A late Cristiano Ronaldo penalty gave Juventus another win and an 11-point lead at the top of Serie A. But Lazio will rue many missed chances.
Lazio vs Juventus: match report
Football is not always fair. That has to be the message that manager Simone Inzaghi gives to his players after a game in which Lazio dominated in almost every area, included numerous chances created in both halves. The statistic that mattered, as always, confirmed another league victory for Juventus (19 in 21), the continuation of their unbeaten run, and now an 11-point lead at the top of Serie A. No one is catching them now.
Here's how it all panned out on the night...
Lazio vs Juventus: live commentary
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Full-time: Lazio 1-2 Juventus | Football can sometimes be unfair and Inzaghi will be telling his players that this evening. The home side dominated the vast majoirty of this game but take nothing but pride from it.
90'+4' The final whistle blows loud and the Juventus players celebrate wildly.
90'+4' Into the final minute and a clumsy leap onto the back of the Lazio striker gives Milinkovic-Savic the chance to snatch a point at the death. He steps up to strike the free-kick on the edge of the area...but it's way, way over the bar. That should be that.
90'+3' Lazio almost fashion a chance at the back post but Juve have plenty back as they look to see this game out for yet another three points.
90'+1' CHANCE!! Cancelo having plenty of joy in the right channel and is found again sprinting in behind. One on one with Strakosha he chooses to pass to his supporting teammate but gets it all wrong. Should have been game, set and match.
90' There'll be four minutes added on.
89' Goooooaaaaaaaalllll!!! Cristiano drills the ball into the roof of the net. (A delay in taking it due to continued complaints from the Lazio players)
85' PENALTY TO JUVE!! Lulic pulling back Cancelo as he tried to offer support in the area. Off the ball, 100% correct decision.
83' Chance for Juve to swing in a free-kick into the Lazio area and send up plenty of bodies to make it uncomfortable for the hosts. Cristiano called for offside and Lazio regroup.
82' Berisha comes on for Luis Alberto as Inzaghi targets getting back in full control of this match. The Spaniard has done well today.
81' From the Chiellini foul, Lazio decide to go long with the free-kick but it keeps going long and out of the field of play. A waste.
80' Chiellini gets a card for a robust challenge on Milinkovic-Savic. The Serbian is also shown a card for his own version of a 'firm' tackle.
77' CHANCE!! Cancelo almost does it again. Sneaking in at the back post for the long ball over the top but his control lets him down.
Lazio 1-1 Juventus | From almost nothing Juve are level. A move down the left results in Bernardeschi getting off a shot from inside the area. Strakosha blocks well on his line but Cancelo arrives at the back post and slots home the rebound. Lazio will be gutted.
74' Gooooooaaaaaaaalllll! Juve, somehow, are back in this game.
73' Another card out. This time for Rugani
70' De Sciglio into the book for a naughty 'tackle'
70' Two more chances almost present themselves for the Biancocelesti, each time space opening in the middle of the park, and then closing as they push on. Juve offering very little here, but they've got a habit of finding a way. Let's see...
66' CLOSE!! Luis Alberto with a fine effort, shifting onto his right foot and curling the ball from the centre of the goal to the left. It edges just outside the post as Szczesny blew vigorously.
64' WHAT A CHANCE!! Immobile should have doubled the lead there. Played in behind the Juve defence by Correa and, with just Szczesny to beat he pushes it high and wide. Will he regret that later?
62' Silly from Costa as he pulls a shirt and gives away a free-kick. Frustrated maybe?
59' Change here for Allegri. Bernardeschi comes on for Matuidi. What can Juve offer up now?
Lazio 1-0 Juventus | The corner is swung in to the danger area and as a crowd jump at the front post, Emre Can seems to duck and close his eyes, heading into his own net. The celebrations from the Lazio players is frenzied. They know their efforts have been rewarded at last.
59' Gooooooaaaaaaaalllll!!! Lazio get the advantahe they deserve.
56' It's Bastos again with the header but it's deflected over. Another corner.
55' Brilliant play from Bastos! The big defender outmuscles Costa and heads off at speed down the right flank. The move ends with an Immobile effort which is deflected for a corner.
53' Recently silly Matuidi does well to skip into space down the left. His cross lets him, and his teammates down.
50' Nonsense there leads to both Leiva and Matuidi's names going into the book. It all came from what looked like a soft hand from the Brazilian on Cristiano's cheek. The number seven then threw himself to the ground holding his eye. Matuidi squared up for little reason. All sorted now.
