Juventus resumed their victory march by sweeping Inter aside 3-1 with an inspirational Andrea Pirlo pulling the strings.
The rivalry between these clubs escalated further this month when Inter suddenly terminated the exchange between Fredy Guarin and Mirko Vucinic. The Colombian is still shaken from the experience and therefore not called up tonight, while Hernanes’ transfer paperwork hadn’t come through yet and Esteban Cambiasso was injured. Gianluigi Buffon sat out a ban after his red card in the 1-1 draw with Lazio, a result that ended Juve’s 12-match Serie A winning streak. The Nerazzurri were without a win in 2014, earning two draws and three defeats in all competition.
Within three minutes a corner fell to Carlos Tevez, forcing Samir Handanovic into a stunning double save from point-blank range, then Giorgio Chiellini fired over under pressure. Zdravko Kuzmanovic received a yellow card for a very late sliding tackle on Arturo Vidal.
The Juve pressure paid off, as Andrea Pirlo’s inspired ball over the top allowed Stephan Lichtsteiner to sprung the offside trap with a diving header into the far bottom corner. The Inter defence was caught completely wrong-footed.
Paul Pogba blasted over the bar and Kuzmanovic narrowly avoided an own goal from a corner, while Tevez fired straight at Handanovic after a promising counter-attack.
Inter had a great chance to equalise on 40 minutes when Mateo Kovacic burst forward and threaded through for Rodrigo Palacio, but La Trenza’s finish was over the bar.
Moments later Handanovic had his gloves stung by a Kwadwo Asamoah scorcher.
The second half had barely started when Juventus doubled their lead. A Pirlo corner was cleared weakly by Yuto Nagatomo and knocked back in by Vidal and Pogba, where Chiellini eventually fired in from six yards.
Ricky Alvarez rolled across only for Palacio to balloon over from nine yards, but Juventus added a third goal to their tally.
Fernando Llorente turned Juan Jesus in the box on a throw-in, Pogba’s attempt was beaten away by Handanovic, but Vidal followed it up.
Ex-Torino winger Danilo D’Ambrosio made his Nerazzurri debut and Andrea Barzagli went off injured. Juve were showboating with Pogba’s marvellous piece of skill shaking off a marker, then Tevez smartly pushed the ball round Rolando while running the other side to meet it again.
Inter got themselves back into the game with just under 20 minutes left. A corner was not dealt with and Rolando’s angled drive went through a sea of legs to settle into the far bottom corner.
The visitors suddenly seemed revived and from another set play Palacio’s shot was charged down, while Tevez blasted over from a Pirlo assist.
Palacio was not having a good night and turned a great opportunity over the bar from Diego Milito’s knockdown. Rolando got on the end of another corner, but aimed it straight at Storari.
Antonio Conte surprisingly chose to introduce Mirko Vucinic against the club he very nearly joined. He almost scored in stoppages, as Tevez sent him clear and the finish was deflected off Rolando to hit the base of the upright.