Serie A: Juventus 1-0 InterMandzukic with the winner
A lone Mario Mandzukic goal was enough for Juventus to overcome a spritely Inter 1-0 at the Allianz Stadium on Friday evening.
The Croatian bagged his first Serie A goal against the Nerazzurri to put Juve 11 points clear at the top of Serie A, and increase the gap to their rivals, who sit in third place, to 14 paoints.
Surprisingly, Inter coach Luciano Spalletti went with a 4-3-3 formation, as opposed to his usual 4-2-3-1 and it seemed to work early on as the away side were bright and took the game to their opponents.
However, as the match wore on Juve‘s power and quality shone through as they walked away with another three points, equalling PSG‘s record of most points amassed over 15 matches in Europe’s top five leagues – 43.
In front of over 41,000 fans in Turin, the first chance fell to Inter, as Kwadwo Asamoah crossed for Mauro Icardi who backheeled into the path of Joao Mario, but his shot was deflected out for a corner.
Juventus came roaring back and Cristiano Ronaldo crossed for Paulo Dybala but his header went just over.
Then a poor clearance fell to the Argentine inside the box, but he could only fire into the stands from a tight angle.
A long ball from Asamoah found the run of Ivan Perisic, and his cross was decisively cut out by Giorgio Chiellini, with Icardi lurking at the back post.
Inter then hit the post, after a lovely long ball was expertly trapped by Matteo Politano, who then fed Icardi and he held the ball up before laying off the onrushing Roberto Gagliardini, but he could only put his finish onto the upright.
Another fantastic opportunity came the way of Inter as a low cross was met by Perisic, but unmarked and stretching, he could only fire wide.
Not content with letting their rivals have all the fun, Mario Mandzukic headed straight at Handanovic, then a Cancelo cutback to an unmarked Rodrigo Bentancur was deflected out by Marcelo Brozovic.
Handanovic had to be alert from the corner, and made a good save from Chiellini.
Then the Juventus captain had another go, but this time he put his header over.
Early in the second half a mistake from Blaise Matuidi allowed Politano to have a go from inside the penalty area, but Leonardo Bonucci recovered well to make a decisive block.
It was end to end stuff in Turin, as Matuidi drove the ball across the six-yard box though there was no one on the end of it, then Dybala completely miscued while free in the area, and put his volley high into the curva.
That pressure paid off as just after the hour Mandzukic broke the deadlock with a simple header at the back post, all set up by a magnificent Joao Cancelo cross.
Inter didn’t give up the ghost though as Borja Valero had a freekick deflected out, then Lautaro Martinez dragged an effort from the edge of the area wide.
Then in the final stretch, the ball fell to Lautaro 18 yards out, but he was unable to hit the target and thus Juventus took all three points.