Mario Mandzukic made Inter Milan pay for numerous missed chances as he scored the only goal of the game in a 1-0 win in the derby d’Italia against Inter Milan on Friday evening.
The scores were level up until the 66th at the Juventus Stadium until the Croatian frontman nodded a wonderful header home to make sure of maximum points.
Inter enjoy most of first-half
Inter started on the frontfoot but it was actually Juventus who created the first opportunity of the match. Cristiano Ronaldo crossed towards Paulo Dybala but the Argentine could only head over the bar.
The best chance of the opening period though probably came the way of the visitors as Roberto Gagliardini hit the post. Matteo Politano and Mauro Icardi both combined extremely well to present the midfielder with a chance but his strike deflected away off of the woodwork.
Luciano Spalletti’s men then carved out another great chance but Ivan Perisic could only drag the ball just wide.
Chiellini spurns chances to give Juventus the lead
Neither side could quite find enough cutting edge in the first period to take the lead. Marcelo Brozovic put in excellent defensive work to block Rodrigo Bentancur’s goal bound effort after he was picked back with an excellent pull-back.
Juventus captain Giorgio Chiellini then had two headers, with Samir Handanovic saving the first before the veteran defender nodded over the crossbar to ensure the scores remained level at the break.
Mandzukic gives Juve slender lead
The second-half begun just as the first had ended, with chances being created but neither side being able to find the net. Politano should have opened the scoring but his tame effort was blocked by Leonardo Bonucci.
Inter were to rue their missed opportunities as Mandzukic edged Juventus ahead just over an hour into the game. Joao Cancelo did excellently to manufacture space on the left flank before crossing the ball into the Croatian striker at the back post. He pulled off of his man before dispatching a powerful, diving header beyond Handanovic and into the back of the net.
Lautaro Martinez was introduced in the closing stages and could have equalised with less than a minute left as he picked up a poor clearance from Cancelo but could only drag his effort wide of goal. As it happened, that would be the final chance that Inter had as Juventus held out to secure three points.
Inter will look back on the clash and wonder how they did not manage to get anything out of the game. They had plenty of chances to earn at least one point but they could not quite convert any of their opportunities. Juventus defending expertly once they had gone ahead and as a result now sit 11 points clear at the top of the Serie A table.
Elsewhere, Inter Milan remain in third position and four points clear of great rivals AC Milan.
Juventus: Szczesny (6); Cancelo (7), Chiellini (7), Bonucci (7), De Sciglio (6); Matuidi (6), Pjanic (7) (Can (N/A), 82′), Bentancur (7); Ronaldo (6), Dybala (6) (Costa (6), 72′), Mandzukic (7).
Inter Milan: Handanovic ()7; Asamoah (6), Miranda (6), Skriniar (7), Vrsaljko (6); Mario (6) (Martinez (N/A), 78′), Brozovic (7), Gagliardini (6) (Balde (6), 70′); Perisic (6), Politano (6) (Valero (6), 58′), Icardi (6).
Goals: Mandzukic (66′)
Referee: Massimiliano Irrati
Yellow Cards: Pjanic (6′), Bentancur (54′), Perisic (55′), Brozovic (57′)
Red Cards: N/A
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