For large sections of the game they were outplayed, but when referee Marco Guida blew the full-time whistle at San Siro on Sunday evening, Juventus had once again vanquished Milan. With goals from Carlos Tevez and Fernando Llorente, the Turin giants took a commanding 11-point lead at the top of Serie A.
The game marked their 12th league clean sheet, and gave them a record 69 points from the first 26 games of the season, surpassing the previous best from Fabio Capello’s 2006 side. At first glance, their league dominance looks complete, and a third consecutive title seems all but a foregone conclusion for Antonio’s Conte’s all-conquering squad.
Yet what is so often overlooked is that back in the early part of the season, Juventus were in poor form. By the time they lost 4-2 to Fiorentina and 2-1 Real Madrid in late October, La Madama had kept just three clean sheets, conceding 15 times in their first 12 games of the season. That run included draws with Galatasaray and FC Copenhagen, results which would ultimately lead to their exit from the Champions League.
As they now look ahead to next season, many wonder what it will take in order for the Bianconeri to better compete in Europe’s elite competition. On the following pages are the things Juventus must do to contend for a trophy the grand Old Lady of Italian football has won just twice in her illustrious past.