49' CHANCE!! Luis Alberto has done well in this game and has a hit from outside the area. Szczesny watches carefully as it flies past the left-hand post.
47' CHANCE!! Douglas Costa turns on the afterburners on the left wing and gets himself into a position to cross. He whips it hard in between the back.tracking defenders and Strakosha. It's just out of the reach of Ronaldo as he closed in.
Juve get us going. But the question is, will they get us going?!
Right, the teams are heading out...
Alternatively, jump over to Real Madrid's game against Espanyol. Robbie is all over it!
That was not the half of football we were expecting. The top dogs of Italian football were made to look like stray mutts searching for an owner to guide them. All credit to Lazio; they have been at it from the start and haven't given the talented players in black and white a chance to settle. Will we see the champions-elect show their pedigree in the second 45? Allegri will certainly not be saying 'more of the same, lads!'
45'+3' Three minutes of the two added on have come and gone. Into the tunnel the players and officials go, very mixed conversations going to be had in the changing rooms.
45' Cristiano gets on the ball. How Juve could do with a spark from him. His long pass is well intercepted and the home side look forward again.
42' CHANCE!!! An innocent ball forward is headed backwards by Rugani (not sure it was intentional!) and it falls short of his keeper. Immobile shows he's anything but by reaching the ball ahead of Szczesny, lifting it over him and towards the gaping goal. Brilliant covering, though, stops the goal. How have the home side not scored?
41' That earlier Bonucci knock has taken its toll. He's being taken off for Chiellini before the half-time whistle blows.
38' SAVE!! Szczesny does brilliantly, diving to his left to block the shot from Parolo with one hand. The Italian found so much space inside the area to turn, set himself and pick his spot. Juve just not functioning.
36' Milinkovic-Savic getting involved, sniffing a somehow very gettable opponent, not having their best day (so far, at least). The Serbian 's shot from distance is blocked well.
33' What are you doing Strakosha? It could have been a dangerous cross from Matuidi on the left but the deflection off Bastos takes the ball straight into the arms of the keeper. Or it would have done had he not chosen to double-fist it clear. Much more risky in that situation but it falls to a teammate.
32' A bit of a rough one from Rugani there and the whistle goes for a foul. Nothing more though.
28' Szczesny quickly feeds Costa in the centre of the park and the winger drops his head for sprint-mode. Bursting away from the first challenge, skipping passed the second, he then has a choice of Ronaldo and Dybala in support. Neither were easy finds and it ends with a neatly timed Leiva challenge. Juve restricted to the counter at the moment.
27' Immobile next up to suggest danger, lifting a ball into the area but Szczesny does well to claim. It really is pretty much all one-way traffic, oh wait...
25' Great play from Luis Alberto who has a moment deep inside the Juve penalty box where it looks like he's playing against some kids in the park. Checking inside and out he lingers too long and the chance to play in teammates is then gone.
24' First booking goes to Emre Can
21' More danger in the Juve area. Milinkovic-Savic does well on the left, cuts in and fires across a low cross. It takes a deflection off a defender and skims into Szczesny's diving arms.
20' Sandro finds some space on the left and jinks into a place he can dig out a cross. It drifts well over the intended Portuguese target at the back post and Lazio mop up with relative ease.
19' The blue and white shirts descend in the midfield to win back possession, and some interplay then creates space for Parolo to let fly from around 30 yards. He gets it through the crowd but Szczesny is down well to his right and saves. Nice strike.
16' Szczesny again called into action as Bastos manages to get a shot away. The gut suggests this is one of those periods in a game when the underdog needs to take advantage of their positive play, as it may not last.
14' Juve are really struggling to get into this game. We're only a quarter of an hour into it and Cristiano can already be seen getting frustrated and yelling at teammates. The CR7 yell gauge is a handy one to know how a team is getting on.
12' CHANCE!! Wallace is up for the corner and finds himself all alone as the ball is worked back and then swung in. He gets it all wrong with the header and it bounces harmlessly into Szczesny's arms. That should have been the opener. Bonucci is back on.
11' The Italian is off injured, getting treatment to his leg on the sidelines. Lazio continue to be the dominant force in this half.
10' Fabulous run from Correa has him square in front of Szczesny where he cuts it back, hopeful of a teammate. It's cleared away for a corner. Bonucci looks hurt from a colission there though.
8' Dybala and Costa try to get things going for the side all in black. The Brazilian breaks inside from his wide position on the right but is snuffed out well by the defenders.
