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January 5, 2014
• Juventus Stadium, Torino
Referee: N. Rizzoli
• Attendance: 39266
A. Vidal 17'
L. Bonucci 48'
M. Vučinić 77'
A tenth consecutive league win gives Conte and his side breathing space at the top of Serie A, and could well prove the end of Roma's Scudetto aspirations. That's all from me for tonight ladies and gentlemen. Thanks for joining me!
FULL-TIME: JUVENTUS 3-0 ROMA The Bianconeri move eight points clear at the top of Serie A after winning an explosive match in Turin. Vidal and Bonucci made it 2-0 for the hosts, before De Rossi and Castan were shown straight red cards for a ridiculous lunge and deliberate handball respectively. The second dismissal also resulted in a penalty, which Vucinic dispatched confidently to make it 3-0.
And there is the final whistle! The referee decides added time could only result in more red cards, so decides to blow for time bang on 90 minutes.
And that just about sums up their evening! Ljajic curls the set piece high high over Buffon's crossbar and into the crowd.
Yellow Card Andrea Barzagli
A cynical block from Barzagli on Destro warrants a yellow card for the Juve centre-back and gives Roma a chance to score a late consolation goal from a finely-positioned free kick.
STAT: Gone in 87 seconds... Only 87 seconds passed between De Rossi and Castan's red cards. (via Opta)
Yellow Card Adem Ljajic
Amidst the mad last 10 minutes Conte decided to make his second and third changes of the evening, by bringing on Fabio Quagliarella and Claudio Marchisio for the impressive pair of Vidal and Llorente.
Ljajic is the latest Roma player to find his name taken by the referee, after sneakily catching Pogba off the ball.
Could those explosive three minutes have blown Roma's Scudetto hopes? Two ridiculous red cards and a confidently-converted penalty from Vucinic.
STAT: Juventus have scored at least two goals in seven of their last eight home matches in Serie A.
Penalty Goal Mirko Vučinić
VUCINIC MAKES IT 3-0!! The Juve substitute smashed the penalty past De Sanctis to increase his side's lead and put the result of this game beyond doubt.
Red Card Leandro Castán
ROMA HAVE SEEN RED! Castan has been sent off too! The Argentine used his arm to stop a header on the line, and was promptly dismissed by the referee. Juve have a penalty and a chance to add a third...
Red Card Daniele De Rossi
That was an awful challenge from De Rossi and rightly results in a red card for the midfielder! He threw himself at Chiellini with both feet raised on the left-hand side, making little attempt to win the ball!
Chiellini is furious about something. There's a kerfuffle on the near side and it looks like De Rossi might be given his marching orders here...
Time is running out for Garcia and his troops. They are 17 minutes plus added time away from a defeat that would leave them eight points adrift of Juventus in Serie A.
Pirlo's thumping effort is straight at De Sanctis though, and the Roma goalkeeper has no trouble in kneeling down and catching the ball.
Juve are given a free kick in a delicious position 20 yards from goal after Torosidis catches a lift on the back of Vidal.
GREAT TOUCH FROM BUFFON! Roma are flagged offside but Ljajic decided to rifle a shot at goal anyway. Buffon, barely moving, calmly hammers the shot away, even though play had already been stopped. Such composure. What a man.
Vital touch from Asamoah! The Ghana international pokes the ball away from Gervinho inside his own penalty area and wins a free kick for his side. Had he got that wrong it would have been a penalty for the visitors and an invite back into the game.
Totti's outswinging corner is a dangerous one, but there are no Roma players on the penalty spot to meet the cross and it bounces all the way through to Pirlo, who quickly sweeps the ball upfield.
Roma win a corner on the right, which Totti is set to take. The away side have upped their game following the introduction of Torosidis and Destro. Can they make this pressure count though?
De Rossi whips the set piece into the mixer but Buffon is equal to the cross as he rises majestically to punch the ball away from danger.
