Napoli under pressure as they look to hold on to third place.
All eyes were on Turin on Sunday night as Juventus hosted bitter rivals Inter Milan in the Derby d’Italia. While the visitors harboured hopes of causing an upset, they were ultimately undone by a ruthless Scudetto-winning machine.
It took the Bianconeri just 16 minutes to begin their march towards another win as they bounced back immediately from the disappointment of being held by Lazio last weekend.
With goals from Stephan Lichtsteiner, Giorgio Chiellini and Arturo Vidal, Antonio Conte’s side picked up their 19th victory in 22 games, with former striker Gianluca Vialli claiming that they were stronger “physically, technically and intellectually”, as reported by Football Italia.
Rodrigo Palacio missed two big opportunities which would have given Walter Mazzarri some hope, but with a midfield trio of Taider-Kuzmanovic-Kovacic not doing enough in the early stages to help support in the attacking phase, Juve’s strong start eventually broke them down.
With Osvaldo being added to the squad in January, the defending champions will be confident in their ability to wrap up a third consecutive title while the Europa League resumes later this month.
In contrast, Mazzarri faces huge issues at Inter, and he will be desperate for the addition of Hernanes to have a positive impact on the squad for the remainder of the season as they continue their search for a first win in 2014.
Elsewhere, Roma were unable to keep up the pressure as a waterlogged pitch caused the abandonment of their encounter with Parma at the Stadio Olimpico.
Napoli boss Rafa Benitez would arguably have hoped for the same after his side’s horror show in Atalanta, with former striker German Denis bagging a brace in a 3-0 win.
The Spaniard has found life tough in recent months as their title bid falls away, however he will know the importance of holding on to third place whilst also bringing in silverware to keep the supporters happy in the shape of either the Coppa Italia or Europa League.
Fiorentina were also defeated this weekend in a difficult schedule for the top teams, while Clarence Seedorf dropped his first league points as coach of AC Milan.
The Dutchman has looked comfortable in his new position and rarely appears to be out of his depth tactically.
However, he received criticism for certain selections in the 1-1 draw with Torino at San Siro on Saturday night, while expectant supporters were perhaps hoping for more development since his arrival.
The 37-year-old insists that it will take time for the players to fully understand and accept his philosophies, while vice-president Adriano Galliani insists that the supporters must see the glass half full rather than half empty.
There have been some encouraging signs for the club legend, but he may need to take a few more risks while he has the luxury of time and patience in his first few months in charge.
Watch the video below to see Adil Rami’s first goal for Milan which earned them a point against Torino: