Juventus kicked off with the style and intimidation that we know all too well from the Italian champions, and Inter Milan struggled to keep up with Andrea Pirlo and company as they went through the motions of testing the visitor’s defence.
Alas, it was only 15 minutes into the match when the inexperienced Mateo Kovacic lost his marker and allowed Stephan Lichtsteiner to break free in the box. Andrea Pirlo then kindly obliged with a wonderful through ball, leaving the full back with nothing more to do than simply guide his header into the back of the net.
Juventus had their lead, and it was well deserved.
Yet the most dangerous thing for any side is to score in the first 20 minutes. That was all too evident for the Old Lady as they took their foot of the gas and allowed Inter to slowly prod around the midfield and search for a response.
The full extent of the visitor's stumbling attack was a poorly aimed shot from Rodrigo Palacio just five minutes from time that could have ended up in the back of the net on another day. However, it was Juventus who went into the break with a well deserved lead.
The second half began in much the same manner as the first with a full-on blitz from the home side, which resulted in a goal from none other than Giorgio Chiellini within the first two minutes of the half. A rebound from the opening corner of the half came back in to the Inter box and allowed the towering defender the time and space to knock home with his weaker foot. Inter were two goals down before they knew where they were.
Then things fell apart.
Eight minutes later, a throw-in for Juventus found the stronghold of Fernando Llorente's feet. He then passed the ball on to Paul Pogba. The thundering midfielder then hit a misguided shot straight at Samir Handanovic, only for Arturo Vidal to latch up the rebound and knock home for Juventus' third straight goal.
Yet that wasn't the end of things, as Inter found no more than a fool's amount of hope when Rolando knocked home from a rebound in the box following a stray corner late in the second half. The goal came just after the 70th minute, and alongside the introduction of Diego Milito, the visitors looked as though the wind was finally in their sails.
The late rally saw mischief throughout the Juventus final third, amounting to a golden opportunity from Palacio, who, as mentioned, knocked the ball over from a poor header just five minutes from time. That was their chance to pull something back from the game, and they failed to take advantage of it.
Antonio Conte's side now sit atop of the Italian top division with nine points between them and second-placed Roma, who of course have a game in hand. This was a complete win that showed the true extent between the talent within both these sides.
Have these Inter players ever even met each other?— Matteo Bonetti (@TheCalcioGuy) February 2, 2014