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Monday November 11 2013
Juventus launch Scudetto missile

A second consecutive slip-up by Roma gave the reigning champions a scent of blood. And, as Giancarlo Rinaldi reports, Juventus showed their old lethal streak to move in for the kill.

Anyone who thought they would give up their crown without a fight really knew nothing about Antonio Conte and his team. In the biggest Scudetto showdown of the season so far, the Bianconeri showed their determination to make it three-in-a-row. Ahead of the international break, it sounded like an alarm bell to any of their title rivals.

La Vecchia Signora started their game with Napoli like a caged beast which had been starved of food for a fortnight. They sunk their teeth into Rafa Benitez’s side with great gusto in the opening stages and got their reward after just a couple of minutes. Fernando Llorente was narrowly offside when he prodded the ball home, but the Turin side needed no second invitation to take control.

Not that the Partenopei went down without a fight, they had their chances to get back into the match but Gigi Buffon – the man some suggested was past his best – excelled himself in denying the visitors. Later in the game a typically pinpoint Andrea Pirlo free-kick and sweet swivelling finish from Paul Pogba put the outcome beyond doubt. It puts Conte’s men in the perfect position to carry out an overtaking manoeuvre at the top of the table once their players come back from national team duties.

“We have sent an important signal to those ahead of us,” said Pirlo in post-match interviews. “We are all up there – Roma are having a great championship but we have to worry about ourselves. After the Giallorossi drew we had to close the gap and we did it in the best way possible.”

“Napoli are a very strong team which can still improve a lot,” added Conte. “I am sure they are a team which will fight right to the end for the Scudetto. It will be a fight with them and Roma and then there are Inter and Fiorentina and maybe other teams.”

“To start a game against such a strong side as Juventus and go behind after two minutes changes everything,” said Benitez. “Up to the 74th minute the team showed quality and concentration. Then we saw two goals which showed the quality of their players.”

Those who had predicted a slowing of Roma’s pace got surprising proof of their wisdom against Sassuolo. The Giallorossi looked to be set for a Stadio Olimpico stroll when Alessandro Longhi thumped one into his own goal in the first half. But a personal duel between Adem Ljajic and Gianluca Pegolo saw the visiting goalkeeper thwart the Serbian on at least three occasions. When Rudi Garcia’s men failed to extend their lead it was up to special agent Domenico Berardi – owned by Juve – to level the match deep in injury time.

“When we did not get the second goal this could always happen,” admitted the Roma boss. “You cannot relax when you are just one goal ahead. But we are still in first place and we played a good game – more so in the second half than the first. That is the important thing for me – we are playing well and as long as we are doing that we will win games.”

For other teams, however, winning matches has become the hardest thing of all. For few sides is this more true than Max Allegri’s Milan. With Mario Balotelli banned again, the closest they came to downing Chievo was a Robinho shot which bounced off the post. Their tactician took the goalless draw – and the increased questions over his future – in philosophical style.

“I am the Milan Coach – if the club thinks they need another one they will let me know,” he said. “We created a lot and conceded not much. I couldn’t have asked any more of my players. Sometimes scoring a goal and winning a game can change people’s opinions of a team.”

It is the same story for Delio Rossi at Sampdoria who was surrounded by rumours that he would be shown the door after away defeat to Fiorentina. A quick-fire Giuseppe Rossi double looked to have given the Viola an easy victory but they trembled a little after Manolo Gabbiadini narrowed the gap. Vincenzo Montella’s men just held out to keep themselves in the European debate.

Verona tumbled out of that equation a little with their defeat at the hands of back-in-form Genoa, but Inter kept up a good pace thanks to a Saturday night win over Livorno. Their task was made easier by an unfortunate blunder from visiting goalkeeper Francesco Bardi who pretty much threw the ball into his own net to open the scoring. The fact that he is on-loan from the Nerazzurri, like much of the Tuscan team, only made it look worse. Yuto Nagatomo completed the scoring in a match which was also notable for the return of Javier Zanetti to action after his long spell out through injury.

Elsewhere, Lazio shared the spoils with Parma at the Ennio Tardini while two Daniele Conti thunderbolt free-kicks were enough for Cagliari to sink Torino. That victory allowed the Sardinians to pull clear of Bologna who were downed by a late Marko Livaja strike in a 2-1 defeat at Atalanta. Finally, there was some consolation for Maxi Lopez who was able to get his mind off widely-reported relationship problems by giving Catania a rare win this season at home to Udinese. However, the Sicilians might still be separating from Serie A come the end of this campaign.

