Juventus edge past Roma in a 2-1 away win and are on top of the Serie A table after Antonio Conte’s Inter Milan were held to a 1-1 draw by Atalanta the previous day.
Two early goals for Juventus courtesy of Merih Demiral and Cristiano Ronaldo handed Maurizio Sarri’s side a crucial win with Roma’s Diego Perroti penalty being a consolation goal.
The bookies had the Old Lady slight favourites at 23/20 compared to Roma’s 11/5 which proved to be a great indicator of how tight this affair was going to be.
It did not start that way, however, as defender Demiral scored his first goal for the club by turning home a free-kick from Paulo Dybala.
The Argentinian international then won a penalty several minutes later with Ronaldo stepping-up and slotting in his 4th goal of the new year in just two games and give Sarri’s side a two-goal cushion inside 10 minutes.
The superstar forward was 8/11 to score this game given his spectacular run of form in recent games.
Roma believed that they should have also been awarded a penalty after Lorenzo Pellegrini’s goal-bound effort appeared to hit summer signing Adrien Rabiot’s arm.
Juve goalscorer Demiral was replaced having suffered an injury by another summer signing in Mattihs de Ligt who in turn, fouled Nicolo Zaniolo who had to also be substituted due to a serious leg injury.
Despite Roma now missing a key player, they continued to press the reigning Serie A champions and managed to find a breakthrough.
Former Manchester City striker Edin Dzeko struck an effort onto the post but managed to keep the attack alive and find teammate Cengiz Under whose header was blocked by Alex Sandro’s arm.
The referee did not spot this but VAR intervened and awarded a penalty which Perotti managed to convert with ease.
Roma were pressing for an equaliser but it was Juventus who went closest in the remaining minutes as Gonzalo Higuain managed to find the back of the net, only for it to be ruled out for a narrow offside.
With half of the season now finished, Juventus lead Inter by two points in their bid to win their 9th successive Serie A title.