Antonio Conte was relieved Juventus came away from a potentially tricky encounter at Udinese with a crucial three points on Monday.
The Juve head coach witnessed his side put in a solid display in a 2-0 triumph at Stadio Communale Friuli, a win that re-opens an eight-point lead at the top of Serie A to second-placed Roma, who have won seven straight league matches.
Sebastian Giovinco – starting in place of Carlos Tevez who was only fit enough for a place the bench – opened the scoring in the 16th minute, with Fernando Llorente tapping home a second before the break.
The fixture had been earmarked as a potential danger to Juve’s bid for a third straight league title, with Udinese last losing on home soil in January.
And Conte was thrilled that his charges rose to a difficult challenge.
“This is a place where we could have dropped points,” he said. “Udinese are in great physical shape and wanted to pull off a result tonight.
“We did well tonight, it wasn’t a simple game by any means. We approached it with the right attitude and focus.
“Udinese let you dictate the game then look to strike on the break. We reviewed the first match and worked on our game plan.”
Next up for Juve is a home encounter with Bologna on Saturday, and Conte has called on supporters to turn up in numbers to help the team to three more points, as he knows Roma are not yet ready to give up the ghost.
He added: “We need to pull out all the stops on Saturday, I’m expecting a packed out Juventus Stadium to urge us on to victory.
“We know Roma won’t be giving in behind us and it’s important for us to do the same.”