Triumphant Juve close in on third straight Scudetto
Two goals in 10 first half minutes from Sebastian Giovinco and Fernando Llorente were enough for Juventus to close in on their third straight Serie A title with a 2-0 stroll at Udinese today.
The win sent them eight points clear of AS Roma at the top of the league on 87 points with five games remaining.
Italy's Giovinco opened the scoring with a sweet curling strike after 16 minutes and fellow World Cup hopeful Llorente of Spain tapped in his 14th of the season following a goalmouth scramble at a corner 10 minutes later.
"It was a decisive match. We're very happy because there are fewer games left and the points difference is the same so it went brilliantly well for us," Llorente told reporters.
Without top goalscorer Carlos Tevez, it was left to Giovinco to provide Juve with thrust up front and his second of the season was a signal to Italy boss Cesare Prandelli that he was not to be forgotten.
Cutting in from the right, he whipped in a superb shot with his left that flew past rookie Udinese keeper Simone Scuffet, who was unsighted by four players.
Giovinco was unlucky in the 69th minute when managing to squeeze off a shot after impressive close control in the area only to see his effort rebound back off the post.
Llorente's stabbed finish from close range, which game after Scuffet poked the ball away from Paul Pogba as it pinged around the area, was less elegant but ended the match as a contest.
Luis Muriel hit the post for Udinese in stoppage time but Juve were comfortable enough to substitute their match winners with Mirko Vucinic and Pablo Osvaldo to see out a win that brings them to the verge of a title that has rarely looked in doubt.