Defending champions Juventus needed two late goals from substitutes to achieve a 2-0 win over SSC Napoli in a top-of-the-table clash to take control of Serie A and extend their unbeaten league run to 47 matches on Saturday.
Uruguayan defender Martin Caceres scored in the 80th minute and French teenager Paul Pogba added another goal two minutes later. It was both players first goals this season, and 19-year-old Pogba’s first ever in Serie A.
The best Napoli could muster was a free kick that hit the crossbar from Edinson Cavani in the 26th minute.
Juventus moved three points clear of Napoli, which is attempting to win its first league title since Diego Maradona led the southern Italian club to the honor in 1987 and 1990.
SS Lazio are four points behind in third place following a 3-2 win over struggling AC Milan at Rome’s Stadio Olimpico.
Hernanes put Lazio ahead in the 25th minute with a deflected shot, before Antonio Candreva doubled the lead in the 41st minute with a long-range effort.
Miroslav Klose added another for the team in the 49th minute — the Germany international’s sixth goal in eight matches — with a volley from the edge of the area while virtually unmarked.
Newly signed Nigel de Jong pulled one back for AC Milan in the 61st minute, just barely redirecting a free kick from Urby Emanuelson, and teenager Stephen El Shaarawy added his fifth of the season in the 79th minute to make for a tense finish.
Budget-stricken AC Milan, which let an entire squad’s worth of players depart in the summer, has lost five of its eight matches and trail Juventus by 15 points.
In Turin, Caceres was left unmarked to score from a header following a corner kick from Andrea Pirlo two minutes after he came on.
Pogba, a midfielder who had also just come off the bench, scored with a long, bouncing volley to set off delirious scenes inside the year-old Juventus Stadium, where the Turin-based club has yet to lose.
Pogba left Manchester United at the end of last season when his contract expired, signing a four-year deal with Juventus.
Napoli’s victory in the Italian Cup final inflicted Juve’s only loss last season, and this was their second meeting this season, with Juventus beating Napoli 4-2 in the Italian Super Cup in Beijing in August, after which Napoli skipped the awards ceremony.
AC Milan hold the record unbeaten streak in Serie A at 58 games from 1991-93.
Juventus next visit Danish side FC Nordsjaelland in the Champions League tomorrow.