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Juventus 1-0 Inter Milan: Mauro Mandzukic bullet header sinks third place rivals

Mauro Mandzukic sent Juventus 11 points clear in Serie A as they edged out Inter Milan 1-0 in the Derby d’Italia in Turin.

A hard-fought game was settled by Mandzukic’s 66th-minute header as the Croatian once again proved the man for the big occasion.

Victory means Juventus remain unbeaten after 15 league matches — winning 14 of them — and no team in Europe’s top five leagues has ever had a better points tally at this stage of a campaign. 

Inter were left to reflect on missed chances of their own, most notably a Roberto Gagliardini shot which struck a post in the first half.

Juventus were quickly on the front foot in the early stages of the game.

Cristiano Ronaldo would go on to have a quiet night but began brightly, first producing step overs, then a pin-point cross for Paulo Dybala who directed his header narrowly over.

Soon after, another neat move saw Dybala played in and Samir Handanovic had to help his rising shot over the crossbar.

From the resulting corner Leonardo Bonucci diverted a tempting cross wide.

With several chances having gone begging, Juve were almost punished just before the half-hour mark when Inter struck a post.

Matteo Politano cut in from the right-hand side and picked out Mauro Icardi. With his back to goal, the Argentinian laid the ball off for Gagliardini, whose shot cannoned back off the post and into the grateful arms of Wojciech Szczesny.

The chance highlighted the danger Politano posed on the right but Juve were slow to take note. 

Inter came again moments later as Politano cut the ball back for Ivan Perisic, but this time the Croatian sent the chance wide.

Juventus had the chance to go in front just before the break when the ball was cut back for Rodrigo Bentancur, but the impressive Marcelo Brozovic made a fine block to send the ball out for a corner.

The second half began with a chance for Inter after Blaise Matuidi gave the ball away dangerously on the edge of his own area, but Politano’s unconvincing shot was blocked by Bonucci.

The match soon became scrappy with a rash of yellow cards behind doled out before Juventus struck in the 66th minute.

It was a goal straight out of Juve’s favoured playbook, with Joao Cancelo sending in a deep cross and Mandzukic getting in front of Kwadwo Asamoah at the far post to apply the headed finish.

Inter soon had a chance to hit back but Perisic’s free-kick from a dangerous position was deflected over by Matuidi as he leapt up from the wall.

Instead, a Juve second looked more likely than an equaliser as the game became stretched and they were able to probe the Inter defence on the counter-attack.


Ultimately they were unable to trouble Handanovic again, but Mandzukic had already done enough to keep the three points in Turin.

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