Juventus ran out eventual winners against Crotone on Sunday evening to keep pace with Inter Milan and Napoli at the top of Serie A.
Juventus’ start to the game seemed to characterise much of the first half; pedestrian football with the occasional hopeful 30-yard attempt.
Summer signing Blaise Matuidi had a chance early on after Douglas Costa’s mazy run into the box was latched on to by the Frenchman, only to see a wild shot blaze over and wide of the Crotone goal. As well as this, he was unlucky not to make amends for his earlier chance after Costa made another driving run all the way to the byeline, but the resulting cross was turned just wide of the near post by Matuidi.
As the half progressed the Old Lady seemed to intensify their possession football, which saw main man Paulo Dybala frequently involved in the build-up.
The best chance of the half fell to Mario Mandzukic, who started up top in place of usual target man Gonzalo Higuain. Andrea Barzagli launched a surprise first-time cross from just past the centre circle before the Croatian’s towering header drifted agonisingly wide of the far post.
However, Juventus soon came to life after the second half whistle blew, with a seemingly new found attacking desire injected into the halftime team talk by Allegri.
Just five minutes after the break Mario Mandzukic latched on to yet another superb cross from Barzagli, who this time made no mistake by steering a wonderful looping header into the far corner of the Crotone net.
Not long after, half-time substitute Mattia De Sciglio’s magnificent effort from 30 years flew past Alex Cordaz after a loose set piece fell to the right back. Having been a bit-part player for much of this season, the goal will do him a world of good having struggled to assert himself since arriving from AC Milan in the summer.
As Juventus settled more and more into their dominant position, more chances seem to fall into their laps, with Douglas Costa and Paulo Dybala looking the most threatening with several chances going begging.
However, it wasn’t long before Mehdi Benatia added a third for the home side, who tapped the ball in from two yards after Pjanic’s superb cross onto the corridor of doubt left the goalkeeper in no man’s land.
An assured and confident Juventus side eventually got the job done after a slow first half performance. The win means Allegri’s side will keep pace with Inter Milan and Napoli at the top of the Serie A for the time being.