Juventus eased to a 2-0 win against Lazio at the Stadio Olimpico on Saturday to move up to sixth place in Serie A.
A Leonardo Bonucci penalty in each half proved enough for Massimiliano Allegri’s side, making it back-to-back wins in the league after they beat Fiorentina 1-0 before the international break.
Lazio were without star striker Ciro Immobile and it showed as the Biancocelesti struggled to create much in the way of chances.
Maurizio Sarri would have been hoping to do better against his former club, with his team now having won just twice in their last seven games in all competitions.
Danilo was forced off with an injury for the visitors after 15 minutes following a strong challenge from Elseid Hysaj, with Dejan Kulusevski replacing the Brazilian.
Juventus had their first penalty in the 22nd minute after Danilo Cataldi was judged to have fouled Alvaro Morata in the box following a VAR review, which Bonucci coolly dispatched past Pepe Reina.
Morata should have made it two just before half-time when Juan Cuadrado lifted a delicate ball into the box, only for the Spain striker’s scissor-kick to fly over the bar.
Juve had their second penalty with ten minutes to go after Federico Chiesa rounded Reina, only to be hacked down by the goalkeeper before he could score, and Bonucci made no mistake to seal the win.
— OptaPaolo(@OptaPaolo) November 20, 2021
What does it mean? Juve back on track
Shortly before the international break there was slight talk of crisis at Juventus. Back-to-back defeats against Sassuolo and Verona saw the Old Lady sitting in ninth place, 16 points off the top of the table.
After victory here, they are temporarily at least up to sixth and have cut Napoli and Milan’s lead at the top to 11 points, albeit with both still yet to play this weekend.
They will hope to build on three wins in a row in all competitions when they travel to Chelsea for matchday five of the Champions League in midweek, where a win will confirm them as winners of Group H.
Better week for Bonucci
Bonucci and the rest of his Italian team-mates had an international break to forget, with draws against Switzerland and Northern Ireland meaning that the Azzurri must now go through the play-offs if they are to qualify for the 2022 World Cup.
However, Bonucci’s penalties against Lazio not only won the game, but also mean he has scored more Serie A goals than any other defender since the beginning of the last decade (27).
Lazio lack mobility without Immobile
Immobile is one of only four players already with at least 10 goals in the big five European leagues this season, along with Robert Lewandowski, Karim Benzema and Mohamed Salah.
Lazio unsurprisingly missed their talisman here, with only one of their eight shots at goal hitting the target.
Lazio face Lokomotiv Moscow in Russia in the Europa League on Thursday, while Juventus travel to Chelsea in the Champions League on Tuesday.
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