Serie A: Massimiliano Allegri's Juventus continued their recent dominance of Palermo, securing a ninth consecutive league win over the Sicilian strugglers
Juventus consolidated their position at the top of Serie A as an own goal from Edoardo Goldaniga secured a 1-0 win at Palermo.
Mario Mandzukic, Miralem Pjanic and Gonzalo Higuain had all gone close for Massimiliano Allegri's men before Goldaniga deflected Dani Alves' long-range strike into his own net early in the second half.
The visitors thus secured a ninth successive league victory over the Sicilian side, who have failed to score a single goal during a run of defeats that dates back to 2011.
Roberto De Zerbi's side did little to suggest that they could build upon their surprise midweek win at Atalanta, rarely troubling a Juventus defence that remained impressively resolute throughout.
The result marked the first time in their history that Palermo have lost their first three home games of the season and leaves them languishing in the lower reaches of the table.
The Turin side, meanwhile, will head into Tuesday's Champions League clash against Dynamo Zagreb in confident mood after a commanding display at the atmospheric Stadio Renzo Barbera.
Juventus wasted no time in making their attacking intentions clear, Higuain firing over after being picked out by Pjanic with just 12 seconds on the clock.
Three yellow cards then followed in quick succession, with Goldaniga and Juventus duo Leonardo Bonucci and Mandzukic all going into the book as the contest became increasingly fractious.
The league leaders continued to look the more likely as the half wore on, with Pjanic their main creative force.
It was his corner that picked out the unmarked Mandzukic who headed wastefully over after 12 minutes and the Bosnian midfielder also supplied the long ball that sent Higuain in on goal, only for home goalkeeper Josip Posavec to snuff out the danger by diving bravely at the striker's feet.
Posavec was again called into action in the 33rd minute, this time palming away Mario Lemina's angled strike, and he was also equal to Pjanic's weakly struck shot on the stroke of half-time.
In contrast to the visitors, Palermo struggled to find any attacking fluency, with Haitam Aleesami driving their only meaningful effort of the first half straight at Gianluigi Buffon.
Juventus started the second half as brightly as they had the first and hit the front after 49 minutes, albeit in fortuitous circumstances.
Posavec looked to have Alves' speculative long-range strike well covered until it struck the luckless Goldaniga and flew into the opposite corner of the net.
The hosts struggled to muster much in terms a response to that setback and in fact could have fallen further behind just after the hour-mark when Posavec was forced to tip over a thumping volley from Mandzukic.
And three minutes later the two Croatians went head-to-head again with the same result as Posavec pulled off another fine save to prevent his compatriot from making the game safe for his side.
Palermo did mount some concerted pressure in the final quarter, but failed to seriously trouble Buffon as the visitors secured their fifth league win of the season.
Key Opta Facts:
- This was Juventus' 14th win at Palermo's ground – no visiting side hasmanaged more victories away to the Favorita so far in Serie A.
- Palermo remain the only side yet to collect their first point and score their first goal at home in this Serie A campaign.
- Juve are the only side to have taken the lead in each of the games played so far in this Serie A season.
- There were six yellow cards in the first half – a record in a single Serie A game before half-time in 2016-17.
- Mario Mandzukic attempted five shots – one more than the total he had attempted over the five previous matchdays.