Juventus returned to the top of Serie A on Sunday afternoon as they earned a tight 1-0 win over rivals Torino.
Taking on Il Toro at the Stadio Olimipico Grande, Alex Sandro proved to be the match-winner for the Old Lady as he converted Federico Bernardeschi’s low cross in the 33rd minute of the game.
Early injury worries for Juve
In what was a huge blow for the visiting champions, Gonzalo Higuaín was forced off through injury with only 15 minutes on the clock. The 30-year-old striker, who had already scored 20 goals throughout the season, was replaced by Federico Bernardeschi.
Kwadwo Asamoah was the first to really worry the Torino defence as he connected powerfully with a Douglas Costa cross but the hosts somehow managed to scramble clear. Miralem Pjanić also tried his luck from a free-kick with Salvatore Sirigu punching his effort clear.
Alex Sandro snatches derby lead
Despite Alex Sandro opening the scoring in the derby, it was Bernardeschi who was key in the opening goal. The former Fiorentina man dribbled his way into the Torino penalty area and put in an excellent low cross. Brazilian defender Sandro was unmarked only yards from goal and tapped the ball home high into the roof of the net to give the visitors the lead.
Juventus continued to dominate proceedings up until the break and it was Max Allegri’s men who went into half-time with a valuable lead.
Il Toro struggle to break down Juventus
It was always going to be a difficult task fro Torino to score against their rivals, who had not conceded a goal in Serie A since November. One of their better efforts after the break came through Joel Obi who set his sights from just outside the penalty area. Wojciech Szczęsny was able to collect his tame effort comfortably however.
Substitute Paulo Dybala twice had the chance to stretch the Old Lady’s advantage at the Stadio Olimpico Grande. He first made an excellent run beyond the home side’s defence but could only scuff his shot into the arms of the goalkeeper. The Argentine forward then found space in the penalty area but was unlucky to scoop his shot high over the crossbar.
Walter Mazzari’s men did come close however M’baye Niang’s cross was just too high for the head of Andrea Belotti. The hosts were simply not able to create enough of a clear-cut opportunity to cancel out Juventus’ opener.
Whilst Torino did put up a brave battle against their far superior rivals, Juventus were good value for their victory. The hosts struggled throughout the match to trouble the Old Lady’s defence, whilst the opposition defended strongly. Il Toro remain in ninth in the Serie A table as a result of their loss.
Allegri’s troops meanwhile could have made their victory far more emphatic had it not been for a couple of wasted opportunities. Their excellent form in Serie A continues and they rise to the top, albeit possibly temporarily, ahead of next weekend’s clash against Atalanta next weekend.
Torino: Sirigu (7); De Silvestre (6) (Edera (N/A), 80′), Nkoulou (6), Burdisso (6), Molinaro (6); Baselli (5) (Niang (7), 55′), Rincón (6), Obi (7) (Acquah (5), 72′); Falque (6), Ansaldi (6), Belotti (5).
Juventus: Szczęsny (7); De Sciglio (6), Rugani (7), Chiellini (7), Asamoah (7); Khedira (7), Pjanić (7), Sturaro (6); Costa (7) (Dybala (7), 66′), Higuaín (N/A) (Bernardeschi (7), 15′) (Lichtsteiner (N/A), 90+2′), Sandro (8).
Goals: Sandro (33′)
Referee: Daniele Orstato
Yellow Cards: De Sciglio (65′)
Red Cards: N/A
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