Sports Mole's minute-by-minute commentary of an impressive 2-0 win for Juventus over Lazio at the Stadio Olimpico.
By Liam Power, Reporter Filed: Monday, April 15, 2013 at 19:15 UK
Last Updated: Monday, April 15, 2013 at 22:35 UK
Juventus travelled to Rome tonight looking to extend their lead in Serie A to 11 points with a first win this season against Lazio.
The home side were desperate to keep their Champions League chase alive but fell behind after just 10 minutes, courtesy of a penalty from Arturo Vidal.
The Chilean midfielder doubled his tally soon after following neat approach play from Claudio Marchisio.
Antonio Conte's side stayed strong in the closing stages to record an impressive 2-0 victory.
Look back at an efficient display from the Old Lady with Sports Mole's minute-by-minute commentary below.
7.16pmEvening Serie A fans, thanks for joining us as a marathon round of action continues at the Olimpico tonight. A clash between first and sixth takes centre stage in Rome as Lazio host Juventus in a match which has all the makings of a must-see encounter.
7.18pmLazio are in dire need of a positive result tonight to get their league campaign back on track. Vladimir Petkovic's side have been tested to the limit in three competitions this season and consequently have fallen away slightly in Serie A. A win tonight is imperative if they still hold any realistic ambitions of qualifying for the Champions League by finishing in the top three.
7.20pmJuve can extend their lead to 11 points at the top of Serie A with a win this evening after Napoli were held to a 1-1 draw by AC Milan last night. Antonio Conte will be desperate for a positive response from his men at the Olimpico following their loss to Bayern Munich last week.
7.22pmThe Aquile are one of the few teams in Italy that have enjoyed relative success against Juve this season and are unbeaten in their last three matches against the Old Lady. Lazio knocked Juve out of the Coppa Italia in a pulsating semi-final this year and will be gunning for another eye-catching win this evening.
7.24pmBREAKING TEAM NEWS! We have just received word that Juve have taken most pundits by surprise in naming a side with just one striker this evening. Mirko Vucinic will lead the line on his own at the Olimpico, supported by Claudio Marchisio in an advanced midfield role.
7.26pmLazio have been forced into a whole host of changes tonight as Petkovic's squad is stretched to the breaking points by injuries and suspensions. One positive piece of news for the home side is that Miroslav Klose will make only his second league start since returning from a long-term leg injury in attack. A full look at both starting XI's will follow in just a few moments.
7.32pmA big blow for the visitors tonight is that defensive linchpin Giorgio Chiellini misses out through injury. Conte has opted to bring Federico Peluso into the back three, with Paul Pogba drafted in to provide cover in central midfield.
7.34pmMarchisio's inclusion is also a minor surprise, with the midfielder a big injury doubt earlier today. The Italian international will have free license to get forward tonight and support Vucinic, who is picked ahead of Alessandro Matri and Fabio Quagliarella in attack.
7.36pmLazio have three key planners suspended tonight, with Giuseppe Biava, Stefan Radu and Senad Lulic all banned. Giant defender Marius Stankevicius is among the players brought in to the side in defence, while veteran skipper Stefano Mauri gets a start in central midfield.
7.38pmBrazilian playmaker Ederson and Libor Kozak also lose their places in the starting XI after a below-par display in last week's Europa League exit to Fenerbahce. Ogenyi Onazi is recalled in midfield, while Hernanes and Antonio Candreva will play in advanced roles behind Klose.
7.40pmJuve are looking to rediscover form, confidence and above all their touch in the final third after drawing a blank in successive games against Bayern. The one-sided nature of that Champions League exit must have come as a big shock to Conte, who will now be surely looking to take stock and plan for improvements next season. There is also still a second successive Scudetto to secure, with a win tonight all but confirming Juve as champions.
7.43pmPREDICTION! With both sides desperate to find a response tonight I expect a tight clash decided by a mistake or moment of genuine quality. Lazio are depleted but still remain formidable opponents at home and I think Petkovic can rouse his troops to claim a 1-1 draw against Juve this evening. Klose is yet to score since returning from injury, so look for the German veteran to put that right tonight!
7.45pmThe Olimpico is under capacity tonight but still produces a raucous atmosphere as both sides emerge from the tunnel to an intimidating atmosphere. Lazio need to make home advantage count tonight to climb back into a European place, with a point enough to take the Aquile above city rivals Roma into fifth place.
2 minLazio get this clash between first and sixth underway and immediately break forward though Candreva, who has a curling cross blocked by Peluso. His clearance is poor and gifts the home side a corner kick inside a minute. The home side decide to take short and waste the chance, giving Juve a quick opportunity to counter.
