The Bianconeri had gone into the game at the Artemio Franchi seven points behind their title rivals, following the Rossoneri's 2-0 triumph at Parma in the evening kick-off, meaning victory was imperative for a side that had drawn their last four in the league.
Antonio Conte's men produced their best performance of the season so far to sweep the Viola aside with goals from Mirko Vucinic, Arturo Vidal, Claudio Marchisio, Andrea Pirlo and Simone Padoin.
De Ceglie, who started the game, admitted afterwards that the morale-boosting victory could not have come at a better time, with Juve set to face Inter, Napoli, Palermo and Lazio in the coming weeks.“We need to recover as much energy as possible,” the left-back is quoted as saying by his club's official website. “We have important games ahead of us.
“Now we’re four points off Milan, but we’ll see how many at the end.”
Juve's cause had been aided by the dismissal of Alessio Cerci for an off-the-ball clash with De Ceglie midway through the first half of the game in Florence.
The Bianconeri full-back was reluctant to get too deep into the issue, but he did argue that the red card had been merited.
“I was surprised because I didn’t understand the reason behind his action," the 25-year-old said of Cerci's petulant kick at him.
"I extended my arm, but I think it was a normal thing. It wasn’t painful, but it’s a gesture that needs to be punished.”
The Bianconeri now face Milan in the Coppa Italia on Tuesday evening before then welcoming Inter to Turin next weekend.
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