Juventus sink Inter to move top

Serie A

Juventus returned to the top of Serie A with a 2-0 win over third-place Inter Milan at an empty Derby d’Italia on Sunday evening.

Paulo Dybala started from the bench for the home side, while Aaron Ramsey started in the absence of Miralem Pjanic, with Inter welcoming back captain Samir Handanovic between the sticks.

A lively opening saw possibilities at either end, with Handanovic smothering Douglas Costa’s low shot whilst Wojciech Szczesny denied Lautaro Martinez and co at the other end.

Juve put Handanovic to further work in the 15th minute, as the Slovenian tipped Blaise Matuidi’s low first-time shot from the left to safety.

Marcelo Brozovic almost had Inter in front with a first-time strike from outside the area ten minutes to halftime following Martinez’s layoff, but Szczesny got down to parry the strike.

Juve got another chance to go ahead from a set-piece following the 39th minute, but Leonardo Bonucci headed over the top following Rodrigo Bentancur’s corner.

The defending champions made their intentions known nine minutes after the break when Aaron Ramsey slammed home a loose ball from close-range after Inter failed to clear their lines.

Antonio Conte introduced high-profile January signing Christian Eriksen in a bid to turn things around for the visitors following the 59th minute. Juve, on the other hand, called on Dybala who replaced Costa as Maurizio Sarri looked to kill off the contest.

The change proved telling when Dybala brought down long ball, drafted into the area before finding the bottom left corner with an in-step finish after 68 minutes.

Inter should’ve pulled a goal back with 12 minutes remaining, but Eriksen’s snap-shot from outside the danger area flew over the top.

Inter’s substitute goalkeeper Daniele Padelli was sent packing from the bench a minute later after questioning the referee’s decision following a foul on Brozovic.

The Nerazzurri threw numbers on the attack following the closing stages, but it was a case of too little too late as Juve reigned victorious.