Chievo Verona vs Juventus, Final Score 1-2: Juve conquer the Bentegodi

Claudio Villa

Two first half goals were enough to give Juventus a 2-1 victory over Chievo Verona at the Stadio Bentegodi and restore their three point lead at the top of Serie A.

Alessandro Matri and Stephan Lichtsteiner gave the Bianconeri a comfortable half time cushion, before Cyril Thereau shook things up early in the second half.

Juventus Coach Antonio Conte and defender Leonardo Bonucci began two game bans for insulting the referee after last weekend's heated game with Genoa so assistant Angelo Alessio took charge on the touchline. Frontman Mirko Vucinic was also suspended for picking up too many cautions. Claudio Marchisio was injured, while Matri was preferred up front to Fabio Quagliarella and new signing Nicolas Anelka.

Chievo were without injured trio Gennaro Sardo, Luciano and Boukary Drame, while Sergio Pellissier was only fit for the bench. Mario Sampirisi was handed a debut in defence, but other new signings Samir Ujkani, Francesco Acerbi and Felipe Seymour started their Chievo careers as substitutes.

Juventus got off to the perfect start and hit the front on ten minutes. Matri peeled off his marker in the box to volley Arturo Vidal's cross into the far corner past Christian Puggioni

Sebastian Giovinco almost made it two ten minutes later. The Atomic Ant played a one-two with Matri and stabbed just wide after being put under pressure by Bostjan Cesar.

Alberto Paloschi forced Gianluigi Buffon into a low save with Chievo's first chance halfway through the first half. Buffon then fisted clear Thereau's inswinging free kick.

Andrea Pirlo teed up Vidal for a volley, but Dario Dainelli got in the way and deflected it wide. The lively Paloschi found space down the left hand side, but Buffon ran out to close the angle and clear the danger.

Pirlo sent a weak free kick into Puggioni's arms, who then did well to save a low shot from Lichtsteiner after a handling offence against the Swiss wingback went unnoticed. Lichtsteiner finished a flowing move to double the lead three minutes before the break. Matri pulled the ball across the box for Giovinco, whose cheeky backheel played the ex-Lazio man in to smash a rising shot across goal and into the far corner.

Chievo introduced Seymour and Acerbi during the break and quickly pulled a goal back. Perperim Hatemaj's long ball was chested down by Paloschi and rifled in past a sea of traffic by Thereau. The ball zipped past Buffon and nestled into the bottom corner. Thereau saw a chance to equalise when he cut in from the right hand side, but Buffon was equal to his effort.

Rather than sit back, Juventus tried to regain their two goal cushion. Acerbi blocked Matri's goalbound effort and Paul Pogba sent an effort wide. Pirlo chipped in Quagliarella, but Marco Andreolli guided the ball back to Puggioni. Pogba got on the end of Paolo De Ceglie's cross and a cruel deflection saw the ball just finish the wrong side of the post.

Andrea Barzagli blocked Thereau's volley midway through the second half, while Matri just missed getting on the end of De Ceglie's cross. Pirlo asserted his influence on the game in midfield as Juventus soaked up the pressure and saw the game out.

Chievo Verona: Puggioni; Sampirisi, (Seymour 46) Dainelli, Andreolli, Cesar, (Acerbi 46) Jokic; Hetemaj, L Rigoni, Cofie; (Pellissier 74) Thereau, Paloschi

Juventus: Buffon; Barzagli, Marrone, Caceres; Lichtsteiner, (Padoin 79) Vidal, Pirlo, Pogba, De Ceglie; Matri, (Isla 89) Giovinco (Quagliarella 58)

Goals: Matri 10 (J) Lichtsteiner 42 (J) Thereau 52 (C)

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