Juventus beat Torino 1-0 in the Derby della Mole, holding on reasonably easily after the visitors had briefly threatened early on the counter-attack.
Antonio Conte made three changes from the side that beat Chievo last week with Andrea Barzagli, Paul Pogba and Carlos Tévez returning in place of former Torino man Angelo Ogbonna, Claudio Marchision and Sebastian Giovinco. Giampiero Ventura made just one change from the Torino side that beat European rivals Hellas Verona 3-1, with Salvatore Masiello dropping out for Giovanni Pasquale in the left wing-back position.
Both sides entered the match full of energy and whilst Juve unsurprisingly took control of most of the possession but Torino were a danger on the counter through Omar El Kaddouri, Alessio Cerci and Ciro Immobile. Andrea Pirlo had the first opportunity of the match for Juventus from long-range but his effort was easily gathered by Daniele Padelli.
The energetic El Kaddouri had a good opportunity as he beat Andrea Barzagli to Immobile’s bouncing through-ball but the Moroccan couldn’t keep it down and the ball sailed harmlessly over.
It was clear early on that Juventus had an outlet in Carlos Tévez as time and again he dropped deep to receive the ball without the Torino defenders picking him up, and although his first effort was beaten away by Padelli, it would prove to be a warning shot.
At the other end, Ciro Immobile blasted into the side netting from a tight angle with such ferocity that the net collapsed but play continued after a brief period. It was following this that Juventus started to turn the screw and after Andrea Pirlo put a free-kick inches over, Tévez exploited the space he was being afforded, a marvellous touch taking Kwadwo Asamoah’s pass in and allowing him to turn before blasting a low shot past Padelli on the half-hour mark.
In the second half, chances were thinner on the ground as Juventus effectively held the ball and shut down Torino’s counter-attack, Alessio Cerci in particular suffering an uncharacteristically bad evening. The hard-working Tévez nearly had a second as a lucky ricochet saw him all alone in front of Padelli but the Torino goalkeeper was bravely out to close him down and divert the ball out for a corner.
Torino, pushing for an equaliser late on, could feel hard done by as Omar El Kaddouri appeared to be tripped in the area by Andrea Pirlo but the referee waved play-on and subsequently booked the Moroccan for dissent. Replays showed there was contact but the Torino midfielder made a meal out of it and it was for this reason that the referee probably thought it was a dive.
Despite some Torino pressure right up until the final whistle, Juventus held firm to restore their nine-point advantage at the top of Serie A and stretch their unbeaten run to 17 league matches.
Juventus: Buffon; Bonucci, Barzagli, Cáceres; Lichtsteiner, Pirlo, Pogba, Vidal (Marchisio 74), Asamoah; Tévez (Osvaldo 90), Llorente (Padoin 89)
Goals: Tévez 30
Torino: Padelli; Glik, Bovo (Meggiorini 81), Moretti; Darmian, El Kaddouri (Farnerud 81), Vives, Masiello; Kurtič (Basha 90+3); Cerci, Immobile