20.12.2015 10.20 - in: Serie A S

      The numbers behind #CarpiJuve

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      Two goals for Mario Mandzukic with his only shots on target, 621 Bianconeri passes and, most importantly, a seventh consecutive league win for Juventus

      While Carpi vs. Juventus may not have leapt off the page when the fixture list was compiled back in late July, Sunday’s 3-2 victory for the Bianconeri may well prove to be one of great importance.

      After all, yesterday’s success at the Stadio Alberto Braglia in Modena was the champions’ seventh consecutive league win and ninth in ten outings in all competitions, providing further evidence that Massimiliano Allegri’s men will not be surrendering their Scudetto crown without a fight.

      This is a Juventus that is in seemingly unstoppable form as they approach the turn of the year, showing signs that they are returning to their best. In fact, they had not won seven games on the bounce since October 2014.

      The men on the mark

      A cause for concern among the Bianconeri’s title rivals may well be the goalscoring form of summer signing Mario Mandzukic, whose excellent header and superb overhead kick sealed the Croatian’s first ever Serie A brace, his fourth and fifth strikes in his last six league games.

      After a slow start in the black and white of Juventus, Mandzukic is starting to demonstrate the predatory instincts that have reaped enormous success throughout his career at the likes of Bayern Munich and Atletico Madrid.

      And the proof was there for all to see on Sunday afternoon as the target man found the net with his only two shots on target in Modena, while confirming the rule that whenever he is on the mark the Bianconeri emerge victorious.

      There was also a welcome appearance on the scoresheet for Paul Pogba, whose excellent control and finish from Claudio Marchisio’s crossfield pass was his fourth strike of the campaign in all competitions and his second of the week following Wednesday’s equally excellent effort against Torino in the Coppa Italia.  

      A sumptuous assist by Marchisio
      Complimented by Pogba's deft finish

      The match in detail

      As for the match itself, although Marco Borriello’s shock opening goal may have succeeded in briefly throwing the visitors off their stride, it did little to break the Bianconeri’s overwhelming dominance of the encounter, as they took their tally to 13 points from games in which they have fallen behind this season.

      Completing twice as many passes and shots on target as their opponents (621 to 311 and six to three respectively), Allegri’s men enjoyed their highest share of possession (65.9 per cent) on the road this term and in spite of Leonardo Bonucci’s late own goal, rarely let the game slip from their grasp. 

      This control was mainly down to their dominance in midfield, which can be noted in the graphic below. 

      Midfield maestros

      An honourable mention must go once more to pass master Marchisio, whose composure on the ball and efficiency of distribution (completing 93.2 per cent of his 103 attemped passes) ensured the Bianconeri sustained their pressure on the Carpi goal and provided the base from which his more advanced team-mates could attack. 

      The average position of each Bianconeri player in yesterday's win over Carpi

      A nod should also go to fellow midfielder Sami Khedira, whose physical presence in the middle third and penchant to get forward added an important layer to his side’s offensive manoeuvres.

      All in all then, a profitable afternoon in Emilia-Romagna and a fitting end to a fabulous 2015.

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