Juventus 4-1 Roma: Disjointed Giallorossi undone by early Bianconeri blitz

Juventus romped to a 45th Serie A game unbeaten with a resounding 4-1 victory over Roma in Turin on Saturday night.

Fans at the Juventus Arena were in full voice long before kick-off, but they could never have predicted the start that their side would make to the match, as they raced into a three-goal lead after 19 minutes.

Andrea Pirlo drilled home the opener in the 11th minute directly from a free-kick, before an Artuo Vidal penalty and a further goal from Alessandro Matri put the hosts out of sight against an overrun Roma side, who simply had no answer to wave after wave of attacks.

The Giallorossi would manage to claw their way back into contention during an improved second-half display, and a spot-kick from Osvaldo in the 69th minute gave Zdenek Zeman's men the faintest of hopes.

But there was nothing more to come from the visitors, who could not recover from their first-half fallacies as Sebastian Giovinco finished off a terrific late counterattack to move Juventus three points clear at the top of the table.

Matri was one of five changes for the Bianconeri from the 0-0 draw with Fiorentina in midweek, with Mirko Vucinic also handed a place in the starting XI at the expense of Fabio Quagliarella.

Meanwhile, Roma saw captain Daniele De Rossi return to the starting line-up after coming on as a substitute during the 1-1 draw with Sampdoria, while Mattia Destro was dropped in favour of Osvaldo.

There were warning signs of things to come for Roma inside the opening 10 minutes, as Claudio Marchisio came within inches of turning home a dangerous cross at the far post, moments before he was clumsily fouled on the edge of the box by Rodrigo Taddei, who was lucky to escape with a yellow card.

However, that would not be the end of the Brazilian’s woes, as his sloppy positioning in the wall allowed Pirlo to drill home a low free-kick into the corner from 20 yards out.

Five minutes later, a shambolic piece of defending on a cross forced Leandro Castan to concede a penalty for handball as he attempted to block a shot from Matri, and Vidal stepped up to confidently bury the resulting spot-kick.

Erik Lamela had an instant chance to reduce the arrears, but after ghosting in unmarked at the back post to meet a cross, he side-footed wide from a few yards out.

Vidal would turn provider moments later, slipping in Matri past a collapsing Roma defence for a deflected finish after an unconvincing attempt to save by Maarten Stekelenburg.

Roma were awful in every area of the pitch, but their defending was especially shambolic as Juve had chance after chance to score again.

Stekelenburg spilled a routine shot that was almost pounced upon by Vucinic and seconds later, Marchisio smashed against the crossbar after breaking free yet again of the visitors’ backline.

The woodwork would come to Roma’s rescue once again, as Vucinic’s dipping shot from just inside the area cannoned off the top of the bar, after he was left completely unmarked.

Lamela seemed to be at the end of what little the Giallorossi could offer in the attacking third, first seeing a dangerous cross blocked from danger, before sending a close-range header into Gianluigi Buffon’s arms with one of the last kicks of the half.

The pattern seemed set to continue after the break, as a stinging drive from Vucinic seemed to be heading for the top corner, but for the fingertips of Stekelenburg.

However, Juve, despite their continued dominance, did not display the cutthroat intensity of the opening period, as they seemed content to sit on their three-goal advantage.

That invited Roma back into the match, but the visitors, despite an improved display, were unable to penetrate the defence of the Bianconeri, who were only too happy to sit deep and break on the counter.

However, Roma were handed a lifeline in the 69th minute, after a careless barge by Leonardo Bonucci into Mattia Destro conceded a penalty, from which Osvaldo coolly sent Buffon the wrong way.

Osvaldo would nearly come up with the goods again, with a snap-shot from inside the area that brought the very best out of Buffon, as the visitors looked to press forward in numbers late on.

However, time was not on Roma’s side, and Giovinco finished matters after rounding Stekelenburg on a late counterattack to put the icing on the cake of Juventus' fifth win from six Serie A outings so far this season.

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