4 minJuve reply by earning two corners in quick succession, with Pogba flashing a deflected drive beyond the far post. Lazio eventually regroup to clear their lines as an end-to-end encounter takes shape in the early stages.
6 minSAVE! Hernanes shows quick feet to evade two defenders in the penalty area, but his shot lacks power and is stopped easily by Buffon. I predicted a tight clash before kickoff and within six minutes both sides have shown willing to get numbers forward and create chances. Shows what I know!
8 minCandreva wins another corner kick with a pacy burst down the right wing, with his cross towards Mauri turned behind by a clearance from Bonucci. His corner is headed away from danger by Vidal as Juve breathe a sigh of relief.
9 minPENALTY TO JUVE! The visitors have been awarded a spot kick after Vucinic is brought down by Lorik Cana, who picks up a yellow card for a late lunge inside the box. A moment of madness has gifted Juve the chance to to take an early lead!
13 minVidal sends Marchetti the wrong way with a composed finish, sending an accurate strike just inside the post. Lazio had started so brightly but their hard work early on was all undone by a silly lunge from Cana. Juve are quickly back on the attack through Marchisio, but his pass to Lichtsteiner is slightly overhit and allows Lazio the chance to regroup.
15 minJuve are particularly potent when invited to keep possession and hold a lead, which makes the home side's task to respond look daunting. Lichtsteiner drives down the wing and has three players to choose from inside the penalty area, but his delivery lacks power and is cleared by Cana.
17 minYELLOW CARD! Vidal is the second player cautioned inside 20 minutes after choosing to slide into a late challenge on Ciani long after the ball had gone. A needless foul from the Chilean midfielder, who must now guard against a second booking for more than 70 minutes.
19 minLazio finally show signs of life at the other end through Hernanes, who drives forward and attempts to find Klose with a precise pass. Bonucci reads the danger quickly and is at full stretch to intercept the pass. The home side recycle possession after the corner kick is cleared, but Stankevičius can only send a looping flick over the crossbar with a tame effort.
21 minPeluso shows good awareness to rush out of defence and claim a short pass from Mauri, but the visitors are unable to take advantage thanks to a poor touch from Pogba. Lazio coach Petkovic is prowling the touchline with an anguished expression, using a yellow bib as a stress ball to keep his frustration under wraps. His side are in trouble once again as Juve win a free kick just outside the penalty area, with Pirlo ready to take.
23 minSAVE! Marchetti is forced into action as Vucinic meets Pirlo's cross to flick a volley with pace towards goal. The keeper is well placed and parries the shot to safety, with the home side fortunate to escape after slack marking throughout the penalty area.
25 minMauri steams into a challenge with Lichtsteiner and blocks the full-back's run with his knee. The captain escapes a caution but gifts possession to Juve, with Pirlo sending a quite superb long diagonal pass to Pogba in the penalty area. He chooses to look for a pass behind rather shoot, but miscues and the chance to score is quickly gone.
27 minCandreva switches wings and wins a corner kick on the left-hand side. He decides to take and swings a teasing cross into the six-yard box, which is cleared by a header from Vucinic. Lazio win another corner and create a chance for Ledesma, but his attempt at a volley only results in a kick at fresh air as the midfielder fails to make contact.
29 minHernanes gives away possession in the final third after going down in stages just outside the box. Juve break in numbers and find Vidal unmarked at the far post. He chooses to cut inside and eventually has a curling effort turned wide by a brilliant last-ditch block from Ciani.
33 minJuve are running riot at the Olimpico and Vidal has his second goal after a clever exchange with Marchisio. The Chilean made a superb late run into the penalty are and lifted a deft chip over Marchetti to double his side's advantage. Lazio look all at sea defensively and are simply failing to track runners from midfield. Conte's men are in complete control and look a genuine threat to score every time they attack at this stage.
35 minMauri flies in on Vidal yet again without touching the ball but somehow escapes without a yellow card. The home side come close to playing Klose in on goal with a clever lofted pass forward from Gonzalez, but Juve have enough defenders back to read the danger and clear.
37 minCHANCE! Marchsio comes lose to a third goal for Juve as he leaves Ciani for dead with a clever run inside the penalty area. Just as the midfielder is about to shoot a vital touch from Cana divers the ball wide and lets Lazio off the hook. From the resulting Pirlo corner Ciani and Pogba both get hurt in an aerial challenge, but it looks like the Aquile number too has come off worse with an ankle injury.
