Juventus edge closer to title
Juventus moved a step closer to a successful defence of their
Serie A title with a 2-0 win at Lazio on Monday night.
Juventus’ win opens up an 11-point lead at the top of Serie A
with six games left.
Two goals from Arturo Vidal inside the first half an hour ended
Lazio’s hopes of moving into contention for a place in the
Champions League next season in the battle of the two last Italian
survivors in Europe, up until last week.
Juve bounced back in style from their Champions League
elimination to Bayern Munich while Lazio failed to do likewise
after going out of the Europa League at the hands of Fenerbahce on
Lazio, lacking the suspended Giuseppe Biava and Stefano Radu,
had to improvise in defence, which is hardly an ideal situation
when faced with the league leaders.
A foul by the inexperienced Cana on Mirko Vucinic inside the
penalty area was punished in the eighth minute, and Vidal beat
Federico Marchetti from the spot to put the Bianconeri ahead.
Vucinic was denied by a good diving save from Marchetti in the
20th minute before Vidal made it two.
Vucinic’s cross was diverted kindly for Vidal by the luckless
Cana, and the former Bayer Leverkusen midfielder accepted the
invitation to score from close range.
Lazio’s heads dropped and Paul Pogba missed two chances to
increase Juve’s lead before the interval.
The home team’s coach Vladimir Petkovic appeared to have found
the right words during the break as Miroslav Klose and Ederson both
went close with two early chances in the second half.
But they were always open to attacks and Claudio Marchisio
should have increased Juve’s lead when he lifted his shot over in
the 56th minute.
Libor Kozak came on, but the man who was so prolific as the
Europa League’s top goalscorer could not recreate that threat in a
Serie A game, wasting several chances to reopen the game.
And Klose summed up his side’s luck, or lack thereof, when he
shot wide in stoppage time.