6' An encouraging couple of minutes of pressure (albeit modest) for the hosts. The ref has also let a couple of challenges go that could have been pulled back. Minimal blowing up yet from the man from Pompei.
4' One corner is cleared for another, and then the second is too deep and Lazio eventually prefer to work it back through their own defenders rather than keeping the pressure on.
2' From defence, Cristiano collects and tries to run forward. He is dispossessed and Lazio manage to shift the ball to Parolo who tries his luck. It's a horrible sclaff, though, but we can ignore that as the deflection takes it for a corner.
1' Immediately Lazio roll the ball back and hoof it long. It doesn't take long for the visitors to take it off them.
Right, grab a drink of your choice and settle back for what we're hoping will be a fun encounter. Photos have been taken, handshakes completed and the referee is about to blow...
For any Liverpool fans out there, you'll have noticed some familiar names in the starting line-ups. Lucas Leiva and Luis Alberto will be up against another former Red in the midfield, Emre Can. Who'll have the most influence? We're about to find out (although my money is that they will not be the players making tomorrow's headlines)
We're not far away from kick-off now and it worth another reminder that Juve are hoping to maintain their unbeaten record in Serie A. That run has seen them drop just four points from a possible 60.
Tonight's refereee is 37-year old Italian, Marco Guida. He was born in Pompei but I promise to go light on the 'eruption' styled puns for his every forceful decision. I'll try at least!
Allegri has returned to every football Scrabble enthusiast's favourite goalkeeper after leaving him out for a couple of games. Despite missing a number of players, that starting XI has so much experience and quality that it is difficult to see anything other that an away win. Then again, there are potential signs of an upset that could be argued.
So, Inzaghi lines up with the three at the back but how much time we see seven, eight or more of the side pushed back into their own half will depend on how Allegri's side goes for it.
As we touched on in the preview, there are a number of players out through injury or suspension for both sides. It's also that time of the year when Champions League and Europa League games are getting nearer so the managers need to shuffle their packs accordingly to maximise its effectiveness. We should have confirmed team news any minute...
In spite of those Champions League aspirations, a home win is not predicted by many. The capital side are not enjoying their greatest vein of form, victorious in only two of their last nine. But with home support in full voice, and a couple of their stars shining like they have on occasion, you never know...
Juventus arrive in Rome full of confidence and knowing they have the opportunity to extend their lead at the top to a massive 11 points following Napoli's 0-0 draw away to Milan. Lazio on the other hand have a chance to go level on points with Milan in fourth place if they were to triumph in front of their own fans.
Hello and welcome to our live coverage of Lazio vs Juventus in Serie A. This is game 21 in the league for these clubs and has a number of implications at the top end of the table, and for the European places.
Lazio vs Juventus: match preview
As we reach the end of January, it already feels like a procession towards an eighth consecutive Serie A title for Juventus. Eight points clear before this match, after the 'best of the rest' Napoli dropped two points in Milan on Saturday as they failed to score. Scoring has not been a problem for Massimo Allegri's side, and the addition of Cristiano Ronaldo in the summer has proved to be a wise decision thus far, the former Real Madrid star scoring 14 goals in the league and assisting five. Not bad for a man who turns 34 in just over a week's time.
Simone Inzaghi will know that a point, even considering it is a home match, is a very decent scoreline, and keeps his side in the mix for the European spots. Although not collecting many wins of late (just two in the last nine outings) the positive news to focus on is that they have not been easy to beat. Those two wins came in their last five, and with the chance to end Juve's unbeaten season, the players will be champing at the bit.
Lazio team news
After seeing red against Napoli, Francesco Acerbi will be a sore loss to Inzaghi in defence. He'll also be without Luiz Felipe (injury) and Adam Marusic (suspension). This is likely to mean a starting role for Wallace and Bastos at the back while Patric will be used from the right. As has been the case for much of the season, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic will have many an eye on him, with fans of the Rome club desparate to see him fulfill the expectation. Luis Alberto and Ciro Immobile will lead the line.
Juventus team news
Andrea Barzagli, Juan Cuadrado and Mario Mandzukic are all out injured for Allegri, and there are a number of other players recovering from knocks that will likely not be risked. Wojciech Szczeszny could well sit this one out again with Mattia Perin getting the nod for the third consecutive league game, and Emre Can should come in as holding midfielder with Pjanic out. A frontline of Cristiano Ronaldo, Paulo Dybala and Douglas Costa should be licking its collective lips at this weakened Lazio back four.