Juve storm back to top of table

Rome: Juventus went back to the top of Serie A after a 3-0 win over Palermo which took them ahead of Lazio on goal difference.

The Old Lady of Turin also have a game in hand on most of their rivals and remain the only unbeaten team in the league.

Simone Pepe, Alessandro Matri and Claudio Marchisio scored the goals to down the Sicilians, who are yet to score away from home this season.

Despite their lofty standing, coach Antonio Conte said he will only know if his side is capable of challenging for the title once they have reached the halfway point in the season.

"We`ll talk again about that at the halfway point when we`ve played everyone," he said yesterday.

"That`s when we`ll add up the numbers and we`ll see where we are and what we want to become."

Before the game Conte had said he wanted his players to treat it like a World Cup final.

"It was important to get back on track after the long break (they hadn`t played in three weeks) with three points," Conte told reporters.

"I exaggerated a bit but I wanted to give a clear message to the fans and players."

Juve dominated against Palermo throughout the match and could have won more comfortably.

Giorgio Chiellini was the architect on 20 minutes as the hosts went in front, crossing from the left for an inexplicably unmarked Pepe to head home.

Andrea Pirlo was a lick of paint away from doubling the advantage with a shot from 20 yards that curled around goalkeeper Alexandros Tzorvas but hit the inside of the post only to rebound to safety.

Josip Ilicic wasted a great chance to equalise when Fabrizio Miccoli put him through one-on-one with goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon but the Slovenia playmaker failed to connect with the ball and the opportunity went begging.


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