An early strike from the wide player before a well-placed header from the forward proved enough to send the Old Lady back to the top of the table.Juventus defeated Novara 2-0 in Turin on Sunday afternoon as goals from Simone Pepe and Fabio Quagliarella ensured that the home side regained top spot in Serie A.
The Bianconeri took and early lead when Pepe was on hand to finish Paulo De Ceglie's low cross in the third minute, but from there on Juve wasted numerous opportunities before Quagliarella netted his first goal in almost a year in Serie A to ensure his side goes into Wednesday's clash with Udinese top of the league and unbeaten.
The match started at a frantic pace, with the Juventus almost taking the lead inside of two minutes. Quagliarella’s well-timed cut back found Claudio Marchisio on the right side of the area, but the Italy international’s first-time effort flew straight at Samir Ujkani.
Moments later, though, the Bianconeri got their goal. De Ceglie’s low cross went straight across the goal, leaving the on rushing Pepe with a simple finish to put the Old Lady in the driving seat.
With a quarter of an hour gone a great chipped ball from Marchisio fell to Emanuele Giaccherini, but the former Cesena midfielder’s tame shot was easily held by Ujkani.
Just over half an hour in, the home side came close to doubling the lead when Giaccherini’s neat through ball found Alessandro Del Piero on the left side of the box, but the captain's curling strike sailed just past the post.
The second half began with the Antonio Conte’s side still controlling the game, and in the 46th minute Juve again almost doubled the lead when Pepe burst down the right wing before playing in Del Piero with a perfectly weighted pass, but again his curling effort went just wide.
With 65 minutes gone and against the run of play, the visiting side almost pulled back on level terms when another fine cross from Morganella found Raffaele Rubino in the center of the area, but Buffon pulled off a magnificent save to deny the former Perugia striker's low header.
In the 74th minute Juventus finally did doubled its lead. A great corner from the impressive Pepe was met by Quagliarella, whose powerful header flew straight in the top corner to hand the former Napoli forward his first goal of the season.
With just over five minutes to go the home side almost got a third when substitute Alessandro Matri played in Marchisio, but the Italy international’s long range strike was cleared off the line by Massimo Paci.
This result sees Juventus regain top spot in Serie A, and the league leader now faces a difficult trip to Scudetto rival Udinese on Wednesday evening, while Novara welcomes Palermo on the same night.