Juventus maintain pole position
SERIE A FIXTURES
|Saturday, December 15|
|Sunday, December 16|
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Full-back Stephan Lichtsteiner was the Juventus matchwinner as the league leaders marked boss Antonio Conte's return to the dugout with victory against struggling Palermo at the Stadio Renzo Barbera today.
It was the first time the 43-year-old has supervised his team on a match day since he was banned from the touchline for his alleged involvement in match-fixing.
Lichtsteiner's goal five minutes into the second half was the only goal in the game as Palermo played the last 15 minutes with 10 men after Michel Morganella saw red after picking up two bookings.
Andrea Pirlo shot over early on before the home side went close after 14 minutes as Josip Ilic's effort from inside the area went inches wide.
Samir Ujkani was called into action in the Palermo goal for the first time after 36 minutes as he dived to his left to tip Marchisio's shot round the post.
The champions ramped up the pressure and just two minutes later Mirko Vucinic hit a post after Marchisio's effort was blocked by Edgar Barreto.
Ujkani was called into action once again just before the break denying Matri from close range.
Vucinic hit a post once again a minute after the restart before Lichtsteiner finally put Juventus in front.
A typically accurate long-range pass from Andrea Pirlo found Vucinic, whose backheel found the Swiss international, who finished from close range.
Palermo had failed to create chances all afternoon and their hopes of getting back into the clash were dealt a blow after 75 minutes when there was a second yellow card for Morganella after he pulled back Kwadwo Asamoah.
Vucinic was once again denied by Ujkani at the death, but Juventus rarely looked troubled by a Palermo side who are now level with third-bottom Pescara after they beat Genoa this afternoon.