Serie A giants Juventus and Roma both underlined their title credentials with late winners over Torino and Inter Milan on Sunday evening.
The pair are currently well clear at the top of the table, and after competing for the Scudetto last term and already engaged in a similar battle this time around. Victors in the dying stages so often show the character required to secure a winners medal at the end of the campaign, and that both sides managed it show the title race could go the distance this time around.
Andrea Pirlo’s winner with the last kick of the game over city rivals Torino showed that Massimiliano Allegri’s men are desperate to retain their crown. The Italian’s shot from the edge of the area in the final minute came after Bruno Peres had cancelled out Arturo Vidal’s earlier penalty to have the visitors on course for an unlikely point.
Juventus are still yet to be beaten this term, and are aiming to replicate Antonio Conte’s invincibles of 2012 that managed to maintain that achievement until the end of the campaign.
They are also yet to have lost in 17 straight matches, and have knocked up 15 victories from within that time. Carlos Tevez is the undisputed talisman but that the goals were shared out show that the current champions are capable of scoring from anywhere on the pitch.
Rudi Garcia’s men secured a seasonal best of 85 points last year, but despite missing out on the title have regrouped and scored two late goals to beat Roberto Mancini’s Inter Milan at the Stadio Olimpico.
Goals for both sides from Gervinho, Jose Holebas, Andre Ranocchia and Dani Osvaldo had made it 2-2, before Miralem Pjanic’s stunning second half double settled the contest.
They have lost just twice, against Juventus and Rafael Benitez’s Napoli, and the Bosnian’s late double has ensured they remain three points behind their title rivals and earn them a tenth win of the season. A late blow in the Champions League against CSKA Moscow had happened to dampen the mood, but despite Inter’s resistance they simply found themselves overwhelmed in the latter stages.
Pjanic remains sensational, and as does Francesco Totti who provided an assist to continue to show that he can still shine despite his increasing age.
Both sides are in stunning form, and it may come down to when the pair do battle again in March to decide where the title will lie. They are clearly the best two sides in the country at the moment, and the rivalry is becoming more intense by the game as both managers seek a first title at their prospective clubs.
Serie A boring? Not a chance.
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