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Played
January 21, 2012 2:45 PM EST
Stadio Atleti Azzurri d'Italia — Bergamo
Referee:‬ D. Celi‎
Attendance:‬ 21000‎
 
Top of the Match
Giorgio Chiellini
Giorgio Chiellini
Juventus
Andrea Pirlo
Andrea Pirlo
Juventus
Flop of the Match
Michele Ferri
Michele Ferri
Atalanta
Alessandro Matri
Alessandro Matri
Juventus

Atalanta 0-2 Juventus: Lichtsteiner and Giaccherini crown Conte's men as winter champion

The Bianconeri dominated the contest in Bergamo, and are assured first place at the halfway stage of the season thanks their four-point lead at the top

By Keeghann Sinanan

Stephan Lichtsteiner (J) - Atalanta-Juventus - Serie A (Getty Images)
Getty Images
Juventus overcame Atalanta 2-0 at the Stadio Atleti Azzurri d'Italia to clinch the unofficial title of Serie A winter champion.

After a slew of first half chances went begging, Stephan Lichtsteiner belatedly headed the visitors in front ten minutes after the restart. Substitute Emanuele Giaccherini volleyed home a well-taken second with eight minutes to go to claim victory for Juventus, which provisionally moves four points ahead of nearest rival Milan.

Juventus attacked straight from kickoff, and nearly took the lead after only three minutes of play, but Alessandro Matri wasted a glorious chance, sidefooting Simon Pepe’s low cross over the bar from only a few yards out.

The visitors were taking the game to Atalanta in the early goings, and Pepe flashed an effort wide of the far post after latching onto Claudio Marchisio’s through ball.

Matri went even closer two minutes later, hitting the post from inside the area, before Mirko Vucinic coaxed a stunning save from Andrea Consigli with a powerful shot towards the top corner.

Atalanta managed to recover from the frantic start to gain a foothold in the game, but Juventus continued to create chances and always looked the more likely to break the deadlock.

Pepe took matters into his own hands with a barnstorming run from midfield, but his shot at the end was beaten away by Consigli five minutes before the break.

Barely a minute later, Artuo Vidal unleashed a fearsome drive from all of 30 yards that beat Consigli but smacked off the crossbar. Somehow, Atalanta had managed to make it to halftime with the score still goalless.

However, its luck would not hold for long in the second half, and a sublime pass by Andrea Pirlo completely unhinged the Atalanta defense, allowing Lichtsteiner to steal in at the far post and head the visitors in front after 55 minutes.

Matri fashioned a great chance for himself shortly after the hour mark when he won possession in the opposition half and sprinted through on goal, but his finish deserted him once again as his lob attempt bounced just wide of the far post.

Juventus were comfortable at this point, and substitute Luca Marrone had a shot saved at the near post by Consigli after a neat one-two with Matri.

With eight minutes left, Juventus put the icing on the cake when Marrone’s delightful chipped ball was caught by fellow substitute Giaccherini on the volley to put the match beyond doubt.

The result sees Juventus move four points clear at the top, but that lead could be cut after Milan’s fixture against Novara on Sunday. Atalanta meanwhile remains in 15th place, five points off the relegation zone.

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Atalanta

47
Andrea Consigli
Goalkeeper
3.00
-
3.00
13
Federico Peluso
Defender
3.00
-
Michele Ferri
Defender
2.50
-
Ezequiel Schelotto
Midfielder
76′
3.00
11
2.50
21
Luca Cigarini
Midfielder
3.00
20
Simone Padoin
Midfielder
3.00
77
Cristian Raimondi
Midfielder
45′
2.50
10
3.00
19
Germán Denis
Striker
3.00

Juventus

3.00
1
3.50
3
3.00
11
3.00
15
3.00
26
2.50
7
Simone Pepe
Midfielder
69′
2.50
8
3.50
21
Andrea Pirlo
Midfielder
55′
3.00
23
Arturo Vidal
Midfielder
3.00
9
3.00
32

Substitutes

78
0.00
2
0.00
-
2.50
-
Nadir Minotti
Midfielder
0.00
11
0.00
-
2.50
-
0.00

Substitutes

0.00
30
Marco Storari
Goalkeeper
0.00
19
3.50
23
0.00
-
Milos Krasic
Midfielder
3.50
8
Luca Marrone
Midfielder
69′ 81′
0.00
-
0.00
22

Coach/Manager

Coach/Manager

0.00
-
 
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Results
 
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Ciro Immobile Ciro Immobile
Striker
Torino
19 0
Carlos Tévez Carlos Tévez
Striker
Juventus
18 1
Gonzalo Higuaín Gonzalo Higuaín
Striker
Napoli
17 5
Luca Toni Luca Toni
Striker
Hellas Verona
17 2
Rodrigo Palacio Rodrigo Palacio
Striker
Inter
15 0