A double by Paulo Dybala, and goals by Miralem Pjanic and Alex Sandro extended the incumbent Italian champions winning streak to six games, as Juventus routed Torino by 4-0 tonight in a derby made easier by the expulsion of Daniele Baselli after 23 minutes of play.
Coach Massimiliano Allegri has much to rejoice about his players’ performance in tonight’s game at home ground Allianz Stadium – a small jewel for the Italian standards, where Juve supporters let their voice heard for the full 90 minutes. Allegri was shown once again that he can always count on his number 10 – La Joya Paulo Dybala, who scored his 9th and 10th goals in his fantastic start of the season.
The battle between the Argentinian Serie A top scorer, and Torino’s Andrea Belotti, the most promising among Italian young forwards, was one of the features to looks forward to in this edition of Derby della Mole. Dybala won, but Belotti did not fall short of expectations, as he kept pushing and leading his team until the very end – like a captain should do.
The Bianconeri also benefited of a monstrous performance by Miralem Pjanic, who put his signature on all of Juventus goals tonight: The Bosnian run, recovered balls, delivered accurate crosses and passes, and crowned his match with a perfectly timed right foot shot for his side’s second goal.
Torino couldn’t do much but trying to limit the damage received as soon as it was forced to play with one man less – but before Baselli was sent off, it had already become clear that it was not going to be a good night for the Granata. The former Atalanta midfielder was the unfortunate propitiator of Torino’s debacle: First he had to spend a yellow card to stop Dybala early in the game, then at 15’ he lost a contrast with Blaise Matuidi from which Juventus’ first goal originated. Tomas Rincon was also slow to react in the occasion, and left Pjanic free to serve Dybala for his left foot shot that brought the Zebras to 1-0.
Daniele Baselli completed his nightmarish performance a few minutes later with a clumsy tackle on the Bosnian, that left referee Piero Giacomelli no chance but waving a second yellow card at him. It was only the 24th minute…
Cameras promptly caught Torino’s President Urbano Cairo on the stands checking his mobile phone rather than looking at the game. A clear sign that the match was over.
The coach of the Granata Sinisa Mihajlovic could no longer allow himself the luxury of three strikers, and recalled Iago Falque to send in midfielder Afriyie Acquah. Of the remaining two, Andrea Belotti continued to fight like a lion and did pose a few small threats to the goal defended by Gianluigi Buffon, whereas wild card M’Baye Niang was once again a no-show.
40 minutes into the game, one of left back Alex Sandro’s numerous insidious crosses found Juan Cuadrado free on the right side of the box. The Colombian sent the ball back in for a rushing Pjanic, who delivered it past the goal defended by Salvatore Sirigu, and sent Juventus to the changing rooms on a 2-0 lead at half time.
At 56’, Pjanic returned the courtesy and served Alex Sandro a perfect cross from the right corner flag. The Brazilian defender was left free to hit with a header, to bring the score tally to three for Juventus.
Torino’s goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu – wearing a curious green outfit that made him almost undetectable on the grass pitch – was again called on duty on multiple occasions, and did do his part to prevent the score from reaching humiliating proportions. The Sardinian goalie started a personal battle with Douglas Costa and Mario Mandzukic, parrying back all their attempts to earn a place in the match score sheet.
However, he couldn’t do anything at the last minute, when a penetrative pass by Pjanic for Gonzalo Higuain, was instead intercepted by Dybala and put in the net for the final 4-0.
Juventus promptly answered back to Napoli, which earlier in the afternoon had also caught the sixth win in a row, and can look forward to next Wednesday’s home Champions League match against Olympiacos with confidence.
For Toro, which had come undefeated into this derby, it was a sudden wake up, but – as coach Sinisa Mihajlovic said in his post-match comments – the goal of grabbing a Europa League spot is not changing at all. However, it will take all the team’s efforts to reach it, including those of young talent Daniele Baselli, who after his negative match promptly apologized to his team and supporters for tonight’s mistakes.
SCORERS: 16’ Dybala; 40’ Pjanic; 56’ Alex Sandro; 90’ Dybala
JUVENTUS (4-2-3-1) Buffon; Lichtsteiner, Benatia, Chiellini, Alex Sandro; Pjanic, Matuidi (72’ Bentancur); Cuadrado (62’ Bernardeschi), Dybala, Douglas Costa; Mandzukic (80’ Higuain). (Szczesny, Pinsoglio, Rugani, Barzagli, Asamoah, Sturaro). Coach: Allegri
TORINO: (4-2-3-1) Sirigu; De Silvestri, N’Koulou, Lyanco, Ansaldi; Rincon (75’ Gustafson), Baselli; Iago Falque (30’ Acquah), Ljajic, Niang (69’ Boyé); Belotti. (Ichazo, V. Milinkovic-Savic, Molinaro, Valdifiori, Burdisso, Edera, Berenguer, Moretti, Sadiq). Coach: Mihajlovic
REFEREE: Mr. Giacomelli from Trieste (Meli / Vuoto; Mazzoleni)
NOTES: Spectators: 40186; Yellow Cards: Ljajic, Acquah (T), Benatia (J); Red Card: Baselli (T) Extra Time: 2′ 1st half, 3′ 2nd half