The Bianconeri battered Verona for the second time in four days, underlining the difference between themselves and Rudi Garcia’s challengers for their Serie A crown
By Kris Voakes | International Football Correspondent
The unofficial crown of winter champions was already theirs but Juventus gave a thrilling exhibition of their superiority in the Serie A title race in moving five points clear of Roma on Sunday.
The Giallorossi‘s failure to pick up three points at Palermo on Saturday not only confirmed Juve’s lead at the halfway stage of the season but it showed once more that Rudi Garcia’s men are lacking the cutting edge that is imperative in a championship hopeful.
In comparison, the Bianconeri showed their teeth from the opening moments against Verona 24 hours later. Just seven minutes in, they were two goals clear and slotting back into second gear. They eventually won 4-0, adding to their 6-1 Coppa Italia triumph over the same side in midweek to make it four days from hell for Alberto Malesani’s troops.
But more than that, it was just the kind of showing that Roma themselves have been craving over the past month but have repeatedly been unable to deliver. Draws with AC Milan, Lazio and Palermo have proved costly at a time when the champions have beaten Cagliari, Napoli and now Verona.
While Roma regularly rely on Francesco Totti for inspiration and have found a regular goalscorer hard to come by, Massimiliano Allegri has been heavily aided by the sight of Carlos Tevez finding the net with ease and his midfielders toying with opponents for fun.
While Allegri himself has much more to prove both at home and abroad, his decision to switch the shape of his side from Antonio Conte’s tried and tested 3-5-2 to a 4-3-1-2 is bearing fruit. There are more angles of attacking opening up, their play appears far more fluid and their attacking style is far more pleasing on the eye than it was at times under the former midfielder.