Juventus 2-0 Inter: Caceres and Del Piero settle Derby d'Italia and close gap to leaders AC Milan back to four points
Second half goals from the Uruguayan and the Italian were enough to give the Bianconeri all three points, in what was a captivating encounter in Turin
By Alex Mott
A header from the Uruguayan defender and a delightful first time finish by the veteran Italian striker gave the Old Lady a valuable win in their hunt to chase down leaders AC Milan at the top of the Serie A table.
With Juventus fresh off the back of that Coppa Italia semi-final aggregate win over Milan on Tuesday, it was clear that Antonio Conte's men were brimming with confidence, and they started the game as such.
The Bianconeri dominated possession in the early exchanges, but were nearly made to rue their lack of chances created on 13 minutes. Maicon made a trademark run down the right, cut inside, found the run of Diego Milito, and played the Argentine forward in on goal. Unfortunately for the Nerazzurri though, the former Genoa striker couldn't make the most of the opportunity, firing his shot straight at Gianluigi Buffon.
Conte's men still had the monopoly on possession, but were now starting to create chances on goal, and they perhaps should have opened up their account on two occasions midway through the half. First, Alessandro Matri had a header from eight yards saved by Julio Cesar, and then just a few minutes later, a low cross from the right found Matri again, but the Italian forward could only hit his shot over the bar.
Claudio Ranieri's side slowly started to impose themselves on the game; putting pressure on Andrea Pirlo, Claudio Marchisio and Arturo Vidal. And it was that leg-work that almost led to Inter opening their account for the night.
Dejan Stankovic dispossessed Marchisio in the centre circle, and played a long, diagonal ball to Milito. The Argentine forward brought the ball down superbly, took it into the box, and fired a shot straight at Buffon, only for the ball to arrive back at his feet for a second attempt. Regrettably for the Nerazzurri though, that effort was also missed, and the sides went into the break all square.
The second half began in almost the exact opposite way to the first, with Inter controlling the play but struggling to create any clear-cut chances. Milito was, as usual, full of running, but the Nerazzurri midfield four were finding it difficult to pick out the Argentine forward's darting runs.
That lack of incisiveness came back to haunt Inter on 57 minutes. A corner from the right was whipped in by Pirlo, and the ball found Caceres, who, unmarked inside the six yard box, headed home easily for his first Serie A goal of the season.
The Nerazzurri starting pushing desperately for an equaliser, but all that pressing left them exposed at the back, and Juventus took full advantage on 70 minutes. A delightful through ball by Vidal found the run of Del Piero, who, just inside the area, gently slipped it past the on-rushing Julio Cesar to make it 2-0.
Late chances for Fabio Quagliarella and Giorgio Chiellini almost made the final scoreline even more resounding, but Conte's men had to settle what they had, as they closed the gap on leaders Milan back to four points. Inter remain in eighth, meanwhile, and now trail third-placed Lazio by 10 points.
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