After three weeks without a game following the postponement for their clash with Napoli, the Bianconeri made up for lost time with a facile win at the Juventus Stadium.Juventus returned to the summit of Serie A with a comfortable 3-0 victory over Palermo in Turin on Sunday afternoon.
Simone Pepe opened the scoring with his first-half header before Alessandro Matri fired home early in the second half to double the home side’s advantage. Claudio Marchisio sealed victory for Antonio Conte’s men with his 65th-minute strike.
Juventus began brightly and should have taken the lead just three minutes in but Giorgio Chiellini headed over from close range after being picked out by Andrea Pirlo.
Claudio Marchisio then fired wide from the edge of the box after Alexandros Tzorvas had flapped at a cross before the hosts deservedly made the breakthrough on 20 minutes, Chiellini making amends for his poor miss by producing a wonderfully precise cross from the left-hand side which was headed home by Pepe.
Pirlo went agonisingly close to making it 2-0 on the half hour, the Italy international seeing his terrific curling effort from the edge of the box come back off the right post.
In truth, though, the Bianconeri were fortunate to go in a goal to the good at the break, with Josip Ilicic having spurned three terrific chances during the opening 45 minutes. On each occasion, the Slovenian was denied by Gianluigi Buffon. Ilicic, though, really should have given the Juventus goalkeeper no chance when he was played in by Fabrizio Miccoli on 36 minutes but he failed horribly to prod the ball past Buffon, who had come out of his area in a desperate attempt to deal with the danger.
Palermo was punished for Ilicic’s profligacy within three minutes of the commencement of the second half, Matri finishing smartly after being put in on goal by a measured through ball from Stephan Lichtsteiner.
The visitors never looked remotely capable of turning the game around and they fell further behind shortly after the hour when Marchisio coolly slotted home after Matri had cleverly stepped over Mirko Vucinic’s low cross from the left-hand side.
Marchiso’s strike allowed Juve to coast to a victory which draws them level with Lazio ahead of their crunch meeting with the Biancocelesti next weekend.
Palermo, meanwhile, remains without a point, or indeed a goal, away from home this season but stays fifth in the table.