Juventus' Vidal goals carry team closer to title with Lazio win
ROME - Agence France-Presse
Juventus’ Chilean midfielder Arturo Vidal celebrates after scoring one of his two goals against Lazio. AFP photoAn Arturo Vidal double moved Juventus closer to retaining the Serie A title with a 2-0 win at Lazio on April 15.
The Chilean slotted home from the penalty spot in the 8th minute, his first league goal since November,
when he scored in a 6-1 win against Pescara.
Vidal then doubled the lead 20 minutes later, rifling home from close range.
As a result, Juventus is now 11 points clear of Napoli at the summit of Serie A with only six matches remaining.
Napoli could only draw 1-1 with third placed AC Milan on Apri l4, leaving Antonio Conte’s men with the Scudetto well within their sights.
However, Vidal doesn’t feel the title is wrapped up just yet.“I am satisfied with my performance tonight,” he commented. “But the season is not over. “There are only six games left and this win is crucial for us to get closer to the title.”
Lazio, on the other hand, despite losing seven of its last 11 league matches, remains in fifth position level on 51 points with city rival Roma, though ahead thanks to a better head-to-head record.
Lazio coach Vladimir Petkovic lamented the penalty decision. “At the start we dominated,” he said. “Then we complicated matters by giving away the penalty. “Juve then took advantage of a goalscoring chance, but they have to be congratulated for the victory.”
The home side started impressively with Brazilian Hernanes forcing Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon into a good save as he managed to squeeze his 20 yard shot through a sea of players.
Lazio could have clawed themselves back into the match when Ogenyi Onazi was played in on goal by Miroslav Klose, but the young Nigerian ballooned his shot high and wide. That miss was a crucial one as it wasn’t long before Vidal had his second.
Second half substitutes Ederson and Libor Kozak combined well and should have halved Juventus’ lead. In the second period Lazio once more came out with more intent. This time, a Ciani header forced Buffon into a full stretch save low to his right.Andrea Pirlo beautifully bent a 25-yard free kick up and over the wall.