Roma old boys Benatia, Pjanic and Szczesny star for Juventus in narrow win
Juventus 1 - 0 Roma

Roma old boys Benatia, Pjanic and Szczesny star for Juventus in narrow win

23/12/2017

Medhi Benatia's first-half strike was enough as Juventus beat Roma 1-0 in Serie A to move within a point of leaders Napoli.

Miralem Pjanic struck the crossbar for Juve in stoppage time, while the hosts were also indebted to Wojciech Szczesny for a series of fine saves.

Alessandro Florenzi was denied by the woodwork for Roma, who suffered a second successive loss.

Juve pressed forwards from the start, seeking to continue their record of winning every game against Roma at their Allianz Stadium home. They had won the previous six encounters in Turin.

Sami Khedira, Mario Mandzukic and Pjanic all had opportunities before Juve took the lead.

Giorgio Chiellini's header was saved by Allison, but it fell for Benatia. His initial attempt hit the bar, but then he tucked in from six yards out.

Gonzalo Higuain missed twice in quick succession.

Next Stephan El Shaarawy went close, only to be denied by Szczesny, who spent two seasons on loan at Roma before joining Juve on a permanent deal from Arsenal.

Higuain fired over after being released by Khedira early in the second half.

And the Argentina striker had an effort blocked when he was played in by Pjanic soon afterwards.

Blaise Matuidi's effort from Alex Sandro's cross was saved by Roma goalkeeper Allison and next Higuain blasted over again.

Pjanic had a shot saved, too, before Edin Dzeko fired over from inside the Juve box.

Florenzi beat Szczesny with a flick off Daniele De Rossi's pass, but the ball struck the woodwork and bounced clear.

Szczesny next denied Cengiz, as he tried to bundle in a Perotti cross flicked on by Dzeko.

Pjanic came close to adding a second for Juve on the counter attack, but his drive from 25 yards came crashing back off the bar.

And Szczesny next denied Patrik Schick, as the forward found himself clear through on goal and tried to slide the ball past the Poland goalkeeper.

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