Another week, another trip to Rome, and another win at Stadio Olimpico for Italy's Old Lady.
Sandwiched on either side of the international break, Juventus traveled to Rome for the second consecutive week, this time to face Lazio. The fixture pitted two of the four Serie A teams with perfect records against one another.
With the Champions League just days away, Juve manager Ciro Ferrara chose to rest regulars Fabio Cannavaro and Vincenzo Iaquinta. In their place, Nicola Legrottaglie and David Trezeguet made their first starts of the campaign, along with Martin Caceres who was making his Juve debut, filling in for Zdenek Grygera.
Lazio were without strikers Tomaso Rocchi and Mauaro Zarate, so manager Davide Ballardini fielded famed Juventus killer Julio Cruz alongside Pasquele Fogga up front.
Juve had the first real chance of the game 10 minutes in as Trezeguet unleashed a fierce volley that troubled Lazio keeper Nando Muslera, who palmed it to the touchline. He was called into action minutes later when Mauro Camoranesi's cross arched towards the far post.
The two scoring chances seemed to wake Lazio up, as from then on, they were the better team in the first half.
Gianluigi Buffon was called into action at point-blank range when Aleksandr Kolarov got free on the left side after he put the moves on Caceres. Moments later Buffon had to be at his best again following a Roberto Baronio free kick from about 20 meters out.
Is it safe to say that Superman is back on his best form?
However, seeing Buffon make clutch save after clutch save was overshadowed when the star of the season thus far for the Bianconeri, Diego, had to be substituted with one minute to go in the first half with a thigh problem. Sebastian Giovinco came on to replace the Brazilian magician, but it remains to be seen whether Diego will be fit for Juve's Champions League opener against Bordeaux.
The first half ended in controversy, as it appeared that Lazio had claimed the first goal of the match after a mad scramble in front of Buffon's net. However, the goal was disallowed after the referee said, and replays confirmed it, that Legrottaglie was pushed in the back by Cruz at the beginning of the madness in the six-yard box.
Juve had the first genuine chance of the second half when Giovinco quickly took a free kick, passing it to debutant Fabio Grosso, who then sent a heat-seeking missile across the box that missed a diving Amauri by inches.
Trezeguet almost broke the deadlock after fantastic combination from Grosso and Giovinco on the left flank. However, once the ball got the French striker, he could only turn and shoot and didn't get much behind it.
Lazio began to respond to Juve's pressure, but the Bianconeri defense was up to the task. Giorgio Chiellini seemingly got to every ball in the air and denied any Lazio chance when he was called upon.
Amauri wasted a quality chance on the counter-attack, but Caceres finally put Juve ahead 1-0 after he recovered a loose Claudio Marchisio cross and rocketed a shot to the far post to beat Muslera.
Another Juve player scoring on their debut...not bad.
The goal seemed to open up the game. Lazio came close when Cruz blasted one from just outside the box, but the shot didn't trouble Buffon whatsoever, who had to watch it through a crowd of players.
Even though the game was deep into stoppage time, Juve continued to push players forward. Trezeguet was finally rewarded in his return to the lineup when he put away a rebound at a sharp angle after Amauri almost scored a acrobatic volley.
You could see the joy on Trezeguet's face as he was mobbed by his teammates.
It wasn't the prettiest thing, but Ferrara's men remain perfect—nine points in three games.
Another trip to Rome. Another tough challenge. Another win.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!