Juventus extended their lead at the top of Serie A to six points after winning their seventh league match in a row, 2-0 at spirited Bologna on Friday.
Arturo Vidal met a delicately chipped Federico Peluso pass in the 12th minute to grab his sixth league goal of the season.
Giorgio Chiellini then headed the second goal in the final minute to give the champions 40 points from 15 matches, six clear of unbeaten AS Roma, who host ACF Fiorentina today.
“Today was a really difficult match, we showed how much we wanted to win,” Chiellini said. “It was difficult because Bologna have players like [Alessandro] Diamante, who always make a difference. He’s very dangerous.”
The win was perfect preparation for Juve’s Champions League showdown with Galatasaray on Tuesday, although Stefano Pioli’s Bologna, led by the impressive Diamante, were aggressive in attack and gave Juve several scares.
Bologna are now without a win in five games and have slipped into the bottom three.
Third-placed SSC Napoli will look to narrow their nine-point deficit on Juve when they host Udinese on Saturday.
Vidal’s goal came in an opening period that Juve totally dominated, but after looking down and out, Diamante sparked his team to life with brilliant distribution and stinging shots.
He brought the best out of Gianluigi Buffon on three occasions, with a 25th minute free-kick drawing the most spectacular save, while Archimede Morleo should have done better than glance the midfielder’s pinpoint cross wide with only seven minutes left and the score still 1-0.
However, it was Jonathan Cristaldo who gave profligate Juve the biggest scare of the night when in the 73rd minute he left two defenders for dead before dragging his shot just wide.
“When you’re at 1-0, you have to kill off your opponent, otherwise they can always come back and get you,” Juve coach Antonio Conte said. “Llorente had the whole pitch in front of him and the ‘keeper way out of his goal. He makes the wrong choice and 30 seconds later, they’ve gone up the other end and nearly scored. This shows you what can happen in football.”
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