Juventus were able to grab a 2-0 win over relegation-threatened Carpi despite a below-par performance from the Serie A champions-elect at Juventus Stadium.
- Juventus 2 Carpi 0
- Juve struggle to hit the target
- Carpi look dangerous on the counter
- Hernanes opens the scoring
- Zaza secures the win
Despite 16 league places and 53 points difference between the sides at kick-off, Carpi gave a good account of themselves against table-topping Juventus as they sought a positive result to ease their relegation worries.
They matched the hosts blow for blow in the first half but just as it seemed they were going to make it to the half-time break on level terms, Hernanes struck three minutes before the interval to put Juventus 1-0 up.
The hosts were able to control the match better in the second period but continued to struggle to hit the target, until Simone Zaza was able to secure the points with a powerful header in the 80th minute.
After a slow start, Hernanes produced the first meaningful chance of the game with a driving long-range attempt in the 14th minute that fizzed agonisingly wide of the post.
After that, it was all Carpi as Simone Verdi was given far too much space in the home side’s box and his low shot looked destined for the back of the net until Gianluigi Buffon spared Juventus’ blushes with an impressive diving save.
Juve were unable to clear their lines from the resulting corner and the ball fell for Emanuele Suagher, who somehow manage to poke his attempt wide from almost point-blank range.
However, the home side would have the lead going into halftime after Kwadwo Asamoah slipped a beautiful ball through the visitors defence for Hernanes, who took a touch on the edge of the area before stroking the ball just inside the right-hand upright to make the score 1-0.
Clear-cut chances were few and far between after the break as Juventus looked to control possession and not take any risks that would allow the visitors to catch them on the counter-attack.
The result was plenty of hopeful long-range attempts from both sides that meant they only managed four shots on target out of 30 combined attempts throughout the 90 minutes.
There was a flurry of action late on as Mario Mandzukic sent a shot inches wide of the post with 10 minutes to go, moments before Paul Pogba lifted the ball into the box for Zaza, who rose above the defence to head Juventus into a 2-0 lead and secure the points for the home side.
On the balance of play, the champions elect deserved the win, but it was a spirited performance from Carpi, who will feel slightly aggrieved to leave Juventus Stadium with nothing.