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Have your say...
@Dario


Holds a grudge against Ac Milan and SES how surprising. lol
on the 15th November, 2013 at 3:03am
@commonsense…milan drew with chievo who are at the bottom!
on the 14th November, 2013 at 9:59pm
this season is proving allegri is not a good fit at a top club. he is not mediocre by any means, in fact i think he could be effective with the nazionale, but he doesn't have the tools to motivate veteran players like a conte, mazzari, or apparently rudi garcia. he seems better suited to keeping someone like genoa or parma safely a stable, midtable squad that could challenge for europe.
on the 14th November, 2013 at 7:25am
@Viktor

And Juve have won 29 Official + 2 (stripped)

Milan only 18

That's what I called MILES behind, Those numbers speak for them self.
on the 14th November, 2013 at 5:09am
@spigy how blind are you? Lorente was offside and every journalist, football fan and even Conte said it!
on the 13th November, 2013 at 9:58pm
@ every blogger "ON" this sight, Milan or Juve "whichever", bottom line is milan drew against livorno the last place team in seria A, so @ viktor theirs your response for that copenhagen comparison,ATLEAST JUVE drew against a champions leaque team .BOTTOM LINE seria A is at an INCLINE and that's thanks to teams like JUVE,ROMA,NAPOLI,FIORENTINA,and dare I say it even Inter "ughh"!!.....FINO A LA FINE.
on the 13th November, 2013 at 8:07pm
@Viktor, so saying that Juve is miles behind Milan in CL is simply stupid. Yes, Milan has better result but Juve is among the big guns too.
on the 13th November, 2013 at 6:03pm
@Viktor, you should try to admit that you wrote a stupid thing instead of defending yourself by starting to talk about something else.
Yes Milan has won the CL 7 times and that's a great achievement. It's a shame Juve have won it only 2 times from the 7 finals they played.
However if you take a look at the statistics than you will see that Milan is currently 5th on the all time list with 313 points (124 wins in 245 matches played) while Juve is 6th with 265 points (105 wins in 215 matches).
on the 13th November, 2013 at 5:56pm
@ Dominator
''I dont think it gets anymore humiliating then peter crouch eliminating you from a competition.''

That is funny.
on the 13th November, 2013 at 1:47pm
@Viktor, both Milan and Juve have participated 28 times in the EC/UCL.
on the 13th November, 2013 at 10:38am
What Garcia is doing for Roma I believe Milan could use one like him.All this team needs is structure with the players they have. LIKE they say in hockey a good defence makes a great offence.....
on the 13th November, 2013 at 6:00am
Juventus are the only proactive club in Italy and as long as the rest of the Calcio live in the dark ages we will continue to dominate. We have risen from the ashes of Calcopoli, built a beautiful modern stadium and have lucrative deals in place, which will help us to challenge strongly in every competition. We are respected in Europe again, as emphasized by Ronaldo's post match comments last week. Juventus are playing their part in making Serie A great again, it's up to the rest now to follow.
on the 12th November, 2013 at 9:56pm
@ viktor Inhale 4 seconds through the nose and exhale 4 seconds throug the mouth. It works for me all the time.HOPE this makes a little [sense],.FORZA JUVE 4 EVER,. NO PUN INTENDED.
on the 12th November, 2013 at 9:20pm
@dominator ;I'm a huge Juve fan by all means,just the team on that match day is decided by the coach based on player performance, So being said that the coach has to judge on individual wants of the player,meaning play with heart and grit.Milan is a great dynasty for what it is,BUT Allegri cannot put his emotions in front of what's best for the team. His discrepancies against- El sharaway and Nocerino and Bonera are wrong.Time for new coach not players. @ viktor "3rd after Real".
on the 12th November, 2013 at 9:08pm
It seems Chievo have sacked Sannino and Samp have sacked Rossi??? So let me get this straight. Sunday's draw was not good enough for Chievo but it was good enough for Milan??? Samp are only 4 points behind Milan? So many questions...I would like to say that Sannino has been really unlucky. Chievo have had a really tough start to the season playing all the big teams. They were well worth their draw on Sunday and could easily have won(albeit we also hit the post). Very harsh decision.
on the 12th November, 2013 at 12:12pm
The other bog clubs need new stadiums like Juve. They earn 30 mill. more because of their new stadium. Build 45.000 to 55.000 and fill them.
on the 12th November, 2013 at 10:36am
Lots of positives about Juventus' last night. Barzagli was magnificent and is still our best defender. Bonucci had his best game of the season, as did Ogbonna who I believe should replace Chiellini going forward. The midfield three were awesome and whilst Pirlo and Pogba rightly grabbed the headlines for their magnificent goals, I thought Vidal was immense. Marchisio has no place in this team and should be sold asap. I would rather see Marrone brought back, than Marchisio play again.
on the 12th November, 2013 at 8:01am
Everyone is saying Llorente was offside, but he wasn't. Sky already enlarged the picture. People think he is offside because they only see 3 players.

