03 November 2019 02:39
Pier Marco Tacca/Getty Images Juventus regained top spot in Serie A when they beat Torino 1-0 in the Derby della Mole at the Stadio Olimpico Grande Torino on Saturday. Matthijs de Ligt grabbed the decisive goal in the 70th minute. The Bianconeri remain unbeaten with nine wins from their first 11 Serie A matches, while the defeat keeps Torino, who are without a win since September, in 13th place. Clear-cut chances were few and far between for both sides in the first half. It took almost 20 minutes for Juve to have an attempt on goal, but Cristiano Ronaldo failed to hit the target with his header.
The Bianconeri finally got a shot on target when Paulo Dybala forced a strong save from Salvatore Sirigu, while Soualiho Meite came close for the hosts at the other end but fired just over. Sirigu kept the score level late in the half when he denied Leonardo Bonucci and De Ligt shortly after: Bleacher Report's Gianni Verschueren gave his take on the match at the break: Sirigu beat away another shot from Ronaldo after the break and a fine volley from substitute Gonzalo Higuain as Juve sought to get in front. The visitors finally got the breakthrough when Higuain put the ball back in the centre from a corner: Torino came close to equalising soon after, but Wojciech Szczesny was equal to Cristian Ansaldi's effort after the midfielder had embarked on an impressive run. Sirigu was alert to smother a loose ball to deny Aaron Ramsey. At the other end, Gleison Bremer had a late equaliser ruled out for offside as Juve held on to secure the victory.
They have won nine and drawn two of their last 11 meetings with Torino and have been beaten only once by their neighbours since 1995. De Ligt was in action at both ends in the first half. He was lucky not to give away a penalty for handball in his own area and forced a brilliant save from Salvatore Sirigu just before halftime in the other. "I am just standing and the ball hit me," he said. "I knew immediately it was not a penalty, because the rules are if my arms are down here, it's not a penalty." Gonzalo Higuain gave the Juve attack some extra bite when he came on during the second half and quickly forced another save from Sirigu with a volley. Juventus broke the deadlock after 70 minutes when Higuain knocked back a corner at the far post and De Ligt fired past Sirigu, leaving Torino coach Walter Mazzarri furious with his defence. Torino fought back well and Bremer had the ball in the net with a chest and volley in stoppage time but the Brazilian's effort was disallowed for offside. Juventus will be looking to continue their good start to the season and stretch their lead at the top of Serie A when they head to rivals Torino for the Derby della Mole. Maurizio Sarri's men claimed a late victory on Wednesday courtesy of a 95th minute Cristiano Ronaldo penalty, but will be searching for an improved performance after playing poorly for the large majority of the game. Torino managed to hold Juve to a draw the last time they played back in May, with Ronaldo scoring with six minutes to go to secure a 1-1 draw. Are you wondering what's going to happen this time? Don't worry, we have a set of stats for you to reveal what is definitely (probably not) going to happen this time. The Impossible Task It's fair to say that Torino will have to go some to beat their city rivals. Incredibly, Juve have only lost once in the last 26 games between the sides, with their record reading: 19 wins, six draws and one loss. As well as that, they have also won nine out of the last ten away games against Torino, losing just the one. The Old Lady simply don't like losing against Torino. Unfortunately for Walter Mazzarri, Toro have suffered more Serie A defeats against Juve than any other side - losing 70. The Italian has also failed to beat their opposition in their last ten attempts, drawing five and losing five. They undoubtedly face the impossible tasks today. But records are there to be broken. Toro's League Struggles Mazzarri's men have had a really tough start to the season, and have shown frailties where they usually don't. Torino have had a formidable home record over the last couple of years, but following back-to-back home draws, they now face the prospect of three consecutive draws at the Stadio Olimpico Grande Torino for the first time under the management of Mazzarri. As well as that, the Granata have lost five of their first ten games to start the season - something that has only happened once while Urbano Cairo has been the chairman. Perhaps this is the perfect chance for the club to get back on track. Or perhaps a loss here could really compound their misery. Sarri's Fine Start Despite some questionable performances, Sarri has had a flying start in Italy. The Italian has won 10 of his first 13 games as Juve manager, with Fabio Capello and Jesse Carver the only men with a higher winning percentage (both 85%) than him over the first 13 games. As a result, the Bianconeri sat top of Serie A coming into the weekend, despite strong competition from Antonio Conte's Inter. Goalscoring Heroes Ronaldo is the man for a late goal for Juve, with the Portuguese superstar scoring four penalties for the club - all in the last 15 minutes of the game. As well as that, three of them have come in the 86th minute or later. What pressure? Miralem Pjanic loves playing against Torino, with the classy midfielder bagging four goals and claiming six assists against their rivals. No other side has been on the receiving end of such numbers from the Bosnian. Torino striker Simone Zaza once played for Juve - scoring five goals in 19 Serie A games for the club. He has also scored twice against his former side, with both of the goals coming for Sassuolo.