Carlos Tevez on target as Juventus rout Lazio again
Milan: Carlos Tevez scored his second Serie A goal in as many weeks as champions Juventus thumped Lazio 4-1 to sit second in the early standings behind Napoli, 4-2 winners earlier at Chievo.
Juventus put four unanswered goals past Lazio on their way to winning the Italian Super Cup two weeks ago, when Tevez scored his maiden goal for the Bianconeri on Saturday.
Having secured all three points for Antonio Conte`s side in a 1-0 win over Sampdoria last week, the Argentine capped a dominant display by the hosts - marked notably by a brace from Chilean Arturo Vidal - with a fine individual effort in the 80th minute.
Juve coach Antonio Conte said: "Putting four goals past Lazio again is a sign that our form is getting better, both on a collective and individual level.
"We were spectacular in the first 25 minutes in terms of intensity and execution of our gameplan. We were unlucky to concede the goal when we were leading 2-0."
Lazio started in positive fashion, Hernanes picking up a loose ball from Juve defender Andrea Barzagli to test Gianluigi Buffon with the `keeper parrying for a corner.
But it served only to waken Juventus from their slumber and until Vidal`s 14th minute opener they consigned the visitors to their own third of the pitch as they launched assault after assault.
Vidal broke the deadlock in style, timing his run onto Paul Pogba`s sumptuous ball perfectly to beat a poor Lazio offside trap and then flick the ball past onrushing goalkeeper Federico Marchetti.
Barely 10 minutes later the Chilean attacking midfielder, Juve`s top scorer last season, doubled the hosts` lead thanks to another well-timed move as Lazio`s defence fell asleep.
This time, defender Leonardo Bonucci hit a long diagonal ball from midfield and Vidal, deep on the right flank, controlled with his right foot before sending the ball under the flailing Marchetti with his left.
Lazio reduced the arrears barely a minute later when Gianluigi Buffon pushed Hernanes`s fierce 25-metre drive into the path of Miroslav Klose.
The big German striker rushed to get to the ball first ahead of Bonucci to shove it home and open his account for the season.
Minutes later Buffon was forced to punch the ball out for a corner after a stinging shot from Stefan Radu and Juve had the `keeper to thank on the stroke of half-time when he parried another on-target effort from Hernanes.
Juve edged closer to sealing their second win of the campaign when Vucinic latched on to another inch-perfect long ball from Bonucci, beating Marchetti with a deft touch at the `keeper`s left-hand post.
Lazio`s chances of taking anything from the match faded in the 63rd minute when Hernanes saw red for a second bookable offence, a blatant handball in the Bianconeri area.
Although Lazio produced several half-chances, Vladimir Petkovic`s men never really threatened and Tevez virtually sealed the win 10 minutes from time.
A great pass from Vidal on the right flank was dummied by Vucinic and when Tevez took possession he turned Lorik Cana on the edge of the area before beating Marchetti with a well-placed low shot.
Earlier, Marek Hamsik scored his second brace in as many Serie A games and Gonzalo Higuain netted his first goal for Napoli as Rafael Benitez`s side won 4-2 at Chievo.
Benitez hailed the "character" of the side he took charge of after new Walter Mazzarri left for Inter in the close season.
"The key to our success was the boys` character. This team has the strength to make amends for mistakes they make because, up front, we have huge potential," said the Spaniard.
On Sunday, Roma entertain Verona before Inter travel to Catania, Genoa face Fiorentina and AC Milan host Cagliari in the pick of the later matches.