Bologna 0-2 Juventus: 6 Things We Learned
The Bianconeri dominated the Felsinei throughout, but only Arturo Vidal's goal could separate the sides until Giorgio Chiellini's late header added a justifiably greater margin between the sides.
The Old Lady now move on to next week's massive clash with Galatasaray seeking to secure qualification to the last 16 of the tournament.
Here are six things we learned from Friday's clash at the Stadio Renato Dall'Ara.
Juve Are in Perfect Shape Ahead of Biggest Game of the Season vs. Galatasaray
Juventus set up next week's clash with Galatasaray with an efficient performance and victory over Bologna.
The 2-0 win set them up brilliantly for next week, built on a solid defence that laid the foundation for Juve's formidable midfield to control the game.
With Leonardo Bonucci to come back into the side, Juve will be even stronger due to the former Bari defender's ability to distribute from the back.
After opening a gap of six points at the top of the league, Juve do not even need to acknowledge any of the Serie A action over the weekend.
A run of six league wins in succession has fixed their small blip and given them the stability to shift focus to Europe next week.
Pogba Has the Potential to Hold the Fort While Pirlo Is out
Paul Pogba assumed the role that Andrea Pirlo occupies when he is in the Juve side, and the Frenchman performed admirably in his new found position.
The Frenchman, usually so mobile and athletic, was disciplined and mature in his positioning, screening the back three and providing a platform for the likes of Arturo Vidal to shine.
By playing Pirlo's position, Juve lose that storming drive from Pogba's game, but Vidal's engine and Claudio Marchisio's neat and tidy work ensure that Juve can still control matters, while maintaining a threat from their midfield runners in transition.
Conte will be pleased with the opening game since Pirlo's injury, and considering the absence is predicted to be for a good while yet, Pogba can only grow into the role.
Arturo Vidal Deserves New Contract
Arturo Vidal recently signed a new bumper contract that will keep him at the Juventus Stadium until 2017 (per Sky Sports).
The Chilean continues to justify such an offer made by Juventus just months after the last extension for the former Bayer Leverkusen midfielder.
A wonderfully timed run and a cool finish gave Juve the lead and boosted his reputation as the best goalscoring midfielder in Italy.
Now with 11 league goals, El Guerrero trumps Marek Hamsik with six goals, Borja Valero with five, Marco Parolo with five, Kevin Strootman with three and Fredy Guarin with two.
Juve will be delighted to know the most complete midfielder in Europe will remain in black and white for a good while yet.
The Wide Options Continue to Flatter to Deceive
Juve's wide men continue to offer very little to the cause and despite persistent opportunities, none of them can persuade Antonio Conte that they deserve a permanent place in the team or that new signings are not necessary.
Sure, Federico Peluso was involved in the build-up for Vidal's opener, but he is vulnerable when backed up and asked to defend against quick players who can both dribble and knock the ball past him and beat him for pace.
Simone Padoin and Mauricio Isla have received ample chances on the right in Stephan Lichtsteiner's absence through injury.
It is a wonder as to why Martin Caceres has not been given more time to make this role his own.
Paolo De Ceglie possesses more power and drive from the left, in a similar manner to Kwadwo Asamoah, who occupies the left-sided role for the time being, but the Italian is clearly not fancied by the coach.
The Ghanaian Asamoah more or less holds on to his place by default moving forward and Lichtsteiner will coast back into the XI when he regains his fitness.
Tevez and Llorente Will Now Be Raring to Go Against Gala
Carlos Tevez and Fernando Llorente made way for Mirko Vucinic and Fabio Quagliarella on Friday against Bologna.
While Llorente did not receive the longest rest due to Vucinic's first half injury, Tevez was only needed for the final 20 minutes, meaning both of them should be ready to cause havoc against Galatasaray on Tuesday.
The partnership has blossomed in recent weeks and it has such versatility that Juve will be able to alter their attacking approach multiple times during the game.
Given that Andrea Pirlo will be injured and Claudio Marchisio will make his way back into the side once more, Il Principino will be able to combine with the strike force at close quarters on a more regular basis than the midfield trident usually do.
Marchisio's tendency to shift the ball quickly in and around the area should benefit Tevez in particular, creating numerous opportunities with his clever movement.
With the winning result secured, Conte will be delighted that it was achieved without the full exertions of his starting forwards, who will both be ready to fire Juve into the last 16 of the Champions League in Matchday 6 next week.
Juve Will Qualify for the Last 16 of the Champions League
Juventus have proven over the past few weeks and continued to justify every fan who believes that they will avoid defeat against Galatasaray and qualify for the last 16 of the Champions League.
The defence is rock solid and will be particularly difficult to break down for the Turkish champions.
With Leonardo Bonucci's distribution returning to the side next week, Juve will be able to launch counter-attacks when Gala push for the lead that they must take in order to qualify themselves.
Stephan Lichtsteiner should be ready to return, and his consistent delivery will be welcomed back, especially with the option of lifting the ball up for Fernando Llorente to attack.
Kwadwo Asamoah is rested nicely and despite his defensive frailties, his attacking instincts and incredible pace and stamina should pin Emanuel Eboue back.
With Llorente and Carlos Tevez set to resume their flourishing partnership as well, it is improbable that Gala will be able to outscore Juve next week, meaning the Old Lady will have Champions League football in the new year.