There was a lot of talk entering the campaign's second edition of the Derby d'Italia on Sunday night in Turin. Probably more than usual due to what went on between the two clubs off the field when the transfer window was open. "Could Inter roll into Juventus' house and cause some problems?" they said.
Not so fast, my friends. With that, order was restored in Italy.
A red-hot atmosphere at Juventus Stadium was the perfect surrounding for what went down on the field Sunday night. Juventus dominated Inter for 60 minutes, taking a 3-0 lead along the way behind goals from Stephan Lichtsteiner, Giorgio Chiellini and Arturo Vidal.
Even with Inter finding some sign of existence in the final 20 or 25 minutes of the match, they finished with just two shots on goal. Marco Storari tried his damnedest to pull a Gigi Buffon and not do anything for a full 90 minutes, but a couple of noticeable defensive breakdowns prevented Juve recording a shutout without facing any kind of pressure on goal.
Overall, however, there was no doubting who the better team was for the vast majority of the game. And there was no doubting that the final score was a clear indicator of just how much better Juve were than their black and blue rivals from Milan.
#Conte: I'm happy. We scored three but could have had even more. #JuveInter— JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) February 2, 2014
I know, Antonio. I know. There were some frustrating moments, but an overall solid job as usual. But you know what will make Antonio smile a little bit more than he already is after Sunday night's dismantling of Inter? This little stat right here...
Juventus has now beaten Inter 100 times in all official competitions after today— Serie A News (@TransfersCalcio) February 2, 2014
Glad we could help. We're back up to plus-9, you guys.
Random thoughts and observations
- I will start the randomness with this: I think Antonio Conte made the right call playing Andrea Pirlo from the opening whistle against Inter. Something is just telling me it worked out quite well.
Ah, right. That's a pretty good reason right there. There's my Man of the Match. Ninety-four touches, 84 percent pass completion. Pirlo was simply superb.
- Can Leonardo Bonucci eliminate some of these silly mistakes he's making lately? That'd be great.
- It seems like in every preview for the last month I've highlighted the importance of Juventus' two wingbacks. Against Inter, they proved once again what this team can do when their two wingers are some of the best players on the field. Lichtsteiner and Asamoah were great, running wild up and down the flanks. Inter had no answer for both of them, plain and simple.
- Just singling out Lichtsteiner for a second: How good of form is he in right now? He's been absolutely phenomenal the past month or two. If it isn't an assist, he's scoring a goal like tonight.
- Can we get Carlos Tevez a goal, please? He hasn't found the back of the net since Juve's 4-1 win over Atalanta on Dec. 22. Not to say he's paying poorly, because he clearly isn't. But you just kinda get a gut feeling that whenever he breaks his 2014 duck, the goals will start flowing again like they were in the first half the season.
- Ray Hudson pointed this out around the 10-minute mark: Since the first time these two teams played this season, Juventus have put 23 points in between themselves and Inter. Make that 26 after Sunday.
- Juventus home record this season: 11 games, 11 wins, 33 goals scored, 7 goals allowed.
I'd say that's a pretty good tally. Feel free to keep things going, gents.
Juventus unbeaten streak update: 14 games, 38 goals scored, 6 goals allowed.
This has been a Juventus unbeaten streak update.