Juventus moved seven points clear at the top of the Serie A table with an emphatic 4-1 victory against Turin rivals Torino on Saturday evening.
The tricky Paulo Dybala had his say on derby day within two minutes as he netted a wonderful solo strike before Juan Cuadrado doubled the lead with a powerful effort of his own. Torino reduced the deficit on the stroke of half-time as Andrea Belotti netted in his fourth consecutive Serie A game from the spot after Matthijs de Ligt was penalised for handball.
Cristiano Ronaldo put the result beyond any doubt just after the hour with a wonderful free-kick, with a Koffi Djidji own goal wrapping up the scoring late on.
Thrilling start in Turin
It was a perfect start for the hosts as they seized the lead within two minutes of kick-off and it was a brilliant strike from Dybala. Cuadrado played the ball to the Argentine from the edge of the box, with the striker then jinking in and out, evading two Torino challenges. He then calmly stroked the ball over the advanced Salvatore Sirigu for his 11th league goal of the campaign.
Ronaldo and Federico Bernardeschi then went close to doubling the lead, with the former stinging the palms of the Torino stopper with an effort from distance before the latter lashed the ball into the side-netting.
VAR gives Torino a lifeline
The hosts did not have to wait much longer to get their second though and it came from a lethal counter-attack. Ronaldo broke up the field and played the ball to Cuadrado on the right. He shifted the ball and then let fly into the bottom corner of the Torino net.
Despite being blown away by Juventus’ clinical attack, Torino did manage to get themselves on the scoresheet just before the game. Simone Verdi fired an effort at goal, only to see it stopped by de Ligt. VAR then intervened, awarding the hosts a penalty that was dispatched by Belotti.
The Italian international thought he had equalised just minutes after the break as he finished from a rebound off of Gianluigi Buffon but was denied by the offside flag.
Ronaldo bags a third
Just as it looked like Torino were building up a head of steam, their momentum was brutally halted by a Cristian Ronaldo free-kick. Lined up just over 20 yards from goal, the Portuguese superstar blitzed a stunning drive into the top corner that Sirigu could do absolutely nothing about.
The hosts had even more opportunities towards the closing stages to make it a more emphatic victory through Dybala and Douglas Costa but both efforts were blocked well.
Own goal piles on Torino misery
A fourth did come though but it was not from a Juventus player but from subsititute Djidji. In attempting to clear a dangerous cross from Danilo, the ball hit the Ivorian’s shin and spun into the bottom corner to condemn Torino to another painful derby day defeat.
The pain in the Turin derby and in fact Serie A goes on as Torino are condemned to another defeat. The visitors were way off the pace in the first period against their illustrious opponents, with Juventus’ quality proving the difference. They did have brief encouragement at the start of the second-half but Ronaldo’s strike really did halt their recovery. As a result, Maurizio Sarri’s men are now in control of the title race, whilst Torino need to be careful of being dragged into the relegation picture.
Juventus: Buffon (7); Danilo (7), Bonucci (7), de Ligt (6), Cuadrado (7); Rabiot (6), Pjanic (6) (Matuidi (7), 49′), Bentancur (6); Bernardeschi (6) (Costa (7), 55′), Dybala (8) (Higuain (N/A), 80′), Ronaldo (7).
Torino: Sirigu (5); Bremer (6) (Djidji (N/A), 84′), Lyanco (5), Izzo (5); Aina (5) (Ansaldi (N/A), 84′), Meite (4), Lukic (5), De Silvestri (6) (Edera (N/A), 80′); Berenguer (5), Verdi (7) (Millico (5), 68′), Belotti (7).
Goals: Dybala (3′), Cuadrado (29′), Belotti (PEN 45+6′), Ronaldo (61′), Djidji OG (87′)
Referee: Fabio Maresca
Yellow Cards: Bonucci (26′), Pjanic (39′), de Ligt (45+5′), Izzo (58′), Aina (60′), Dybala (70′)
Red Cards: N/A
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