Juventus took a giant step towards their ninth consecutive Serie A title with a 4-1 win over Torino on Saturday. Maurizio Sarri’s men moved seven points clear in a three-horse title race ahead of chasers Lazio and Inter Milan.
A first Juve’ free-kick strike from Cristiano Ronaldo and goals from Paulo Dybala and ex-Chelsea man Juan Cuadrado, meant the Turin derby went the way of the table toppers. Legendary Le Zebre keeper Gianluigi Buffon became the Serie A record appearance maker in this match, the 42-year-old passed the previous record of 647 set by AC Milan stalwart Paolo Maldini. Juventus v Torino: Highlights
Juventus’ win put pressure on Lazio and Internazionale below them, pressure neither of them managed to cope with. Lazio who went into their game four points adrift of the top, suffered a humbling 3-0 defeat at the hands of AC Milan. Simone Inzaghi’s White and Sky Blues had been outstanding until the postponement, however, since the return they haven’t found that same form, and now may have to settle for the relative success of Champions League qualification. SS Lazio: A Brief Insight Into Their Fairytale Season
An early Romelu Lukaku goal meant Inter Milan seemed destined for a long period of the match to maintain their title pursuit. Albeit for two late Bologna strikes from Musa Juwara and Musa Barrow steal the three points and put a huge dent in Inter’s title hopes.
Everything now points in the direction of a remarkable nine in a row at the Allianz Stadium. With eight games remaining it seems unlikely Juventus will let their lead slip.
But what about the future? This season hasn’t been the procession many predicted for Juve’. Previous seasons have seen the title wrapped-up, with little competition from an early stage in the campaign. Signs this year have pointed towards clubs Lazio and Inter in particular, closing the gap.
Sarri has a difficult job on his hands moving forwards given the current financial climate caused by the coronavirus pandemic. It seems the club need to sell before they can spend big, like most clubs.
It is common knowledge the current wage bill at the club is eye-popping. Consider the likes of Aaron Ramsey earning a reported £225,000 a week yet has only featured 18 times in all competitions. Selling someone like Ramsey, whose current contract earns that kind of money could prove difficult.
Another possible issue for Juventus’ near future is Paolo Dybala, the Argentine was heavily linked with a move away throughout previous transfer windows and is thought to be unhappy at being pushed aside by the arrival of Christian Ronaldo.
As the club pursues an unprecedented 10 Serie A titles in a row next season, it certainly seems things won’t all their own way. Their rivals are improving and the landscape of the Juve’ squad could look very different at the start of the 2020/21 campaign.