The Bianconeri made sure of heading into November’s international break on a high after beating Chievo Verona 2-1 at the Stadio Bentegodi thanks to second-half goals by Mario Mandzukic and Miralem Pjanic either side of Sergio Pellissier’s penalty.
That 66th-minute equaliser for the hosts had looked to hold Juve to what would have been their first league draw of the season until Bosnian midfielder Pjanic curled a delightful free-kick into the top corner – a goal worthy of winning any game and one which has enabled the league leaders to hit the 30-point mark after only 12 Serie A matches.
Those three strikes after the interval made up for a very quiet first period, which had threatened to come to life when Mandzukic almost scored what would have been a spectacular solo effort. Upon picking Pjanic’s lofted pass out of the air, he flicked the ball over an onrushing full-back before firing over the bar on the volley.
On 36 minutes, the Croatian forward was again in the midst of the action, heading Alex Sandro’s left-wing cross inches wide of the mark in what was probably the best chance of the half, while Gonzalo Higuain would force Stefano Sorrentino into a smart save moments before the break.
The game was desperately in need of a goal and in the 53rd minute it duly got one when Mandzukic dusted off the cobwebs of his first-half misses to put Juve in front with a precise finish into the bottom corner, his second strike of the season so far.
The visitors’ lead would be short-lived, however. Just moments after Gianluigi Buffon, who was making his 600th Serie A appearance, kept out Lucas Castro with a brilliant block, Chievo were awarded a penalty for Stephan Lichtsteiner’s foul on Pellissier, who made no mistake from the spot to level the scores.
Upon being pegged back, the Bianconeri were in no mood to end the match with a whimper and Pjanic it was to come to the rescue with one of his trademark free-kicks, whipped wonderfully up and over the defensive wall before nestling into the top corner.
Many of Massimiliano Allegri’s men will now be involved in international action with their respective countries before regrouping in Vinovo to prepare for a home encounter against Pescara in a fortnight’s time.