- POSTED: 03 Feb 2014 01:11
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Champions Juventus tightened their grip on Italy's Serie A on Sunday after outclassing Inter Milan 3-1 to claim deserved bragging rights from the 'Derby d'Italia'.
MILAN: Champions Juventus tightened their grip on Italy's Serie A on Sunday after outclassing Inter Milan 3-1 to claim deserved bragging rights from the 'Derby d'Italia'.
Inter travelled to Turin hoping to at least replicate their 1-1 draw with Antonio Conte's men in Milan during the opening half of the season.
But Juve, who had scored 16 goals in their five previous league games, flew out the blocks and had created several early goalscoring chances before Stephan Lichsteiner's diving header from Andrea Pirlo's chipped ball gave the hosts a 15th minute lead.
Juve piled on the pressure and only the safe hands of Samir Handanovic kept Inter from conceding more before the break.
Juve doubled their lead only two minutes after the restart thanks to defender Giorgio Chiellini, with an alert Arturo Vidal giving Juve a 3-0 lead on 55 minutes after pouncing on Paul Pogba's rebound.
Inter's efforts in a late but faint fightback were rewarded in the 71st minnute when Rolando beat Marco Storari in the Juve goal although it was scant consolation for what was a decidedly mediocre performance from Walter Mazzarri's side.
Juve's 19th win of the campaign took their lead on Roma to nine points although the Giallorossi's earlier encounter at home to Parma was rained off and has yet to be rescheduled.
Napoli are a distant third, 15 points adrift after a stunning 3-0 collapse at Atalanta, with Fiorentina a further three points off the pace.
Inter have now taken only eight points from their last 10 games and are sixth in the table, 26 points behind Juve and two behind Verona, who occupy the first Europa League qualifying place.
Inter had dominated the weekend transfer headlines with the capture of Hernanes from Lazio.
But neither the Brazilian international midfielder nor Colombian Fredy Guarin -- the subject of a recently botched swap deal involving Juve striker Mirko Vucinic -- were in Mazzarri's starting line-up.
Juve signed Dani Osvaldo from Southampton on Friday and are still waiting on him to reach full match fitness, but on this display he may have a challenge shifting either Carlos Tevez or Fernando Llorente.
After just three minutes Tevez forced a superb double save from Handanovic and then Chiellini fired just over.
Inter were being overrun and buckled when Pirlo sighted Lichsteiner unmarked and flighted a delightful ball for the Swiss international to dive and head past Handanovic.
Pogba then blasted over from close range and Handanovic saved from Tevez again, while at the other end Rodrigo Palacio fired just over on 40 minutes after a promising counter-attack.
Juve finished with a flurry and began in the same fashion after the interval.
Yuto Nagatomo made a mess of a clearance, Vidal threw the ball back in and it eventually fell to Chiellini to blast past Handanovic from the right of goal.
Minutes later Palacio had Inter hearts racing when he fired over with a first-time effort following Ricardo Alvarez's low pass.
Juve stretched their lead in the 55th minute when Llorente collected to the left of goal, controlled and turned to set up Pogba. When the Frenchman's close-range shot was blocked by Handanovic, Vidal pounced to sweep in the rebound.
Mazzarri made a number of changes with Milito replacing the ineffective Zdravko Kuzmanovic and ex-Torino defender Danilo D'Ambrosio making his Nerazzurri debut by replacing Jonathan.
But the changes had little effect and although Rolando fired an angled drive past Storari when Juve failed to clear from a corner, Inter were unable to convert the few half-chances they went on to create.