Juve stretch unbeaten run on record day for Buffon
Champions Juventus took their Serie A unbeaten run to 20 games with a 4-1 derby win at Torino that saw goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon set a new clean sheet record of 973 minutes.
Juventus made the short trip to the Stadio Olimpico looking to make amends for their spectacular Champions League collapse at Bayern Munich on Wednesday.
And Massimiliano Allegri’s men responded to their last 16 defeat in style, Paul Pogba firing the visitors ahead on 33 minutes before Sami Khedira took their half-time lead to 2-0.
Juventus were pegged back three minutes after the restart when Andrea Belotti reduced the arrears from the spot to end Buffon’s new unbeaten record at 973 minutes, the keeper surpassing Sebastiano Rossi’s record of 929 minutes for AC Milan in 1994.
But the champions restored their two-goal advantage just after the hour when Alvaro Morata, who had replaced Paulo Dybala after the Argentine crumpled to the pitch in pain, hit a brace before Khedira was sent off at the death for dissent.
Juve’s 22nd win stretches their lead over second-placed Napoli to six points ahead of their home game later Sunday with Genoa.
Allegri admitted after the game: “It was a great win because it’s helped to put what happened in Munich behind us.
“It wasn’t an easy game for us but the lads did well to keep Torino’s chances down and, although I had to replace Dybala, it worked out well for us with Morata in the end.”
Roma, who drew 1-1 with Inter on Saturday, remain third with a five-point lead on both Fiorentina, held to a scoreless stalemate at Frosinone, and Inter.
Juve were devastated by their reverse in Munich, where Thomas Mueller scored a 91st minute leveller for the Germans to take the decider into extra-time, before Bayern sealed a 6-4 aggregate win.
Allegri was without defender Giorgio Chiellini, handing a start to Daniele Rugani, as well as midfielder Claudio Marchisio through injury, but welcomed back Dybala after he also sat out at the Allianz Arena.
Torino had lost lost 12 of their last 14 games with Juve, save for a 0-0 draw and a 2-1 win in April 2015.
Juve suffered an early blow when Dybala collapsed while taking a free kick and was replaced by Morata, although that would be a blessing in disguise.
Pogba got the visitors off the mark just after the half hour with a free kick which he curled around the wall and into the near top corner and when Khedira waltzed through the middle to poke the ball home the visitors were 2-0 up on 42 minutes.
Torino were handed a lifeline by Belotti’s spot-kick, which left Buffon rooted to the spot but with a new Serie A record in his possession.
Buffon said he was “happy” to be the new record-holder, but was quick to share the plaudits.
“It also goes to my team-mates, who do all the defensive work well before the ball even gets near the goal,” he said.
Torino’s hopes, however, were ended by a series of refereeing decisions that left Torino coach Giampietro Ventura fuming.
The hosts were unlucky with a wrong offside decision that saw Maxi Lopez’s goal chalked off for what would have been the leveller.
Juve defender Alex Sandro was then lucky to escape conceding a penalty with a borderline challenge on Bruno Peres.
Ventura lashed out: “It’s unbelievable to have lost in these circumstances. Fair enough they went 2-0 up, but after that I don’t know what happened.
“Alex Sandro should have been sent off, and in the second half we levelled 2-2 only to see the goal chalked off.
“How can the referee get that wrong? I have great respect for Juventus, who are a great side but today I can’t accept that. They should show us some respect as well.”
The setbacks hit Torino hard and 15 minutes later Morata chipped the onrushing Padelli from Pogba’s perfect delivery, before completing his brace on 77 minutes.