Juventus coach Antonio Conte praised his side for grinding out a 1-0 victory over Cesena to retain their three-point lead in Serie A.
With title rivals AC Milan winning 1-0 at home against Genoa, Juventus needed points to stay in front, and Marco Borriello’s 79th-minute goal made the difference on Wednesday.
Conte feels the result underlined his side’s maturity, and has them firmly on track to capture Juve’s first legitimate Serie A title since 2002/03.
“Today we’ve shown our maturity,” Conte said.
“A tough game and a desired victory against a team which battled until the final whistle.
“We gave our all.
“Inevitably, when our opponents are closed in, we struggle a little more.”
Juve also finished top of the league in the 2004/05 and 2005/06 seasons but were later stripped of their titles following the ‘Calciopoli’ match-fixing scandal.
But Conte’s side, who remain undefeated so far this season, are well on the way to ending that title drought.
The Juve coach praised substitute Borriello after the on-loan striker scored his first goal since arriving from Roma in January.
“I’m happy for Borriello,” Conte said.
“When he arrived in Turin he wasn’t in shape, and he had to work hard.
“Now he’s fine, I spoke with him about it and now that he’s achieved his teammates’ form … he’s been decisive in today’s clash.
“He deserves all our praise.”