Turin: Juventus trailed at the intermission but came back strongly in the second half to defeat Bologna 3-1 and move one step closer to their seventh consecutive Serie A title.
Brazilian winger Douglas Costa led the way for the hosts in the second half at the Juventus Stadium here on Saturday night, setting up two goals and nearly executing a spectacular “rabona” goal (with his kicking leg wrapped around the back of his standing leg).
Playing without two key attacking weapons — Bosnian Miralem Pjanic and Croatia’s Mario Mandzukic — the hosts lacked pace on their attacking forays in the early going.
They also were not up to par on the other half of the field, with defender Daniele Rugani fouling Bologna’s Lorenzo Crisetig in the area after a mix-up with goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon.
Simone Verdi then proceeded to convert the penalty try at the half-hour mark to give the visitors the lead.
Juventus, however, got a huge lift when Costa was sent on at the start of the second half and started to showcase their superior talent.
The hosts’ offensive pressure led to the equaliser, which came when defender Sebastien De Maio inadvertently struck the ball into his own goal while trying to clear a cross by Colombian winger Juan Guillermo Cuadrado.
Although Bologna right back Emil Krafth nearly put his club ahead again with a shot in the 59th minute that struck the post, Juve took the lead for good five minutes later when Sami Khedira scored off an assist by Costa.
Argentine forward Paulo Dybala then scored the final goal of the match — and his 22nd of the Serie A season — in minute 69 after a great individual effort and assist by the Brazilian international.
With this win, Juve have 91 points, seven more than second-placed Napoli.