Gianluigi Buffon set a new clean sheet record in Serie A’s three-points-for-a-win era as Juventus maintained their three point lead at the top of Serie A with a 2-0 win at Atalanta on Sunday.
Andrea Barzagli’s 24th minute tap-in and a wonderful individual goal from Mario Lemina four minutes from the end was enough for the reigning champions, who move up to 64 points after extending their unbeaten run to 18 games, and hold second-placed Napoli at bay after Maurizio Sarri’s side briefly drew level with Saturday’s convincing 3-1 win over Chievo.
“In the last 18 games we’ve won 17 but there’s still a long way to go, because second and third are in touching distance. Last year we had a 14 point advantage but this year it’s only three.” said an unsatisfied Allegri to Mediaset.
Juve equal their club record of nine matches without conceding a goal, and Buffon, who now hasn’t conceded in 836 minutes and had very little to do against an Atalanta side that hasn’t won since early December, is edging closer to the all-time Serie A record of 929 minutes established by AC Milan stopper Sebastiano Rossi in 1993/94.
The Juve captain is third in the all-time clean sheet list and against Sassuolo on Friday can overtake Dino Zoff, who went 903 minutes without conceding for Juventus in 1972/73.
“We’re not even thinking about his record. What matters is making sure that we finish a point ahead of everyone else,” insisted Allegri.
AC Milan’s slim hopes of qualifying for the Champions League took a huge blow after Alfred Duncan’s first half piledriver and Nicola Sansone’s close range finish with 18 minutes left condemned them to their first defeat in nine at Europa League-chasing Sassuolo, who had to play the last 13 minutes with 10 men when Gregiore Defrel was sent off for two silly fouls on Andrea Bertolacci and Juraj Kucka.
Sinisa Mihajlovic’s side stay in sixth on 47 points and are now nine behind Roma, who took charge of the race for third by hammering Fiorentina 4-1 on Friday night, and the Serb was livid with his side, who started well but wilted after Duncan’s opener.
Milan will find themselves four behind fifth-placed local rivals Inter Milan should the latter beat struggling Palermo in Sunday’s late match.
“We dominated the first half-hour, but as often happens we failed to turn that pressure into a goal,” said Mihajlovic, who was sent off for dissent when referee Piero Giacomelli didn’t stop the play when Bertolacci went down in the built up to Sansone’s winner.
“We cannot keep creating four or five scoring opportunities only to concede the first shot on goal.”
Frosinone kept their Serie A survival chances alive with a comfortable 2-0 win over Udinese thanks to a low 12th-minute drive from Daniel Ciofani and Leonardo Blanchard’s bullet header just before the hour mark.
Roberto Stellone’s side stay third-from-bottom in the drop zone but are now just a point behind Palermo and four away from Udinese, who have only won twice in 2016 and were overtaken by Genoa thanks to a smart Luca Rigoni strike four minutes into their match with out-of-form Empoli.
Genoa move level on 31 points with city rivals Sampdoria, who eased their own relegation fears with a 3-0 hammering of rock-bottom Verona on Saturday evening, while Carpi are six points from safety after their own goalless draw at Bologna.
Ciro Immobile missed a first half penalty as mid-table Torino drew 1-1 with Lazio in Sunday’s early game.
Andrea Belotti had already opened the scoring for the home side with a 12th minute tap-in when Italy hopeful Immobile blasted over nine minutes later, and Lucas Biglia punished that miss with a spot-kick of his own in the 78th minute.