Roma push forward down the left through Torosidis, and the substitute does well to win a free kick by drawing a foul from Vucinic.
A hamstring injury perhaps? Anyway, off goes the impressive attacker, to be replaced by Mirko Vucinic.
Tevez is in a bit of discomfort for the hosts after unleashing a shot from long range. The Argentine is immediately gesturing for a substitution which suggests it may be quite a serious one.
The answer to that question, dear readers, is a resounding no. His arcing free kick bounces wide of Buffon's goal and out for a Juve goal kick.
Totti stands over a free kick 45 yards from goal. Can the former Italy international conjure up some magic to get his side back in the game?
That Pjanic change has got to be because of the knock he picked up in the first half, after all he had been one of their brightest performers this evening.
Garcia decides the time is ripe for a couple of changes, as Dodo and Pjanic come off to be replaced by Vasilis Torosidis and Mattia Destro.
STAT: Since a 4-2 defeat at Fiorentina in October, Juventus have been unstoppable in the league, winning nine consecutive games and keeping clean sheets in all bar one - a 4-1 triumph at Atalanta last time out.
Roma have lost a bit of composure following that second goal. Even Asamoah, who was woeful in the first half, is getting in on the act, dribbling past Maicon and causing a general nuisance over on the left-hand side.
Conte paces inside the Juventus technical area. Despite his stern expression he will no doubt be delighted by his side's approach to this game, particularly their explosive start to the second half.
STAT: Juventus have scored at least three goals in their last three home matches against Roma in all competitions.
Assist Andrea Pirlo
Goal Leonardo Bonucci
BONUCCI MAKES IT 2-0!! The imposing centre-back stretches every sinew in his right leg to meet a Pirlo free kick from the left and volley home at the back post. Juve are in control here!
A driven shot from Pirlo is blocked well by Benatia inside the Roma box, and though Llorente reacts quickest when the ball loops up into the air, he can only win a corner off the legs of Castan.
Roma get the second half underway in Turin and promptly win a throw-in on the right after a positive run from Maicon.
As things stand the home side will move eight points clear at the top of Serie A, which would put a serious dent in Roma's title aspirations. Garcia has little choice but to go for broke in this second half, to end Juve's winning streak and blow the title race wide open.
HALF-TIME: JUVENTUS 1-0 ROMA. A pulsating half at the Juventus Stadium ends with the hosts a goal to the good, thanks to a confident close-range finish from Vidal. The Chilean had Tevez to thank for the goal, after his fellow South American did brilliantly to hold off Castan inside the Roma box and serve the ball to him on a silver platter. Roma have threatened themselves, most notably from long-range, with Pjanic and Dodo both testing Buffon from distance in the opening period.
45' + 2'
That's a bit naughty from Ljajic. The Roma attacker wins a free kick after getting caught in a Vidal-Lichtsteiner sandwich high on the left, but he reacts petulantly by thumping the ball out of the hands of Vidal. The free kick is then wasted by Pjanic as Bonucci heads his cross clear.
There will be two minutes of added time at the end of this first half...
Can Roma weather this black-and-white storm? The hosts are peppering De Sanctis' box with dangerous crosses and shots as we approach half-time at the Juventus Stadium.
The Juve supporters scream at the referee after a Lichtsteiner cross appears to catch the arm of Dodo, but the man in yellow dismisses their appeals with a wave of his hand.
Lichtsteiner thunders down the right and wins a corner off the legs of the retreating Dodo. It's been all Juventus in the past five minutes in Turin...
GREAT STRIKE FROM LLORENTE! The sometime Spain international comes within a whisker from making it 2-0 with a fizzing effort from 18 yards that flies just over.
The danger is not over though, as Tevez wins the ball on the right, powers past Dodo and then arrows a cross-shot across the six-yard box that Llorente is inches from diverting past De Sanctis.
TRAINING GROUND ROUTINE! Pirlo plays the free kick short to Pogba, who has peeled away from a pack of Juve players, but his shot from the edge of the box is blocked by a sea of Roma shirts.