39 minThe Frenchman eventually returns to his defensive role but still looks in some discomfort. Lazio win a corner kick as Bonucci heads a cross behind, but the delivery from Hernanes is punched clear by Buffon. Onazi then gives away possession with a very poor pass inside as Juve attempt to mount a counter attack.
41 minYELLOW CARD! Peluso is slightly hard done by to receive a caution after standing his ground in a challenge with Mauri, which gives Lazio another set-piece chance from 30 yards. Candreva decides to shoot and nearly catches Buffon by surprise with a dipping drive. The Juve keeper adjusts late and has enough time to tip the low strike past his far post.
43 minWonderful play from Vidal as he evades the challenge of three Lazio defenders to drive past the halfway line. He sends a long pass forward in search of Vucinic, but Cana reads the danger and advances quickly to intercept. Lichtsteiner then finds Pogba with a deep cross at the far post, but the midfielder fails to find the target from a tight angle.
45 min+1Lazio attempt to respond just before the break but Hernanes sends a very poor pass out of play under little pressure. Juve break at the other end though Asamoah, but the home side escape unscathed as Marchisio is penalised for his physical approach in the final third.
8.37pmWell that was Juve at their clinical, efficient best in the first 45 minutes as they completely overwhelmed Lazio with runners from midfield. Vidal's brace has the reigning champions in complete control at the Olimpico and in truth they could and perhaps should be further ahead at the break.
8.39pmLazio have simply failed to match the intensity and desire of Juve at both ends. Vidal, Marchisio and Pirlo have been simply superb in midfield, while Lichtsteiner has been allowed to roam at will down the right wing. Lazio need a big response to salvage their European aspirations after the interval.
8.41pmConte must be absolutely delighted with the response from his players to their Champions League exit last week. A slight change in shape has proved effective, with Vucinic holding up the play to great effect and bringing a quality supporting cast into the match.
8.43pmLazio actually made a positive start in the first few minutes, but that bright opening seems a world away as they trail 2-0 at the interval. Cana's wreckless tackle gifted Juve a penalty after 10 minutes and the visitors have not looked back since.
8.45pmCandreva has been just about the only player to emerge with any credit for the home side so far, regularly looking dangerous with pace and purpose in wide areas. Klose has cut an isolated figure in attack, while a patched-up defence looks tired and lacking leadership. Expect Petkovic to make changes quickly if his side fail to respond in the second half.
8.48pmA depleted Lazio squad looks thin of quality on the bench, with Ederson and Kozak perhaps the most likely options to come on before too long. Juve are blessed with some impressive strength in depth. Conte has options such as Matri, Quagliarella, Giaccherini and Isla at his disposal if he wants to keep things fresh late on.
8.50pmPetkovic has indeed decided to make changes at the break, with Kozak and Ederson primed to come on before the second half begins. Confirmation of the double change will follow shortly.
46 minSUBSTITUTIONS! Ederson has replaced Mauri in central midfield, while Kozak has come on for Hernanes to partner Klose in attack, which means Lazio should revert to a 4-4-2 formation in the second half.
48 minJuve get the match back underway and almost instantly forced to defend from deep as Candreva and Ciani pump crosses into the penalty area. Klose rise high to meet the second delivery, but his contact lacks power as the ball flies wide for a goal kick.
50 minIt actually seems like Lazio have switched to a three-man defence, perhaps an attempt to stop Juve controlling the midfield battle and press higher up the pitch. Ederson's first involvement since coming on is underwhelming as he fires an aimless drive over from 35 yards.
52 minSAVE! Klose decides to go alone and drives past Bonucci to reach the byline. He attempts to nutmeg the defender and cut inside but eventually has to settle for a corner kick. Ciani rises high to meet the resulting set piece and forces Buffon to make a smart stop at his near post. This is an encouraging response from the home side as they inject pace and purpose into their attacking play.
54 minYELLOW CARD! Juve enjoy a prolonged spell of possession in the opposition half as they look to slow down a frenetic start to the second half. Ciani allows frustration to take hold as he shoved Vidal to the floor after attempting to take a throw-in and is handed a caution for his actions, despite fierce protests.
56 minVucinic drops deep and spreads wide to Vidal as the visitors look to break forward. His pass inside finds Pogba, who sells Cana a clever dummy before being brought down just outside the penalty area. Juve are awarded a free kick around 20 yards from goal for the late challenge from the Albanian defender.
58 minMISS! Pirlo's free kick is parried by Marchetti, but only into the path of Marchisio as he reacts quickest to the rebound. The Juve midfielder attempts to volley from a difficult height and can only fire high and wide from close range. That was great chance for the visitors to put this game to bed with more than 30 minutes left to play.
