Juventus are certainly back on track after a 6-1 demolition job on Pescara, including a Fabio Quagliarella hat-trick and two overhead kicks. It is the Delfini’s worst ever Serie A home defeat, but Juve’s biggest away win remains a 7-0 at Pro Patria in 1950-51.
The Bianconeri’s 49-match unbeaten run was ended by rivals Inter last week, but reacted midweek by thrashing Nordsjaelland 4-0 in the Champions League. Paul Pogba was dropped as punishment for turning up late twice to training, while Simone Pepe and Paolo De Ceglie were injured. Mauricio Isla again stepped in for Stephan Lichtsteiner, who was lucky not to see red against the Nerazzurri, while Mirko Vucinic was only fit for the bench. Pescara started Juan Fernando Quintero just days after he fainted in training on Tuesday, but Giuseppe Colucci, Manuele Blasi, Alessandro Crescenzi, Christian Terlizzi and Luca Savelloni were sidelined.
In the opening 50 seconds Sebastian Giovinco had tested Mattia Perin on the goalkeeper’s 20th birthday with a fierce snapshot from the edge of the area. A corner came out to Claudio Marchisio for a screamer over the bar, while Kwadwo Asamoah’s volley flashed off target.
The waves of Juve pressure eventually paid off with a goal at the ninth minute. Giovinco’s angled through ball found Arturo Vidal and he smashed the angled drive across Perin into the far bottom corner from 10 yards. The midfielder confirmed his status as their current top scorer this season, but Fabio Quagliarella also peeled away to create the space.
Quagliarella drilled wide from the D and Andrea Barzagli got away with a slip when Jonathas was penalised for a push. Pescara broke out of their own half on a few occasions, but were punished again as Mauricio Isla rolled across for Quagliarella’s precise angled drive into the far bottom corner of the net.
Pescara were still in the game and a Quintero free kick curled over the wall to smack against the upright. From the resulting corner, there were penalty appeals for a potential handling offence, but the move continued and Emmanuel Cascione’s diving header ricocheted in off the inside of the post where Gigi Buffon could not reach.
It was nearly 2-2 soon after, as a corner found Matti Lund Nielsen’s powerful finish that whistled past the base of the far post.
Juventus extended their lead with a sensational goal, as Quagliarella’s backheel flick was deflected into the air and Kwadwo Asamoah acrobatically turned it in from six yards with an overhead bicycle kick.
Quagliarella hooked a Barzagli ball over the top with a perfect first touch, but the finish was wide. Bad news for Andrea Pirlo, who was booked and will be suspended for next week’s game with Lazio.
It was Giovinco who added a fourth when he controlled a poor clearance and on the give-and-go with Quagliarella thumped a scorching low right-foot volley across Perin.
Pescara thought they had scored a second with another Cascione header from a corner at the back post, but it was acrobatically cleared off the line by Marchisio with an overhead kick after Leonardo Bonucci had put Quintero’s set piece over the bar.
Quagliarella completed his brace by springing the offside trap on a long ball and placing his snooker shot of an angled drive between the defender’s foot and Perin’s hand. It’s the first time Pescara have ever conceded five Serie A goals at the Stadio Adriatico and Quagliarella became the first Juve player to score a hat-trick away from home since Alessandro Del Piero in 2008.
After the restart substitute Gianluca Caprari’s shot was deflected wide off Bonucci’s arm, but it was straight up against his body, so could not be considered a penalty. Buffon smothered a long-range Uros Cosic strike and parried a Jonathas snapshot.
However, Quagliarella completed his hat-trick with another spectacular overhead kick from a corner, this time as he held off his marker from seven yards.
Buffon palmed a Quintero free kick off the line at the near bottom corner. Coach Giovanni Stroppa was sent off for dissent when claiming Pescara deserved a penalty for Simone Padoin’s challenge on Vladimir Weiss.
Giovinco threatened a seventh goal when he sprung the offside trap and went round the goalkeeper, but the angle was then too narrow and he was only able to clip the outside of the upright. The Atomic Ant also spun round his marker to test Perin and in stoppages Buffon just about scrambled a Cascione header off the line.