Inter Milan vs. Juventus, final score 1-2: Juve march on towards title with Derby d'Italia win

Claudio Villa

Juventus extended their advantage at the top of Serie A to 12 points with a victory over Inter at the San Siro.

Andrea Stramaccioni made six changes to the Inter side that last played in Serie A way back on the 10th of March with Samir Handanovic, Walter Samuel, Cristian Chivu, Mateo Kovacic, Ricky Alvatez and Antonio Cassano coming in for Juan Carrizo, Juan Jesus, Dejan Stankovic, Fredy Guarin, Ezequiel Schelotto and Marco Benassi. Antonio Conte made just three changes to his side that beat Bologna a week later, Kwadwo Asamoah, Fabio Quagliarella and Alessandro Matri playing in place of Federico Peluso, the ill Mirko Vucinic and Sebasian Giovinco.

Juventus got off on what can be resoundingly called the right foot, Fabio Quagliarella's dipping 25-yard thunderbolt completely evading Samir Handanovic and giving Juventus a crucial early advantage.

It was nearly 2-0 not long later, a short period of Inter pressure brought a corner, but Antonio Cassano's delivery was terrible, going straight to Andrea Pirlo just outside the area. Pirlo exchanged passes with Kwadwo Asamoah before finding Simone Padoin on the opposite wing, his cross finding Quagliarella in the area but the goalscorer was unable to find the target with his header.

Inter began to settle into the match and press forward, pushing Juventus back into their own half. A chance came when Cassano's drive from 20 yards was just tipped round the post by Gianluigi Buffon and soon afterwards, a Cassano free-kick was diverted on to the head of Rodrigo Palacio via Alvaro Pereira, Palacio's effort from a couple of yards out just kept out by Buffon.

Juve's early goal meant that Inter were dominating possession in search of an equaliser however the Bianconeri were looking increasingly dangerous on the counter attack, with a quick move setting up Alessandro Matri, his poked effort sliding just wide of Handanovic's far post. Arturo Vidal was then presented with a golden opportunity, Andrea Pirlo finding him alone in the area but his touch was poor and a combination of Handanovic and Andrea Ranocchia were able to smother the danger.

The problem for Inter was that their midfield three of Walter Gargano, Mateo Kovacic and Ricky Alvarez just didn't offer the same fluidity or understanding as the Juve trio of Pirlo, Vidal and Claudio Marchisio did. As a consequence, they kept on giving the ball away in the midfield and promising-looking attacks were continually broken down.

Juve took advantage of one of these breakdowns in possession, Claudio Marchisio getting down the right and crossing for Andrea Pirlo just outside the box, his effort requiring a smart save from Handanovic.

Andrea Stramaccioni made a change at half time, Fredy Guarin coming on for the ineffectual Ricky Alvarez and the extra power offered by the Colombian immediately changed the feel of the match, with Inter's attacks now looking a lot more purposeful and effective.

Ten minutes after the break and they were level. Mateo Kovacic took advantage of a rare Andrea Pirlo mistake to steal the ball, he then moved it forward to Antonio Cassano who's pass found the late run of Rodrigo Palacio. The Juventus defence completely missed his run and he was able to break into the box and calmly finish past Buffon.

The goal appeared to galvanise Juventus who were now coming forward with purpose, Simone Padoin's stabbed effort bringing a good save out of Handanovic after a cross was not dealt with properly.

Just six minutes after the equaliser, Juve restored their lead with a very slick move. Arturo Vidal's slide-rule pass played Quagliarella in down the right hand side, the goalscorer keeping the ball in and pulling back for Alessandro Matri to score at the near post, Handanovic left with no chance.

Inter began to stream forward in desperate search of an equaliser but the Juve defence were stern and very little in the way of clear opportunities were able to be carved out. Antonio Cassano had two penalty shouts turned down, one where Giorgio Chiellini's reckless lunge managed to touch the ball before it caught Cassano and another which looked slightly more plausible however the referee probably made the correct decision.

Inter continued to press forward however the goal was not to come, even despite Handanovic coming forward for a late corner. The final drama came right as the referee was blowing the full time whistle, Esteban Cambiasso annihilating Sebasian Giovinco with a tackle, the Argentine given a deserved red card after the whistle. The points however were already secured for Juventus who go 12 clear with Napoli to play later on.

Inter: Handanovic; Ranocchia (Cambiasso 66), Samuel, Chivu; Zanetti, Kovacic, Gargano (Rocchi 79), Pereira; Alvarez (Guarin 46); Cassano, Palacio

Juventus: Buffon; Barzagli, Bonucci, Chiellini; Padoin, Pirlo, Vidal, Marchisio, Asamoah (Peluso 63); Matri (Pogba 74), Quagliarella (Giovinco 82)

Goals: Quagliarella 3 (J), Palacio 54 (I), Matri 60 (J)

Sent off: Cambiasso 90 +4

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