There was a player standing behind him who kept him onside.
on the 12th November, 2013 at 7:35am
Napoli should take heart from their performance as it took 3 pure brilliant moments to completely take them down, that touch by Tevez to Llorente, La Maledetta by Pirlo, and supposedly a bad first touch by Pogba, Lorenzo Insigne was unlucky to not score a goal... I say he deserved one.

Forza Juve!
on the 12th November, 2013 at 4:40am
Why no Veratti. Could enuf to start for PSG but not Azzuri ?
No plan B for Pirlo ? Please don't tell me Motta is plan B!!!
on the 11th November, 2013 at 11:39pm
Juve is superior by far to everyone by feb they will be 6 points clear, Milan just sack allegri and give Milan to maldini just as juve did do it now why are they waiting
on the 11th November, 2013 at 11:12pm
As a Napoli fan I have to say that Juve were just ousome and to good for Naploli.....I said the same when Arsenal turned us over, lets see how we react and can RB pick the team up for the next encounter.....Nothing is lost just yet!
on the 11th November, 2013 at 10:01pm
My hope and prayer is that: may the international break not affect our(juve) form because right now we are at our peak. Forza juve! If I'm ask to describe Pogba in 1 word, my answer is phinominal!
on the 11th November, 2013 at 8:31pm
Juventus were worthy of the 3 points, I don't doubt that. A shame Rocci wasn't more consistent in the officiating of the game - an offside, some dubious decisions and some over zealous yellow cards towards Napoli.
I just wonder if a couple of Insigne's chances went in when Buffon was beaten? Nevertheless, Juve deserved their win. Avanti Napoli, avanti Napoli!
on the 11th November, 2013 at 8:05pm
A bit off the topic but "WTF" is Allegri still doing in Milan seriously. Also Galliani has to go, nuff said. 3 years ago the Juve higher ups cleaned house and look at them now.Logic must overcome emotions,This MILAN TEAM is fine the way it is, accept the right players should be starting not the duds that are now. they must play 3/4/2/1 formation with the players they have and you'll see them come around.[by the way Viktor "really" Juventus should be the 1st in the order of your post.
on the 11th November, 2013 at 7:33pm
Juventus launch Scudetto missile and it's just landed in Rome!!!!!!!!
on the 11th November, 2013 at 7:30pm
@ Sam De Martino SES and De Sciglio play for Milan so they'll both be injured until they move onto somewhere else. In other news Pato has now played 26 games for Corinthians since he left Milan last January. I'm sure there's nothing to learn from that.
on the 11th November, 2013 at 6:25pm
Hate to admit it but the way Juve played against Napoli was just incredible. They looked really good. Their midfield is probably in among up around top 5.

Bayern, Barca, Real and then Juve (midfield that is)

Pogba is just incredible, I'm bitter for letting Pirlo go, imagine how Man U feels bout pogba. I wonder how long they will be able to keep him. I think a 45 million bit will be enough for him to be on he's way.
on the 11th November, 2013 at 5:15pm
All I can say is BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM GAME ON.
on the 11th November, 2013 at 3:38pm
Lol its so funny how now the blogs and the little sheeps that post will quickly jump the roma ship and jump back on the juve ship.

Roma dont worry me in the slightest. By xmas they will be back to fighting for the third spot. Juve have this.

Roma's confidence is already decaying, when they face juve, they will lose.
on the 11th November, 2013 at 2:47pm

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