Kings of Turin and soon to be the Champions of Italy

Posted by Mina Rzouki

Arturo Vidal Juventus celeb TorinoGettyImagesArturo Vidal helped Juventus on their way to late 2-0 win over Torino

Since the 1994/95 campaign, Torino have been searching for a victory against Juventus in this fixture. They hoped, on this occasion, that determination and defensive heart would impede their rivals in the Turin derby. Whilst Juventus were certainly contained for much of the 90 minutes, the fact that the Old Lady continues to play until the final whistle is the reason why she celebrated another victory on Sunday. And after winning 2-0 in her old stadium, she is one step closer to the Scudetto, needing only a draw against Palermo next week to celebrate domestic glory.

Determined to stay true to the 3-5-1-1 formation, Juventus were deployed rather differently than usual on the pitch. Whilst Kwadwo Asamoah tended to adopt a higher position on the field as a left wing-back, Stephan Lichtsteiner played much deeper than usual and it looked like the Bianconeri were playing with a four-man backline.

- Highlights: Torino 0-2 Juventus
- Serie A: Juventus on brink of title defence


Antonio Conte hoped his slight change in shape would be enough to neutralise Torino's winged attack and stop them from exploiting the power of their 4-2-4 shape. Whilst they attempted to make the most of every counter-attacking opportunity, the truth is the home side simply lacked the drive and courage to push forward in numbers, worrying more about their defensive stability.

As such, the Bianconeri pushed high up the pitch, with Arturo Vidal playing towards the left hand side as opposed to the right. With Alessio Cerci playing on the wing, it was thought the Chilean would be better at impeding the Granata's creative outlet, leaving Paul Pogba to take his place towards the right hand side of the pitch.

It took the Old Lady a short while to settle into her game. Defensively Torino looked capable whilst they appeared the more dangerous and determined team from the outset. However, just before the 20-minute mark, Conte's men began to apply more pressure, keeping better possession of the ball as they worked on constructing goal-scoring opportunities.

The only danger Torino posed came from the counter-attack and the skill of their wingers who benefitted from their pace and ability to evade their markers. Alessio Cerci in particular pushed forward but Giorgio Chiellini impressively restricted the amount of danger the player could pose rendering him incapable.

With the rain pouring, inaccuracy was very much the name of the game. Passes were either too short or wayward, whilst players continued to slip in their attempts to expose pockets of space. Asamoah failed to make the most of his opportunity to aid the attack, rarely managing to pierce the defence, whilst his ability to cheaply concede possession proved frustrating.

Despite Juventus' determination to attack in numbers, they lacked that final pass and were consistently halted in their quest to score a goal. Il Toro defended with heart with Kamil Glik in particular providing a mighty performance at the back. His hard work, alert play and insatiable appetite for restricting Mirko Vucinic's talent made him the perfect defender for the home side. Unfortunately, one too many needless fouls eventually saw him forced off the pitch after collecting two yellow cards.

After the break, the tempo of the game somewhat slowed down and the intensity vanished. For a moment it appeared both sides were comfortable with a draw.

However, once again, the Old Lady's concentration levels and ability to play until the final whistle saw them triumph. Vidal, who has scored all of Juve's recent goals, once again came through for his side as he struck the perfect goal to make it 1-0. There was simply nothing Ventura's side could do to stop it and it seemed awfully harsh on Torino. However, the mere strike was worthy of adulation and Juventus were 1-0 up and winning the game.

With Glik sent off, Torino were down to 10 and unable to defend correctly, allowing Claudio Marchisio, who had worked awfully hard throughout the game, the opportunity to grab Juve's second to seal maximum points for the Bianconeri. Once again, it was the midfield that had won the game for Conte, with Pogba putting in a sublime performance in the middle to ensure his side retained possession and were always capable of constructing attacking moves. He completed the most tackles and dribbles on the pitch and always looked to strike from distance.

It is Pogba's constant running that has forced his coach to alter the formation to ensure his integration within the starting line-up.

One point away from domestic glory, Juventus are once again kings of Turin and soon to be the champions of Italy.

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