalkeeping ensured the points would be heading in Torino’s direction.
It was indeed the hosts who looked lively in the final third during the opening stages, with Quagliarella’s low drive from outside the box forcing Gigi Buffon into a diving save at his near post on eight minutes.
Attentions, however, soon switched down the other end where a majestic Pirlo through ball picked out the run of Alessandro Matri, only for the striker to fire over from six yards after doing well to pull the ball down with his chest.
Matri was again at the thick of things moments later when Roberto Pereyra burst down the right flank and played the ball into the box, with Kamil Glik’s superb last-ditch intervention preventing the striker from executing a clear shot on goal.
A lively, open derby contest continued to swing from end to end and the Bianconeri were forced to dig deep and ride out increasing spells of Granata pressure.
Dig deep they did, and the chance they had been craving soon followed. After doing the damage in this season’s first meeting of the teams, Pirlo once again had the Granata under his spell, conjuring up a magical free-kick that lurched over the wall and under the crossbar, leaving Padelli motionless.
Torino’s reaction was strong, though, and they managed to restore parity before the break. Arriving late in the box to collect a Quagliarella pass, Darmian’s heavy first touch caused confusion in the Bianconeri ranks, enabling him to bypass the central defence before applying a close-range finish.
If Juventus had reason to rue the hosts’ slightly fortuitous equaliser, the same frustrations would have also been felt after Pirlo’s free-kick at the start of the second half, a near perfect effort that bounced back off the upright.
Spurred on by their home supporters, Torino remained courageous in their approach and edged their noses in front on 57 minutes, Quagliarella darting ahead of Angelo Ogbonna to poke Darmian’s cross home past Buffon at his near post.
This forced the Bianconeri to up their intensity, with Arturo Vidal and Matri both going close through headers, while Torino had a goal ruled out for offside after Josef Martinez was adjudged to have been in an offside position as Quagliarella’s header came to him from across the six-yard box.
With the drama increasing as the minutes ticked down towards the final whistle, Matri’s cross-cum-shot cannoned back off the post and Stefano Sturaro found Padelli in imperious form to block his header that seemed certain to ripple the back of the net.
In spite of this afternoon’s disappointment, Juventus can console themselves with a healthy 14-point advantage at the summit of Serie A, as results elsewhere went their way this weekend.
With Fiorentina the next of six games to play, Massimiliano Allegri’s men will look to get back into their stride when they welcome the Viola to Juventus Stadium on Wednesday night.