Yellow Card Gervinho
Free kick for Juventus! Pirlo will certainly fancy this one... Vidal was caught by Gervinho, who dangled out a leg to try and stop the Chile international as he looked to burst into the box.
The hosts have a chance to counter through Vidal, but unusually he is quite ponderous in possession and the move breaks down after a series of lacklustre passes.
Totti whips the free kick into the box but there are no maroon shirts challenging Lichtsteiner as he calmly nods the ball clear.
Yellow Card Giorgio Chiellini
And within seconds Chiellini follows Tevez into the book after lunging into a slide tackle on the impressive Pjanic over on the far side. Can Roma make one of these free kicks finally count?!
Yellow Card Carlos Tévez
Tevez picks up the first booking of the game for a late challenge on Gervinho and Roma have another free kick and a chance to test Juve's backline.
Juve are defending deep as Roma go in search of an equaliser. Pjanic and Totti in particular are seeing a lot of the ball for the away side as they try and play their way into their opponents' penalty area.
Chiellini and Benatia challenge one another for the ball in the Juve box, but play is brought to a halt by the referee, who deems the Roma centre-back to have fouled his Italian opponent.
Gervinho nearly gets in behind the Juve defence after drifting out to the right, but Chiellini is alert to the danger and tracks back quickly to deflect the ball behind for a corner.
Vidal catches Totti 40 yards out and this time the Italian takes the free kick himself for Roma. His cross into the box is a decent one, but De Rossi seems to be knocked off course slightly by Bonucci as he glances a header high and wide.
STAT: Roma have conceded first in their last 10 away league games against Juventus.
Pirlo's set piece is poor by his absurdly high standards though, as the ball curls out of play before being caught by De Sanctis.
Cheeky bodycheck from the linesman! The official on the near side gets in Strootman's way as he tries to keep the ball from running out for a corner to Juve. Could that intervention prove costly?
GOOD STRIKE FROM DODO!! Buffon produces his third decent save of the game to parry Dodo's long-range shot away from danger.
Maicon gets in Pjanic's way! The Brazilian full-back appears to put off his team-mate just as Pjanic shapes to shoot, and though the effort still forces Buffon into making another smart stop you can't help but feel he would have done better without Maicon breathing down his neck.
More super play from Tevez! The Argentine may have returned back to Turin late after the winter break but he is showing no signs of sluggishness in this first half. He has continued to torment Roma's defence after setting up Vidal's opener, and very nearly repeated the trick for Llorente a few moments ago.
Gervinho desperately appeals for a free kick after going down 20 yards from goal, but the referee waves play on and that decision is vindicated as Pjanic pings a shot goalwards that Buffon dives to his left to keep out.
STAT: That is Vidal's eighth league goal of the season, in just 18 games. What a return that is from the Chilean midfielder.
Assist Carlos Tévez
Goal Arturo Vidal
GOALLL!!! IT'S THAT MAN VIDAL FOR JUVE!! Tevez holds the ball up superbly inside the Roma box, turning De Rossi inside out before flicking the ball into the path of Vidal, who hammers the ball over a beleaguered De Sanctis and into the back of the net.
Tevez and Llorente link well on the cusp of the Roma box for the first time before Castan steps in and steals the ball from the Spaniard.
Pjanic, complete with heavily bandaged right knee, is receiving treatment in the technical area in front of the Roma dugout after falling awkwardly inside the centre circle.
After a bright start from the Bianconeri it is Roma that are seeing more of the ball now. Garcia's men are stroking the ball around nonchalantly, with all 11 Juve players back inside their own half.
STAT: Roma are undefeated in their last 19 matches in Serie A.
UP GOES THE FLAG ON THE FAR SIDE! Ronaldo, sorry, Gervinho, looks to latch on to a throughball from Totti but the Italian held the ball for slightly too long before playing the pass and the Ivory Coast international strayed into an offside position.
