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Morata double helps steer Juve to top of Serie A

The Spain striker now has four goals in five days, having failed to find the net since October. Juve's win set a club record of 12 consecutive victories.

Álvaro Morata celebrates after scoring against Chievo.

Álvaro Morata hit his second brace of the week as champions Juventus cruised to a 4-0 win at Chievo to equal a club record of 12 consecutive victories and top Serie A for the first time this season.

Morata was given a rare start by Massimiliano Allegri in the Italian Cup semi-final in midweek and hit the net twice in a 3-0 first leg rout of Inter Milan.

It earned the Spaniard a rare start alongside 12-goal striker Paulo Dybala, and Morata seized the day to put the visitors 2-0 up by half-time.

Brazilian left-back Alex Sandro added a third on the hour and Paul Pogba hit Juve's fourth just six minutes later.

Juventus, who struggled at the start of the campaign, took a one-point lead over Napoli, who play Empoli at home later Sunday.

Fiorentina and Inter Milan are seven points adrift of Juventus in third and fourth places respectively ahead of away games at Genoa and AC Milan later.

Defeat for Fiorentina or Inter would help Roma, who moved to within three points of the pair on Saturday with a 3-1 home win over Frosinone.

Chievo coach Rolando Maran had expected the worst after seeing the Verona-based club sell their top striker, Alberto Paloschi, to Swansea in midweek.

And with five regulars sidelined through injury, the Flying Donkeys' faced a formidable challenge as Juve went in search of their 12th win on the trot -- a feat last achieved under coach Antonio Conte in the 2013-2014 campaign.

Juve took control immediately and after Sandro fired a volley over Albano Bizzarri's crossbar from Morata's delivery, the Spaniard fired the visitors into a sixth minute lead from Stephan Lichsteiner's pinpoint delivery to the back post.

It was the Spaniard's first league goal in 18 games but, with key Cup and Champions League games on the horizon, will buoy Allegri in what is a crucial month for the champions.

Keeping up the offensive, Pogba's 30-yard drive was a yard wide of the upright. Dybala then stung Bizzarri's gloves and Sami Khedira missed the target with the follow up.

Chievo quickly focused on defensive duties but Juve got their second five minutes before the interval, Morata finishing off a well-worked move with Dybala and Khedira to tap the German midfielder's delivery past Bizzarri.

Having failed to score since October, it was Morata's fourth goal in five days.

Juve's domination continued after the break, when Chievo came close to reducing arrears late on only for Gianluigi Buffon to come out smartly to block Roberto Ingelese's close range drive.

Pogba saw several efforts fly within range but was unselfish on the hour with a lay-off for Sandro that allowed the unmarked Brazilian to blast his angled drive past Bizzarri.

Pogba finally came good, the Frenchman skipping past one tackle and controlling well on the edge of the area before firing just inside the near upright with Bizzarri at full stretch.

Buffon blocked from Inglese with 18 minutes remaining, but Juve should have added to their tally.

Morata narrowly missed his third when he held off his marker to curl just wide of the far upright as Bizzarri looked on.

In the closing minutes Pogba held the ball up well before turning to fire a shot that pinged off post and bar.


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