Serie A - Juventus go eight clear after pounding Roma

Serie A, Juventus Stadium - Juventus 3 (Vidal 17, Bonucci 48, Vucinic pen 77) AS Roma 0

Serie A - Juventus go eight clear after pounding Roma

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2014 Serie A Juventus Roma

Juventus handed nine-man Roma their first defeat of the season in a 3-0 victory in Turin to edge closer to retaining their title.

Rudi Garcia's previously-unbeaten men started off with plenty of confidence and came close more than once to taking the lead.

When Juve instead found the opener through Arturo Vidal after superb work from Carlos Tevez, it was completely against the run of play - but things soon changed after the deadlock was broken.

Having closed out the first period on top, Antonio Conte's side got off to a flier after the restart and a criminally-unmarked Leonardo Bonucci converted a smooth Andrea Pirlo free-kick delivery minutes into the second 45 to double the lead.

Things went completely down the drain from there for the capital club as Daniele De Rossi saw red for a dangerous two-footed lunge on Giorgio Chiellini while the subsequent free-kick led to Leandro Castan following his team-mate into the changing room for denying ex-Roma striker Mirko Vucinic a clear goal with his hand.

Vucinic would get the green light from regular penalty taker Vidal to smash home the ensuing spot kick and get on the scoresheet - for only his second goal of the campaign.

With their unbeaten record over, the gap between themselves and the league leaders stretched to eight points and Adem Ljajic joining De Rossi and Castan on the suspension list after a needless late booking, the defeat could do more damage to Roma's season than meets the eye.

Serie A titlists Juve, meanwhile, look well on course for a three-peat after notching a 10th straight win against their nearest rivals to the throne.

With more than half the season to play, the bianconeri have 49 points from 18 games with Roma on 41.

“I am only ever moderately satisfied until we achieve our targets, so this remains a stepping stone, but nothing definitive. Our satisfaction therefore has to remain moderate,” Conte told Sky Sport Italia.

“There’s an entire second half of the season to go and we must do well. These eight points are important, but must not become an illusion, as if they rob us of the concentration and desire we need then we’ll be in real trouble. Anything could happen.

“Let’s not forget that Roma won their opening 10 games, yet in Week 18 we are eight points in front of them.

“I am still surprised by our growth in terms of tactics and mentality, as we are really improving in that respect. Don’t forget teams know us now, they know our strengths and weaknesses. That means we’ve had to work on strengthening our weaknesses and maintaining the strengths.

“I think the desire to win is a philosophy of life and I tried to transmit that to my players. There are others here who already know what that means, like Gigi Buffon and Arturo Vidal. They all realised it’s great to win and want to continue doing it, but to achieve that you need great humility, hunger and the willingness to work for one another.

“Just look at players like Carlos Tevez and Fernando Llorente who come back and actively take part in the defensive moves, not like old-fashioned strikers who would stand up there and wait for an assist to score.

“Llorente is a very important player for us who, after two months of apprenticeship, has settled right into the team. He holds up the ball, spreads the play for his teammates and is strong in the air.”

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