A controversial Paul Pogba goal settled the Derby della Mole as Juventus secured a 1-0 triumph over Torino at the Stadio Olimpico on Sunday.
The France international headed home a rebound from close range after Carlos Tevez had nodded Leonardo Bonucci's flick onto the bar, with replays suggesting that the Argentine striker was in an offside position when he met the ball.
Juventus dictated the tempo in a drab first half, with Claudio Marchisio coming closest on the stroke of halftime with a low drive, but in the second half the Old Lady turned possession into a decisive goal thanks to Pogba's intervention, moving the club level with Napoli at the top of Serie A on 16 points prior to Roma's game with Bologna.
Torino started with the league-leading scorer Alessio Cerci leading the line, while Juventus restored Tevez to the starting XI after he was rested for the 2-1 victory over Chievo on Wednesday. The Bianconeri controlled the early possession but failed to create any clear-cut chances.
They almost found a breakthrough in the 14th minute when Sebastian Giovinco wriggled through several challenges on the right before delivering for Tevez, but the danger was snuffed out by a last-ditch clearance from Danilo D'Ambrosio.
As the hosts began to settle they won a series of set pieces, and they almost capitalized in the 26th minute when Cerci curled his 25-yard free-kick into the side netting.
Antonio Conte's side continued to look more threatening on the ball, however. Stephan Lichtsteiner's effort from distance curled wide before Juve could have gone ahead in first-half injury time when Marchisio's 20-yard driven effort went narrowly wide of Daniele Padelli's post.
The visitors' pressure did not let up in the second half, and Giovinco should have put Juventus ahead when a neat touch by Tevez left him 1-on-1 with the goalkeeper, but he hit a tame effort straight at Padelli. No matter, as Juventus deservedly took the lead in the 54th minute.
Bonucci headed a corner goalwards and Tevez somehow managed to head against the crossbar from two yards, with the resulting rebound nodded home by Pogba.
Marchisio was lucky not to receive his marching orders 10 minutes later when he lunged into a tackle on Giuseppe Vives while already on a yellow card as the match began to spark a litte more into life.
The hosts had a penalty shout waved away when Ciro Immobile went to ground under Giorgio Chiellini's challenge, but referee Paolo Mazzoleni was unmoved.
Juventus almost grabbed a second in the 84th minute when Mirko Vucinic guided a back-post volley goalward, but Padelli parried away the danger, while substitute Alexander Farnerud came close to meeting a cut-back for the hosts in the final 10 minutes.
Despite a late flurry of pressure, Torino was unable to find that elusive equalizer, meaning the 18-year wait for a win against its city rival continues.
- Sports & Recreation
- Carlos Tevez
- Claudio Marchisio
- Leonardo Bonucci
- Sebastian Giovinco
- Daniele Padelli
- Alessio Cerci