Going into the much anticipated and undisputed game of the season to date in the Serie A, Juventus found themselves in a position where a win would not only increase their lead over their opponents and challengers AS Roma to eight points, it would also signal a virtual end to the race for the Scudetto with a Juventus win. By showing some tactical flexibility and composure, Juventus shot a warning sign to the rest of the league that the title is theirs with a convincing 3-0 win over Roma in their game on Sunday night in Turin.
Juventus are a team known and identified with being a team to press and pressure the opposition during the Antonio Conte era while Roma are known to be more of a counter attacking team since Rudi Garcia has taken over as coach of the capital club. In their game on Sunday, Conte flipped the script as he decided to sit back and let Roma take the game to them as a means of negating and neutralizing Roma’s ability to counter and hurt Juventus in doing so. While this tactical strategy allowed Roma to have the better chances in the first 25 minutes of the game, it would eventually bear fruits for Juventus.
In their first real chance, Arturo Vidal opened the scoring for Juventus as he found himself the recipient of a lovely pass from Carlos Tevez who made Daniele De Rossi look a fool, as he would calmly chip his shot over Roma keeper Morgan De Sanctis to put the ‘Vecchia Signora’ up 1-0 against the run of play. Even though Roma pressed for the equalizer, Juventus stayed true to their original game plan as Roma, towards the end of the first half, began to lose focus and become frustrated at missing their opportunities to score.
If Roma ended the first half frustrated, they began the second half lacking full focus and concentration as Juventus doubled their lead three minutes in as Leandro Bonucci headed home an Andrea Pirlo free kick with no Roma player marking him as he went up and headed the ball into the back of the net. Then with 15 minutes left in the game and beginning to realize that Juventus were just too much for them on the night, Roma completely melted down with two red cards in a two minute span as De Rossi saw himself sent off for a heinous tackle on Giorgio Chiellini and Leandro Castan for denying an obvious goal scoring opportunity which Mirko Vucinic slotted home for the 3-0 score.
As Juventus matches the longest winning streak in club history, having now won their last 10 league games, they showed that they to are able to change and be flexible with their tactics in the biggest games. Just as importantly, it was a win that without a doubt has demoralized Roma and any other team hoping for Juventus to fall back to the pack a bit as they sent a message that the Scudetto is going nowhere and will stay with them for a third year running, even with half a season left to play.