Vincenzo Iaquinta Bags a Double As Juventus Thump Roma 4-1 in the Eternal City
With AS Roma missing almost half the roster due to injuries and suspensions, Juventus had to take advantage of their opponent's shortcomings and claim three points on the road at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome.
And that's exactly what the Old Lady did, aided by a second-consecutive second half outburst, beating Roma 4-1 and once again closing the gap on Serie A leaders Inter Milan to four points.
The game didn't start off as fast as many thought, with both teams failing to take advantage of any opportunities in the early goings of the match.
Roma had a golden opportunity to open the scoring when John Arne Riise got loose on the left wing and crossed it to Max Tonetto to shoot it into the net.
However, Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini, who was doing his best Zorro imitation due to his broken nose suffered in the Turin derby, blocked the Italian midfielder's attempt on goal.
It seemed as though that was the turning point as Juventus started to kick things into gear.
When it wasn't Vincenzo Iaquinta putting pressure on the Roma defense, it was either Hasan Salihamidzic or Sebastian Giovinco scampering down the wings looking for an opening to cross it into the fray or create something on their own.
And then all the sudden, the deadlock was broken.
With an attack by Roma fizzling after Julo Baptista turned the ball over, Juve quickly countered and within seconds the ball was at the feet of Giovinco. The diminutive playmaker then played a fantastic through ball to Iaquinta, who spun one to the far post past Doni.
Roma had two quality opportunities to equal the terms in the first half, but Jeremy Menez and Mirko Vucinic failed to put anything on target.
It was Juve who had all the momentum going into the locker room at the half, but it was Roma who came out swinging in the opening moments of the second half.
Two quick corners saw Roma take full control of the game and the Giallorosi leveled the game at 1-1, less than three minutes into the second half when Simone Loria was left totally unmarked and volleyed the Menez corner kick.
Roma's lead didn't last long as it was Iaquinta again putting Juve ahead, this time in the air off a deflected Zdenek Grygera cross and rose above Roma defender Phillipe Mexes.
But Roma came back again, winning a corner just two minutes later. And instead of scoring a goal, it was Iaquinta preventing one, getting in front of a Mexes header and clearing it just two feet in front of the goal.
With Roma continuously failing to take advantage of their scoring opportunities, Juve were putting the pressure on.
Another quick counter attack saw Iaquinta, Giovinco, and Alessandro Del Piero race almost the entire length of the pitch in a three-on-two situation.
But it was Riise barely getting a foot in front of the Juve captain's attempt on goal to keep the score at 2-1.
Juve would get their two-goal advantage in the 68th minute when Olof Mellberg rose up and was on the end of Del Piero corner. The Swede's header to the far post basically sealed three points for the Turin giants.
But the scoring wasn't over.
Pavel Nedved came on for Tiago with 20 minutes to go and with his first touch of the match, the 36-year-old Czech midfielder connected with a riffle of a volley after a poor clearance that register 80 km/h on the gun and again saw Doni hung out to dry by his defense.
Not bad for your first touch, eh?
Roma did force two solid saves out of Gianluigi Buffon in the closing minutes of the game, but it was too little too late as it was Juve's night to shine in Rome.
The final whistle blew and another sparkling second half meant three points and for the time being, three points closer to Inter.
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