Lazio Vs. Juventus, 2011 Serie A: Fulltime, Simone Pepe Goal Enough To Keep Juve Top

Despite my predictions that there absolutely had to be more goals in the Lazio - Juventus match on Saturday, in the end it was Simone Pepe's goal in the first half that made the difference. Juventus maintain their unbeaten run and their dominance at the top, a point above Udinese with a game in hand. Next up is Napoli, on Tuesday, and with the partenopei once again faltering -- this time a 1-0 loss to Atalanta -- the Old Lady must feel rather confident right now.

While Lazio retain their temporary hold on third place -- Milan's match against Chievo tomorrow will determine if they stay -- they'll want to pay a bit more attention to their defensive abilities. Federico Marchetti is a total rock, of course, but he shouldn't need to produce so many fine saves -- he'll eventually put a finger out of place, and allow a goal like that from Pepe. The midfielder easily sprang past Stefan Radu, who seemed to be counting the stars above the Olympico to connect with a perfect ball from Alessandro Matri. Even Pepe couldn't miss from there, and so all Juventus needed was to hold on for the next 55 minutes or so.

Oh, but they made it tough for themselves as well, relying too much on Gigi Buffon and the woodwork. Hernanes hit the post; shortly after, Miroslav Klose forced San Gigi into a diving save. But Lazio ran out of steam near the end of the match, with substitute Djibril Cissé unable to create anything, and the others looking out of answers.

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