Juventus Defeat Roma 3-0 to Extend Lead At Top of Serie A Table
Antonio Conte’s Juventus has shown yet again its unmatched supremacy in the Serie A after a clinical 3-0 victory over Roma. This was the tenth Juventus win without conceding goals, and from the very start of the match the bianconeri seemed rarely troubled by Roma’s inconclusive attacks. Even if the giallorossi had the majority of possession throughout the match, Conte’s clinical side was defensively impregnable and direct with its attacking advances.
Roma’s best chance to score came in the first minutes of the match when Totti slipped Ljajic through the Juve defense but Buffon was quick to stifle the opportunity. Garcia’s team was at its best early in the first half, continuous possession and tight passing triangles created shooting opportunities which Buffon saved without too many problems. With De Rossi dropping in between the central defenders, Maicon and Dodo were given reign to surge forward and contribute to the various passing combinations of the giallorossi.
However Juventus was much more efficient in its sparse possession, and it took one opportunity for Conte’s side to take the lead. Tevez held the ball in Roma’s box, quickly turned to face goal, and laid off to Vidal who slotted by De Sanctis’s near post. It was a tidy dismantling of Roma’s defence, inviting the visitors to attack in hopes of finding an equalizer. Although Roma managed to keep the ball and pin Juventus into their own half, Garcia’s side was inconclusive and unable to create goalscoring opportunities as the first half ended.
Juventus might have allowed the visitors possession, but when the second half resumed it only took a couple of minutes for them to double to scoreline. Pirlo’s free kick picked out the completely unmarked Bonucci at the far post, and the defender slid in the easy finish. For all of Roma’s one-touch passing their defending was easily exploited, and there would be no similar lapses of concentration by the Juventus defence. Garcia replaced Pjanic (suffering from constant niggling injuries) and Dodo with Destro and Torosidis, in hopes of adding some substance to his formation which was always ponderous in possession.
The directness with which Juventus often counter-attacked Roma was led by Carlos Tevez. The Argentine was always a threat, instrumental in creating opportunities for himself and his teammates. Conte let Tevez get a standing ovation from the Juventus Stadium in the 59th, substituting him with Vucinic. Roma’s overcommitment when attacking yielded few chances, often fizzing out with wide shots or abruptly ending by the feet of an imperious Chiellini.
Garcia’s final substitution put on Florenzi in the place of Totti in the 72nd, but it had little effect when two minutes later De Rossi was sent off with a straight red for a two-footed tackle on Chiellini. Roma’s collapse continued when from the resulting free kick Castan conceded a penalty and received a red card for blocking the goal bound ball with his hand. Vucinic drove the penalty past De Sanctis, and in just a couple of minutes Roma were three goals down and with only nine men. As Garcia retreated to the bench, Roma continued to keep possession, now truly unable to venture forward in the final ten minutes of the match.
Referee Rizzoli spared the giallorossi the injury time after a plea from Maicon, saying that the match was already over. Juventus are now comfortable at the top of the table with an eight point lead over Roma. Conte’s side was infallible in its defending and clinical going forward, earning a decisive victory that pencils them in for the scudetto.