Juve stretches unbeaten run on record day for Buffon

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Juventus’ goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon (center) celebrates with teammates at the end of the Italian Serie A football match Torino vs Juventus on Monday at the “Olympic Stadium” in Turin. AFP PHOTO

Juventus’ goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon (center) celebrates with teammates at the end of the Italian Serie A football match Torino vs Juventus on Monday at the “Olympic Stadium” in Turin. AFP PHOTO

MILAN: Champions Juventus took their Serie A unbeaten run to 20 games with a 4-1 derby win at Torino that saw goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon set a new clean sheet record of 973 minutes.

Juventus made the short trip to the Stadio Olimpico looking to make amends for their spectacular Champions League collapse at Bayern Munich on Wednesday (Thursday in Manila).

And Massimiliano Allegri’s men responded to their last 16 upset in style, Paul Pogba firing the visitors ahead on 33 minutes before Sami Khedira took their half-time lead to 2-0.

Juventus were pegged back three minutes after the restart when Andrea Belotti reduced arrears from the spot to end Buffon’s new unbeaten record at 973 minutes, the keeper surpassing Sebastiano Rossi’s record of 929 minutes for AC Milan in 1994.


But the champions restored their two-goal advantage just after the hour when Alvaro Morata, who had replaced Paulo Dybala after the Argentine crumpled to the pitch in pain, hit a brace before Khedira was sent off at the death for dissent.

Juve’s 22nd win stretches their lead over second-placed Napoli to six points ahead of their home game later Sunday with Genoa.

Roma, who drew 1-1 with Inter on Saturday, remain third with a five-point lead on both Fiorentina, held to a scoreless stalemate at Frosinone, and Inter.

Juve were devastated by their reverse in Munich, where Thomas Mueller scored a 91st minute leveller for the Germans to take the decider into extra-time, before Bayern sealed a 6-4 aggregate win.

Allegri was without defender Giorgio Chiellini, handing a start to Daniele Rugani, as well as mid¬fielder Claudio Marchisio through injury, but welcomed Dybala back after he also sat out at the Allianz Arena.

Torino had lost lost 12 of their last 14 games with Juve, save for a 0-0 draw and a rare, 2-1 win in April 2015.

Juve suffered an early blow when Dybala collapsed while taking a free kick and was replaced by Morata, although that would be a blessing in disguise.

Pogba got the visitors off the mark just after the half hour with a free kick which he curled around the wall and into the near top corner.

Daniele Padelli had to palm another free kick from the Frenchman around his post, but Juve doubled their lead with ease just before the interval when Khedira waltzed through the middle to poke the ball home.

Torino were handed a lifeline three minutes after the restart when Belotti stepped up to fire his spot-kick into the bottom left corner, leaving Buffon rooted to the spot but with a new Serie A record in his possession.

Buffon had surpassed the legendary Dino Zoff’s 903-minute tally last week by taking his clean-sheet record to 926 minutes. When Belotti scored, it ended Buffon’s run at 973 minutes but took him past Sebastiano Rossi’s previous record, for AC Milan in 1994, of 929 minutes.

Torino’s hopes, however, were short-lived.

Juve were back in control 15 minutes later when Morata chipped the onrushing Padelli from Pogba’s perfect delivery and had his brace on 77 minutes.

Elsewhere, Carpi dominated a bottom-of-the-table clash with basement side Verona 2-1 to move out of the relegation zone at the expense of Palermo.

AC Milan, meanwhile, can close to within four points of both Inter and Fiorentina with a home win over Lazio in Sunday’s late game.

AFP

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