Lichtsteiner hurtles into Dodo on the near side and gives away a cheap free kick while trying to win a corner for Conte's team.
Totti has come out with some fairly controversial claims ahead of this match. First he said man for man Roma were much stronger than Juve, and then he stated that Gervinho was not far off Cristiano Ronaldo's level of ability... Perhaps tonight will give his side, and Gervinho in particular, a chance to validate their captain's beliefs.
Bonucci loses the ball in an advanced position to Strootman and the away side counter with blistering pace. Totti eventually feeds the ball into the path of the overlapping Ljajic on the right side of the Juve box, but the angle is too tight for him to seriously test Buffon, as the Italy international comes off his line to deflect an effort behind.
Despite Totti scoring an outrageous effort from a set piece against Buffon in the corresponding fixture last season it is Pjanic that takes the free kick on this occasion. His effort is below par though, as the ball flicks off the wall before being cleared away.
Free kick for Roma 30 yards out... Chiellini is left flummoxed after a neat change of direction from Totti, and he resorts to catching the experienced Italian schemer to stop him advancing into the box.
Vidal nips the ball away from Pjanic on the near side and then succeeds in drawing a foul from the Bosnia international. Juve are looking the sharper of the two sides early on in Turin.
Maicon thunders into Giorgio Chiellini on the edge of the Juve box and the referee is called into action for the first time as he quite rightly gives Conte's side a free kick.
Leandro Castan gives the ball away with a rubbish clearance for the away side. His pass forward goes straight to Pirlo in the centre circle, and he quickly shifts the ball to Tevez, only for the move to break down because of a crunching Strootman challenge.
Tevez and Llorente get things rolling for the hosts...
Kick-off is imminent over in Turin as both teams saunter out onto the Juventus Stadium pitch...
ROMA TEAM NEWS: Garcia names a familiar 4-3-3 with Adem Ljajic and Gervinho flanking Francesco Totti in attack. Elsewhere Miralem Pjanic, Kevin Strootman and Daniele De Rossi are handed the uneviable task of tackling Juve's superb midfield.
JUVE TEAM NEWS: The big news for the Bianconeri is that Andrea Pirlo returns to the starting line-up after recovering from a knee injury he picked up at the start of December. He starts in central midfield alongside Paul Pogba and Arturo Vidal. Carlos Tevez also starts despite returning late from Argentina following the winter break.
SUBS: Lobont, Skorupski, Burdisso, Jedvaj, Romagnoli, Marquinho, Bradley, Florenzi, Ricci, Caprari, Destro, Borriello
ROMA (4-3-3): De Sanctis; Maicon, Benatia, Castan, Dodo; Pjanic, De Rossi, Strootman; Ljajic, Totti, Gervinho
SUBS: Storari, Rubinho, Isla, Caceres, Ogbonna, Peluso, De Ceglie, Padoin, Marchisio, Giovinco, Quagliarella, Vucinic
JUVENTUS (3-5-2): Buffon; Barzagli, Bonucci, Chiellini; Lichtsteiner, Vidal, Pirlo, Pogba, Asamoah; Tevez, Llorente
Another chitter-chatter for the time being though, how about we take a quick look at the two starting line-ups?
Garcia's men opened the season with 10 successive victories to set a new Serie A record start, but Antonio Conte and his charges are threatening to surpass that milestone.
Juventus can equal the 10-match winning run achieved by their opponents this evening at the start of the season should they win this game.
My name is Charlie Scott and I'll be with you every step of the way at the Juventus Stadium, bringing you colourful updates from the match as it unfolds.
Good evening guys and girls and welcome to LIVE coverage of a huuuge game between two sides battling it out at the top of Serie A. Juventus – who sit five points clear of second-placed Roma – host Rudi Garcia's side in Turin tonight, with an eye on extending their lead at the summit and further enhancing their title-winning credentials.
The Italian winter break is finally over – and what a way to celebrate – with a match that pits first versus second in the final game of the weekend.
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