It was time for the Derby Della Mole again between Juventus and Torino tonight at the Olympic stadium of Turin. Claudio Ranieri’s team were coming off a dreadful run of form of Serie A, but their victory against Real Madrid in the Champions League in midweek gave them a huge morale boost. Torino, meanwhile, have also had their share of problems, and they are sitting near the bottom of the table in 17th place.
Juve lined up with a 4-4-2 formation with the usual couple of captain Alex Del Piero and Amauri up front, while Torino played in a 4-4-1-1 system with Alessandro Rosina behind Rolando Bianchi up front.
The "home side", Juventus, started the game strongly and fashioned a couple of chances early on. In the 7th minute, Mohamed Sissoko took a volley from outside the area following a poor clearence by defender Cesare Natali, and sent the ball just wide of the woodwork.
A few minutes later, the Juve midfielder came close again, as Pavel Nedved set him up perfectly for a long range strike, but his shot was tipped over the bar by Luca Calderoni (11’).
It was all Juventus in the beginning, as Torino frequently lost the ball and failed to trouble the Bianconeri’s backline. In the 23rd minute, Calderoni came up with a great double save to deny Marco Marchionni, who first tried a volley, before trying to slot the ball in on the rebound.
The first chance for Toro came on the half hour mark, as Rosina sent in a good cross that goalkeeper Alex Manninger failed to deal with, fumbling the ball, but Giorgio Chiellini managed to clear the ball away in time (31’).
Sissoko had another fine move up his sleeve just before half time, in the 42nd minute, when the Malian midfielder dribbled past two opponents and found Amauri inside the area, but midfielder Paolo Zanetti did great to clear the ball away from the Brazilian.
That was the last notable move of a somewhat disappointing first half, in which Juve were the only team creating any danger in front of the opposing goal.
For the second half, Ranieri decided to take off Zdenek Grygera, who made way for Olof Mellberg.
Just three minutes in, Juve took the lead through the usual goal from Amauri, who went past Marco Di Loreto and took a low diagonal shot that squeezed past Calderoni’s gloves and into the net. It was Amauri’s 6th goal of the season in all competitions, and the third within the space of a week.
Two minutes later, Torino came close to equalising as Rosina sent in a dangerous free kick, but no one could get a touch on it so the ball eventually went out (50’).
After this goal, Juve allowed Torino to see more of the ball, but the Granata struggled to test the Bianconeri’s defence.
Juve’s defending remained strong, as in the 72nd minute, when Rosina controlled the ball beautifully in the air and took a shot on goal, but Sissoko did well to block the ball with his body.
Around ten minutes before the end, Torino started to become more dangerous. In the 79th minute it was Di Loreto who tried a volley, and his shot was deflected dangerously off a Juve defender and the ball went just over the bar.
A minute later, substitute Elvis Abbruscato tried a header on a corner kick by Rosina, and sent the ball just wide of the post.
Two minutes before full time, as the Granata continued to push for an equaliser, Nicola Amoruso wasted an excellent chance as he headed the ball wide on a fine cross by Aimo Diana.
In injury time, there were no more significant chances for either side, and after four minutes Juve were able to celebrate a well-deserved and important victory, while Toro succumbed to their fourth consecutive defeat. Ranieri's team are now within 4 points of leaders Inter ahead of tomorrow's games, while Torino may fall into the relegation zone if tomorrow's results don't go their way.
GOALS: 48’ Amauri
Juventus (4-4-2): Manninger; Grygera (46’ Mellberg), Legrottaglie, Chiellini, Molinaro; Marchionni, Sissoko, Nedved, De Ceglie (64’ Giovinco); Amauri (81’ Iaquinta), Del Piero. Coach: Ranieri.
Torino (4-4-1-1): Calderoni; Diana, Natali, Di Loreto, Pisano; Abate, Zanetti, Barone, Rubin (57’ Abbruscato); Rosina (82’ Ventola) ; Bianchi (70’ Amoruso). Coach: De Biasi.
BOOKED: Sissoko, Giovinco (J); Barone, Di Loreto, Zanetti (T)