Juventus kept the pressure on the Serie A leaders Inter by beating Spezia 3-0 at the Allianz Stadium on Tuesday night.
The Bianconeri struggled at times against a confident Spezia side, but three second-half goals from Alvaro Morata, Federico Chiesa, and Cristiano Ronaldo secured the points for Andrea Pirlo’s side.
Despite an uneventful first half-hour, there were suddenly good chances at both ends. Ivan Provedel did just enough to deny Juve a shooting opportunity at one end, and then Riccardo Marchizza had a shot deflected just over the bar at the other end. Spezia did not look fazed by the stature of their opponents.
Juventus improved towards the end of the half, with Ronaldo placing a shot against the base of the post after patient build-up play.
The second half began in a frantic manner with both teams giving the ball away and creating half-chances. Juve began to exert some dominance after an hour, and Morata managed to turn in a Federico Bernardeschi cross to give his side the lead with his first touch after coming on as a substitute. The goal was given after a lengthy VAR check.
They doubled their lead 10 minutes later through Chiesa. Bernardeschi did all the work again, this time dancing into the box from the left. Chiesa’s first shot was saved but he bundled in the rebound superbly.
With Spezia chasing a late route back into the match, Ronaldo picked up his goal to make it 3-0. He was put through on goal by Rodrigo Bentancur, and the No.7 calmly slotted past Provedel. That goal made him the first player across Europe’s top five leagues to score 20 goals in the last 12 campaigns.
After the four added minutes, Spezia were awarded a penalty for a foul by Mehri Demiral. Andrey Galabinov stepped up but saw his penalty saved by Wojciech Szczesny.
This victory keeps Juve in the title discussion, but they’re still seven points off leaders Inter.
For Spezia, it’s another game where they can take some positives. They sit 15th on 25 points and, while they’re far from safe, they’re in a great position to stay up in their maiden Serie A season.