Vlahovic double fires Juventus to 3-0 win over Sassuolo

Vlahovic double fires Juventus to 3-0 win over Sassuolo

TURIN — A stunning first-half brace by striker Dusan Vlahovic helped Juventus to a 3-0 win over Sassuolo in Serie A on Tuesday as Massimiliano Allegri’s side extended their unbeaten league run to 15 games in front of a sold-out home crowd.

Juve remain second in the standings on 49 points, two points behind leaders Inter Milan and seven above third-placed AC Milan.

Juve allowed the visitors more possession but stayed in control of a lively clash at the Juventus Stadium and Vlahovic broke the deadlock in the 15th minute with a rasping shot from just outside the box.

The Serbia striker made it 2-0 before the break with a free kick from long range for his ninth goal of the season.

“Vlahovic played a good game, he was much more calm,” Allegri told a press conference.

“This morning I spoke to him and told him that he wanted to overdo it (in the Coppa Italia quarter-final) against Frosinone, he got into an argument with the referee. Tonight he was much more lucid.”

The 23-year-old has been involved in a goal in four consecutive Serie A appearances, with three goals and two assists, for the first time in more than three years.

“Dusan went through a complicated moment because he wasn’t well. Now he’s working hard to improve and is finding the right calm to manage the match,” Allegri added.

Sassuolo, who inflicted Juve’s only loss of the season in all competitions in a 4-2 defeat in the reverse fixture, went close in the 53rd minute through forward Domenico Berardi, who struck just wide from the edge of the box.

Juve keeper Wojciech Szczesny pulled off a brilliant save to deny yet another powerful shot from Berardi 10 minutes later before substitute Federico Chiesa sealed the win for the hosts in the 89th minute with a low strike into the middle of the goal.

Juve next travel to 13th-placed Lecce on Sunday where they can leapfrog Inter into top spot as Simone Inzaghi’s men only return to Serie A action on Jan. 28 following the Italian Super Cup played in Saudi Arabia.

Sassuolo — who are 14th, with two points separating them from the relegation zone — next visit mid-table Monza. — Reuters