Juventus beat Bologna to register record Serie A home wins

Turin, Jan 9 (IANS) Juventus became the first club to win 26 consecutive Serie A football matches at home as they registered a facile 3-0 win over Bologna at the Juventus stadium here.

A brace from Gonzalo Higuain and a first-half Paulo Dybala penalty on Sunday night helped Juventus record their 26th in a row at home — a new club record streak that began against the same opposition 462 days ago, according to the Turin club’s website.

Following the win, Juventus have 45 points from 18 matches, while second-placed Roma are four points behind having played 19 games.

Coming into the game after a 15-day winter break, Massimiliano Allegri-coached Juventus looked sharp from the beginning.

Seven minutes in to the game, they took the lead when Gonzalo Higuain shot a Miralem Pjanic’s clipped through ball past goalkeeper Antonio Mirante for his 11th Serie A goal of the season.

However, the hosts struggled to make any further headway against a tightly packed and deep defensive line, Claudio Marchisio’s long-range drive the only other clear sight of goal from open play.

With the scores seemingly locked at 1-0 as the game approached the interval, the hosts made their half-time lead a comfortable one on 41 minutes when Dybala converted from the penalty spot after a foul on midfielder Stefano Sturaro.

After the break, Higuain made it 3-0 in the 54th minute as he headed a right cross from Stephan Lichtsteiner into an unguarded net.

Chances for a fourth came and went, the best of which falling to Dybala after a flowing counter-attack involving substitute Juan Cuadrado and Khedira as the champions remained firmly on course for a regular win.

After the match, Juventus chief coach Allegri said that it was important for the team to win as the other top contenders also won during the weekend.

“I wanted to see real desire and that was there from the off. We gave a bit too much away in the first half, but after the break we took control of possession and never looked like conceding,” he said.

“It was important to get the three points because the chasing pack are doing very well.”

–IANS

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