Alessandro Del Piero has scored plenty of important goals, but on what may be his final season as a Juventus player and a footballer in general, El Principe scored one of his greatest goals, that in just over a month might turn out to be the Serie A winning goal, the one that brought Juve’s to its rightful place at the top of the league.
Simone Pepe scored an impressive opener, one of the best goals of the season in Italy as Juventus did everything right in the first half, their attempts thwarted again and again by the fantastic Federico Marchetti with more than a couple of brilliant saves.
This was Andrea Pirlo at his best. Not just the assist to Pepe which led to an acrobatic goal, but his passing and decision making were perfect. Juventus players kept moving and changing places. Lazio defenders were simply chasing and chasing. Stephan Lichtsteiner on one wing, Mirko Vucinic on the other. Again, a great game from Marchetti and Mobido Diakite denied Juve and impressive half time lead.
And Stefano Mauri, who is one of the hottest players at the moment in Italy. Out of nowhere, he scored a header that left Juventus fans stunned, taking them back to a few weeks ago, when all Juventus could do was draw and draw. Then came the Fiorentina matches, Conte stopped believing in the terrible Borreillo and goals and wins came back. There was no way Juventus were going to lose this one.
Most of the second half was a mirror image of the first. Marchetti and 10 Lazio players simply defending, while Tommaso Rocchi couldn’t really take advantage of anything as his midfield seemed to forget they’re actually supposed to build attacks and find their strikers.
But everything revolved around one moment, that could be the most memorable one of this Serie A season, especially for Juventus fans. Andrea Pirlo and Del Piero standing next to the ball with 8 minutes left in the match. Two legendary players, to fantastic free kick takers. Pirlo arguing with the referee, Del Piero finding the net, and the famous tongue celebration.
It’s far from over, as Juventus now have a one point lead over AC Milan, with both teams six games away from the end of the long title race. Juventus have AS Roma, away at Novara, Lecce, at Cagliari and home against Atlanta. Milan have Genoa, Bologna, away at Siena, Atalanta, derby against Inter and Novara. Hard to say what is actually tougher.