Spanish striker Fernando Llorente scored his third goal in two games as Juventus restored their eight-point lead over Roma at the top of Italy’s Serie A with a comfortable 2-0 win away to Udinese.
Roma kept their slim hopes of a first scudetto since 2001 alive with a 3-1 win at home to Atalanta on Saturday which reduced the gap to five points.
But any thoughts Antonio Conte’s men, beaten 2-0 away at Napoli two weeks ago, would suffer a slip-up at the Friuli Stadium were quashed inside the first half hour of a largely one-sided contest.
Sebastian Giovinco opened the scoring on 16 minutes, with Llorente adding a second 10 minutes later to leave a hapless Udinese with a mountain to climb at a near empty stadium.
Udinese coach Francesco Guidolin tried to put a gloss on his players’ performance after the game. “We had a good game, we were courageous and I’m moderately satisfied with our performance.”
But he admitted: “You can only take your hat off to a team when they’re much superior than you. Juve controlled the game, they’re strong physically … they’re the strongest side in the championship.”
Roma have won all six of their games since a 1-0 reverse to Napoli at the start of March.
And although Juve could open up an 11-point lead next weekend if they beat Bologna at home and Roma lose away to fourth-placed Fiorentina, Conte said it would be a mistake to underestimate Rudi Garcia’s men.
“We know Roma aren’t giving up and although we’re in front we have to have the same attitude. In this kind of fixture we could have dropped points here. Udinese are a side that let you control things, then hit you on the counter-attack.
“But I think we got it right in terms of attitude, focus and application,” he said.