Juventus ease past Roma

Serie A, Juventus Stadium - Juventus 4 (Pirlo 11, Vidal 16 (pen), Matri 19, Giovinco 90) AS Roma 1 (Osvaldo pen 69)

Juventus extended their unbeaten league run to 45 matches following a comfortable 4-1 victory over AS Roma at the Juventus Stadium in Serie A.

The Italian champions raced into a three goal lead within 20 minutes thanks to strikes from Andrea Pirlo, Arturo Vidal and Alessandro Matri as the Old Lady dominated the first-half.

While the visitors improved in the second period, they were scarcely deserving of their consolation goal from Pablo Osvaldo with a little over twenty minutes remaining.

In fact, Juventus could have further extended their lead before Sebastian Giovinco rounded Maarten Stekelenburg in stoppage time to put added gloss on an already polished performance.

Having accused the club of doping in the 1990s, Zdenek Zeman resumed hostilities with the Old Lady this week claiming that Antonio Conte should not be allowed to train Juventus during his one-year ban.

Conte’s banishment from touchline duties has yet to derail their unbeaten run and there was little danger that Roma would bring it to an end as their ragged opening was punished with 11 minutes on the clock.

Andrea Pirlo, who was peerless throughout, steered a free-kick under the wall following a coming together of Rodrigo Taddei and Claudio Marchisio on the edge of the box.

It could have been worse for the Giallorossi though, as Taddei was lucky not to have been sent off considering he was last man. However, the visitors luck would not stretch any further when Leandro Castan handled inside the box and offered Arturo Vidal the opportunity to double his side’s advantage on 16 minutes.

It was an opportunity the Chilean duly took, stroking the ball past the outstretched hand of Stekelenburg. The early scoreline failed to flatter Juventus, who were imperious for the opening exchanges of the half and the home faithful were not to wait too long for a third.

Alessandro Matri broke the offside trap with only 19 minutes on the clock to control a chipped ball from Vidal before composing himself and firing past Stekelenburg to make it a three goal advantage in under 20 minutes.

The situation was so desperate that Zeman decided to make a tactical substitution with only 36 minutes gone, introducing Marquinhos for Federico Balzaretti but the relentless attacking continued as Mirko Vucinic rattled the crossbar. Despite their dominance, however, the Roma goal was not to be breached again before the interval.

Following the quick start of the first half, the second period had a more pedestrian opening with both sides battling it out in the middle of midfield, but the hosts continued to threaten on the break and Stekelenburg had to make a smart stop from Matri to deny the hosts a fourth.

The introduction of Mattia Destro gave the visitors more of an attacking threat and he fired a volley just over the bar moments before drawing the foul in the box that earned Zeman’s men a consolation.

Osvaldo remained composed, sending Gianluigi Buffon the wrong way from the penalty spot with 69 minutes on the clock. If Zeman thought that strike would be a catalyst to his side’s resurgence he was to be disappointed.

Juventus continued in the ascendancy and had a Leonardo Bonucci goal disallowed before Giovinco confirmed their dominance with a breakaway strike in stoppage time.