Juve humble Lazio
On his 300th Serie A match as coach, Massimiliano Allegri appeared to throw caution to the wind as Juventus fielded an all-out attacking line-up against Lazio yesterday.
But it paid off as Juventus bounced back from last weekend's defeat at Fiorentina to beat Lazio 2-0, with goals from Paulo Dybala and Gonzalo Higuain inside 16 minutes.
"I woke up on Wednesday morning and I decided to change things," Allegri said. "I decided so because we were coming off not so good a match in Florence and today (yesterday) was the right match for that sort of experiment.
"We won't always play like this, but the response the team gave me was positive: we played well, with quality and sacrifice. And despite the attacking imbalance, we still did well in defence, not risking anything. But we have to maintain this tempo, irrespective of the formation."
There have been question marks this season over who works best with Higuain and Allegri found a novel solution, by utilising all his main attackers in a new 4-2-3-1 formation.
Miralem Pjanic partnered Sami Khedira in midfield, with Juan Cuadrado, Dybala and Mario Mandzukic just behind Higuain.
It took just five minutes for the new-look Juventus to take the lead, with Mandzukic knocking down a long ball for Dybala's half-volley into the bottom left corner from just outside the area.
Juve doubled their lead in the 16th when Cuadrado crossed from the right and Higuain tapped it into the bottom right corner from six yards for his seventh goal in the past five league matches.
Inter recorded an eighth successive win in all competitions but only after struggling to break down relegation-threatened Palermo.
Substitute Joao Mario scored the only goal of the game in the 65th when he was left unmarked to volley in Antonio Candreva's cross.
Both teams were reduced to 10 men late on, with Inter defender Cristian Ansaldi sent off in the 80th for a second yellow card. Inter protested and coach Stefano Pioli was also dismissed.
Palermo midfielder Alessandro Gazzi was also shown a second yellow and sent off in stoppage time.
Inter leapfrogged AC Milan into fifth, a point behind Lazio, although the Rossoneri have a game in hand.