Juventus overcame local rivals Torino on Saturday evening as they strode to a 4-0 victory in the Derby della Mole to join Napoli at the top of the Serie A table.
Mercurial forward Paulo Dybala opened the scoring at the Juventus Stadium before Miralem Pjanić netted his first league goal of 2017 just before the break. Il Toro were reduced to ten men in the first period as midfielder Daniele Baselli received his marching orders for a high challenge.
Alex Sandro also scored in the second half as Torino’s unbeaten start to the 2017/18 campaign came to an end at the hands of the reigning champions.
Missed opportunities early on
Juventus flew out of the blocks within the first few minutes. Former Chelsea winger Juan Cuadrado displayed quick feet to jink his way into the Torino penalty area. A fantastic block from Tomás Rincon though deflected the Colombian’s shot inches over the bar.
The visitors then had a chance of their own but Adem Ljajić’s shot from distance flew just over Gianluigi Buffon’s goal. Paulo Dybala then netted to take his season’s total to nine goals in only six Serie A matches. The Argentine capitalised on a Torino mistake and struck with a clever low drive to edge the hosts in front.
Torino lose grip
The visitor’s task was then made even more difficult with a piece of sheer stupidity from midfielder Daniele Baselli. The Italian had already received a booking and was soon asked to leave the field by Piero Giacomelli. A high challenge from the midfielder saw him booked again and receive a red card.
The visitors looked to regain some control of the match with manager Siniša Mihajlović replacing Iago Falque with midfielder Afriyue Acquah.
Juventus took advantage of their ten-man rivals though as Pjanić, who shone for the home side all evening, doubled the lead. Receiving a pass on the edge of the area, the Bosnian curled a sumptuous right-footed into the bottom-left corner. It was the ex-Roma midfielder’s first league goal since September 2016.
The home side therefore headed into the break comfortable and no doubt looking to stretch their advantage during the second half.
Juve compound Torino’s misery
Juventus produced the first opportunity of the second half with Brazilian full-back Alex Sandro firing just over Sirigu’s crossbar with a powerful drive. The defender was soon to have his say on proceedings not long after though. Latching onto a Pjanić corner, he thundered a header into the net which flew past Sirigu as he grasped at thin air.
A flurry of substitutions saw the likes of Federico Bernardeschi and Juventus record-signing Gonzalo Higuaín introduced to the fray. The former Real Madrid striker seemed to have been rested ahead of the clash with Olympiakos in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday evening. Former AC Milan striker M’Baye Niang was also taken off in place of Lucas Boye for the visitors.
Il Toro made to pay for first-half madness
Juventus had plenty of chances to turn their comfortable victory into a rout had it not been for the interventions of Sirigu. Croatian striker Mario Mandžukić could have netted from close range but was thwarted by the Italian. Defender Mehdi Benatia also missed a glorious chance from only inches out with a header.
Douglas Costa then tore down the left-hand side but his strike was pawed away by Sirigu to keep to score at only three. As he had opened the scoring, Dybala was to book-end the game in the final moments. Meeting a Higuaín pass, the 23-year-old was soon one-on-one with the Torino stopper. A delectable chip from the Argentine made it 4-0 and took Dybala’s personal tally into double figures.
As it happened on the night, Juventus were untouchable. The attacking talents of Dybala, Cuadrado and Pjanić were all far too much for Torino who have otherwise impressed in Serie A. Juventus comfortably maintained their 100% record but were assisted by the red card in the first half.
The champions now sit second in the table on 18 points, only behind Napoli on goal difference. Meanwhile, Torino remain in sixth place having suffered their first loss of the campaign.
Juventus: Buffon (7); Lichtsteiner (7), Benatia (7), Chiellini (8), Alex Sandro (8); Cuadrado (7) (Bernardeschi (6), 62′), Pjanić(9), Matuidi (7) (Bentancur (6), 72′), Costa (7); Dybala (9), Mandžukić (7) (Higuaín (6), 80′).
Torino: Sirigu (7); De Silvestri (5), N’Koulou (6), Lyanco (5), Ansaldi (6); Rincon (6) (Gustafsson (5), 75′), Baselli (4), Falque (5) (Acquah (5), 30′), Ljajić(7); Niang (5) (Boye (5), 70′), Belotti (6).
Goals: Dybala (1-0, 16′), Pjanić (2-0, 40′), Alex Sandro (3-0, 57′), Dybala (4-0, 90+1′)
Referee: Piero Giacomelli
Yellow Cards: Baselli (10′, 24′), Ljajic (39′), Benatia (45+1′), Acquah (83′)
Red Cards: Baselli (24′)
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