Second-half goals from Stephan
Lichtsteiner and Emanuele Giaccherini sent Juventus four points
clear in Serie A after they defeated Atalanta 2-0 in Bergamo on
Saturday to finish the first half of the season unbeaten.
In the day's other match, Francesco Totti struck twice to
set a league scoring record as resurgent AS Roma climbed to
sixth by crushing Cesena 5-1.
"I will play until I'm physically unable to do what I want,"
the 35-year-old Totti told the Mediaset Premium TV channel.
"If we continue to play like this we'll go far. We're
enjoying our football and pleasing fans too," he added after
claiming his 211th goal for Roma, a league record for a single
In Bergamo, Swiss defender Lichtsteiner nodded in Andrea
Pirlo's brilliant pass after 55 minutes to give Juve a deserved
lead before substitute Giaccherini's volley made the game safe
eight minutes from time.
Juve had early chances to open the scoring with Alessandro
Matri blasting Simone Pepe's inviting centre over the bar and
Pepe screwing a right-foot effort wide five minutes later.
Defender Andrea Barzagli then struck the post in the 11th
minute and Mirko Vucinic's half-volley forced Andrea Consigli
into a near-post save.
The home side threatened on the break but Juve continued to
carve out chances with left back Paolo De Ceglie twice going
close and Chilean midfielder Arturo Vidal crashing a 25-metre
shot against the crossbar three minutes before the break.
The visitors finally broke through when right-back
Lichtsteiner sneaked a header inside the near post after being
picked out by Pirlo.
Substitute Luca Marrone fired straight at Consigli after a
fine one-two with Matri before setting up Giaccherini to wrap up
Juve coach Antonio Conte said the tag of 'winter champions',
handed out by the media after the first half of the season, had
"That title means nothing to me... but my boys are
overcoming all obstacles. It's been an incredible first half,"
he told Sky Sports.
"We're top and unbeaten after playing against some teams
that started our matches as favourites."
At the Stadio Olimpico, captain Totti struck after 34
seconds before volleying his second from an Erik Lamela pass.
Striker Fabio Borini grabbed the third in the ninth minute
as Roma went on the rampage.
Third from bottom Cesena pulled a goal back through
Brazilian Eder after 59 minutes but defender Juan (62) and
Miralem Pjanic (70) clinched Roma's fourth straight league win
as they chalked up 30 points from 18 games.
Roma, who had their previous match against Catania abandoned
because of a waterlogged pitch, went 1-0 up when Totti ran on to
a cheeky back-flick from Lamela and his fierce shot took a
deflection to beat goalkeeper Francesco Antonioli at the near post.
The home team poured forward and quickly doubled the lead
with Argentine striker Lamela again finding his skipper and
Totti overtaking Swedish striker Gunnar Nordahl who hit 210
goals for AC Milan between 1949-56.
Borini, preferred to Bojan Krkic in attack, then swept home
Leandro Greco's left-wing centre as Cesena's defence was once
more cut to ribbons.
Pjanic had a shot blocked on the goal-line after 11 minutes
but the score stayed the same until Eder raced through before
lifting the ball over keeper Maarten Stekelenburg and slotting
in for the visitors.
Totti went agonisingly close to a hat-trick with a rasping
drive on the hour but Juan made it 4-1 by side-footing home the
rebound after Borini's header struck the woodwork.
Bosnia midfielder Pjanic netted the fifth, slamming the ball
past Antonioli with his left foot after the goalkeeper had failed to
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