By 90Min
November 24, 2018

Juventus moved nine points clear at the top of Serie A with a comfortable victory at home to SPAL.

The hosts looked off the pace in the game's opening 20 minutes, but moved through the gears when Cristiano Ronaldo side-footed the ball home to give his side the lead.

Tullio M. Puglia/GettyImages

Juventus thought they had taken the lead early on, when the ball deflected into the SPAL net following a cross from Douglas Costa. 

However, the goal was disallowed in bizarre circumstances. The officials adjudged that, because the goal kick prior to the disallowed goal did not leave the 18-yard-box, it had to be re-taken. 

The home side did not let this decision rattle them, and Ronaldo scored his 10th goal of the season following an excellent free-kick from Bosnian international Miralem Pjanic. 

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Ronaldo was not the only player to impress. Douglas Costa also had a lively night, and was extremely unlucky to see a brilliantly curled effort hit the post at the start of the second half. 

Costa was rewarded for his impressive performance with an assist, as Juve doubled their lead on the hour mark after the Brazilian's parried shot was tapped home by Mario Mandzukic. 

Tullio M. Puglia/GettyImages

The second goal was the insurance Juve needed, and they saw out the rest of the game with ease.

Check out our breakdown of the game below. 


JUVENTUS 


Key Talking Point 

Thanks to their 12th victory of the season, Juventus have now accumulated the most points by any team in Serie A after 13 games.

Massimiliano Allegri made a number of changes to his side, with Paulo Dybala and Giorgio Chiellini on the substitutes' bench. 

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These changes may have contributed to what was a slow start by the Bianconeri, but they grew into the game, ultimately coasting to a win against a SPAL side who deserve credit themselves for a positive passing approach. 

Player Ratings 


Starting XI: Perin (7); De Sciglio (7), Bonucci (8), Rugani (7), Alex Sandro (7); Cuadrado (7), Pjanic (8), Bentancur (7), Douglas Costa (9*); Cristiano Ronaldo (8), Mandzukic (8).


Substitues: Matuidi (6), Chiellini (N/A), 


STAR MAN 

Despite Ronaldo scoring once again, it was Douglas Costa who stood out most. Cutting in from the right-hand side, he was a constant threat on goal

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The Brazilian is an example of how much depth Juventus manager Allegri has at his disposal, when he can call on players like Costa, enabling him to rest others such as Paulo Dybala. 

This depth may be key for Juventus in their quest to win what has proven to be an elusive Champions League trophy.


WORST PLAYER 


Given that the men from Turin never really had to accelerate out of second gear to assure victory, it would be unfair to single out a particular player who performed poorly. 

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It was a collective team effort that saw Juventus control the game almost from start to finish, as they were never really threatened by SPAL, who put in a spirited performance themselves. 

If there is to be one criticism of Juventus, it is that they have not taken teams apart throughout their unbeaten run in Serie A so far this season. 


Looking Ahead 


Juventus are back in action on Tuesday evening against Valencia at 20:00 BST, for Matchday 5 of the UEFA Champions League. 

Despite wilting away in the final 10 minutes against Manchester United in their last Champions League game, Juventus only need a draw to confirm their status as group winners with a game to spare. 

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HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)