Juventus made a mockery of second-placed Lazio’s eight-game winning run in Serie A by beating them 2-0 at Juventus Stadium to go 15 points clear at the top of the table with just seven games remaining.
Carlos Tevez was at the heart of things for the defending champions, as he moved onto 18 league goals for the season – extending his lead at the top of the scoring charts.
Tevez’s latest strike comes 24 hours after his agent hinted that the Argentine will leave Turin in just one year’s time to return to boyhood club Boca Juniors.
There is no doubt the former Manchester City striker will be missed if that is the case, but central defender Leonardo Bonucci showed Juventus have goalscoring potential throughout their squad.
Picking the ball up on the halfway line, Bonucci was allowed the space to run to the edge of the Lazio penalty area, thanks in part to an unselfish run from Tevez, before powering a low shot into the net.
Lazio, who also had Danilo Cataldi sent off late on, rarely threatened from that point on despite battling hard, summing up Juventus’ cruise towards another league title.
The physical intensity of the game was clear early on, with Arturo Vidal needing attention for a hip problem and Lucas Biglia getting his head bandaged inside the first 15 minutes.
Juventus were unperturbed, however, and opened the scoring with 17 minutes played as Tevez collected Vidal’s flick-on, beating Lazio’s dubious offside trap in the process, and sent a powerful low strike into the far corner of the net from 15 yards out.
Lazio’s own in-form striker Miroslav Klose had an outstanding chance to level midway through the half, collecting a loose ball in the area but sending his right-footed shot well over from 12 yards.
The German was made to pay for his profligacy moments later as Bonucci made an extraordinary foray forward to double the home side’s advantage.
Collecting Andrea Pirlo’s pass on the halfway line, Bonucci drove through the heart midfield before slamming a low strike beyond Federico Marchetti from 20 yards.
It could well have been 3-0 before the interval, too, as Patrice Evra beat Danilo Cataldi to a Simone Padoin cross from the right, but sent his low header wide of the far post.
Lazio head coach Stefano Pioli brought on midfielder Antonio Candreva at half-time for left-back Edson Braafheid but the visitors could still not get in behind a stubborn Juventus defence.
Indeed, it was Lazio defender Mauricio who had to pull off a brilliant sliding tackle to stop Alessandro Matri from going one-on-one with Marchetti after a deflected pass from Vidal.
Lazio did go close soon after as Candreva smashed a free-kick towards goal from just outside the area that deflected off Tevez and onto the bar – proving once and for all that the little striker can do no wrong.
Another late foray forward from Tevez forced Cataldi into a cynical tackle from behind that earned him a straight red card, summing up the most frustrating of nights for the visitors.
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