Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci scored a penalty in each half to earn his side a 2-0 win over Lazio on Saturday that lifted the Turin club into sixth place in Serie A and ended their opponents’ 19-match unbeaten home run.
The Italy international converted from the spot midway through the first half after the referee judged that Danilo Cataldi tripped Alvaro Morata following a pitchside VAR review.
Lazio goalkeeper Pepe Reina then brought down Federico Chiesa with seven minutes remaining to gift Bonucci a second penalty kick, denying Aquile coach Maurizio Sarri the chance to get one over the club that sacked him in August 2020.
“It was a fundamental victory. Games are always difficult after the international break, but we know that with this approach and spirit of sacrifice, the matches depend on us,” Bonucci told DAZN.
It was Lazio’s first home defeat in all competitions since losing 4-1 to Bayern Munich in the Champions League last-16 in February.
Juve move onto 21 points, level with Lazio in fifth but behind them on goal difference. Napoli are top on 32 points.
With both sides missing injured attackers, Lazio’s Ciro Immobile and Juve’s Paulo Dybala, clear chances were few and far between at the Stadio Olimpico.
Lazio were furious with the VAR-influenced decision to award Juve a penalty after 20 minutes, but replays showed Cataldi was a little late with his challenge on Morata.
Juventus mustered the better chances as Morata blasted over an acrobatic volley and Bonucci poked a close-range shot wide, but they required a second spot kick to seal victory.
Reina charged out of his box after the ball but Chiesa got there first and the goalkeeper then clumsily brought down the winger in his bid to recover, handing Bonucci the chance to send a second penalty into the top corner.
Earlier, Atalanta thrashed Spezia 5-2 to go four points clear in fourth place and move level on 25 points with third-placed Inter Milan, who host Napoli on Sunday.
Photo Juventus’ Leonardo Bonucci celebrates after scoring the 0-2 goal during the Italian Serie A soccer match between SS Lazio and Juventus FC at the Olimpico stadium in Rome, Italy, 20 November 2021. EPA-EFE/FABIO FRUSTACI