60 minJuve are firmly back in control of the match as Pirlo and Vidal keep possession with Pogba in central midfield. Cana eventually robs possession and passes back safely to Marchetti, giving Lazio the chance to clear their lines.
62 minMISS! Kozak had made a complete mess of Lazio's best chance so far tonight. Candreva and Ederson worked a clever overlap out wide as the Brazilian fired a cross towards the far post. Kozak was unmarked at the far post but reacted slowly and could only head wide from close range. What a chance missed for Lazio to get back into this match!
64 minMarchetti reacts quickly to stop Vidal meeting Pirlo's free kick with a late charge into the penalty area. Lazio use the chance to counter in numbers, with Ederson's deflected drive from a tight angle flying wide for a corner kick.
66 minJuve again break with pace and purpose as Marchisio finds Pogba with a clever passed played behind the back four. He is forced wide by a covering defender and elects to cut inside and send a pass back inside towards Marchisio. The ball into the box has too much power and is eventually turned behind for a goal kick.
68 minSUBSTITUTIONS! Juve make their first change to swap Padoin for Lichtsteiner. Lazio also use the opportunity to use their last change as Ledesma is swapped for 17-year-old Crecco.
70 minEderson bundles Asamoah to the ground and concedes a needless free kick. The short set piece is worked to Vucinic, who chooses to shoot rather than aim a difficult ball forward in search of Pogba. The strike is hit with power but lacks accuracy as the ball flies high over the crossbar.
72 minSHOT! Lazio's pace has definitely dropped in the last few minutes, perhaps as a result of their Europa League excursions on Thursday. The home side attempt to press forward as Crecco's deflected cross finds Klose, who cuts back for Onzai to hammer wide with a sliced strike from 20 yards.
74 minAsamoah wins another foul as he uses skill and pace to draw a mistimed tackle from Klose. Juve break forward through Vidal, who beats the offside trap out wide and crosses into the penalty area. Vucinic looks destined to turn home from close range, but an important late challenge from Stankevičius does just enough to put the striker off as he heads wide.
77 minEderson and Klose combine in the penalty area, but the German decides to cross rather than shoot from a tight angle. Juve have enough numbers to clear and then easily deal with a long throw into the box.
79 minLazio continue to press forward but have simply been unable to produce a killer pass in the final third. Juve regain possession deep under constant instruction from Conte as he patrols the touchline, with Asamoah singled out for words of wisdom on the far side.
82 minPirlo uncharacteristically gifts possession to Ederson in central midfield as the home side launch an attack in numbers. Stankevičius hoists a cross deep into the penalty area but Barzagli times his header to perfection and clears with authority.
84 minAsamoah times a challenge perfectly in the penalty area to stop a driving run forward from Ederson. Conte continues to portray an agry expression as he barks orders to his players. From his demeanor you would have no idea the visitors hold a comfortable 2-0 advantage in the closing stages.
86 minAnother direct cross from Stankevičius fails to meet a light blue shirt as Juve clear wide and keep possession with a spell of short passes. They eventually change tact and launch long to Pogba, who never quite has the ball under control and shoots well wide from 20 yards.
88 minSUBSTITUTION! Vucinic get a well-earned rest as he comes off to be replaced by Quagliarella, who takes on the mantle of lone striker for the final few minutes.
90 minSUBSTITUTION! Conte makes another late change to bring on fresh legs just before stoppage time. Giaccherini is the player introduced, with Marchisio coming off just shy of full-time.
90 min+2Juve close out stoppage time with an assured spell of possession featuring at least six players. Pogba ends the move by trying to catch Marchetti by surprise with a shot from the halfway line, which lacks the power and direction to trouble a scrambling Lazio keeper. Candreva then picks up the ball just outside the penalty area and cuts inside but fires a wayward shot high over the crossbar to waste probably the home side's final effort on goal.
90 min+3MISS! There is still enough stoppage time left for Lazio to spurn a golden opportunity to reduce the deficit through Klose. He receives a clever pass form Ederson in space but can only hammer wide of the target from close range.
9.44pmWell that was a magnificent response from Juve to convincingly claim three important points at the Olimpico. Two early goals from Vidal proved enough to send Conte's side 11 points clear in Serie A, with the Scudetto now surely certain to stay in Turin.
9.46pmLazio have now failed to win any of their last three matches in all competitions to leave their European challenge in tatters. They stay sixth in Serie A and a massive eight points off the Champions League places.
9.48pmThat just about does it for Sports Mole's coverage of a clash between first and sixth in Serie A. Thanks for joining us and be sure to check back in this week for comprehensive coverage of football from across the continent.