MILAN (AFP) – Carlos Tevez hit a brace as unstoppable Juventus stretched their lead over Roma to five points at the top of Serie A on Sunday after a 4-0 rout of Verona.
Roma’s bid to challenge for a first scudetto since 2001 hit the skids on Saturday when Palermo held Rudi Garcia’s men to a 1-1 draw in Sicily.
It was the Giallorossi’s second consecutive draw and Juve, who hammered Verona 6-1 in an Italian Cup last 16 tie in midweek, had no trouble capitalising.
Verona had never beaten Juventus in Turin and the visitors’ chances of causing a major upset looked over inside three minutes when Frenchman Paul Pogba beat Rafael with a long-distance screamer.
Tevez, who was rested for Thursday’s Cup tie, doubled Juve’s lead four minutes later when he latched on to Alvaro Morata’s deflected cross after a Pogba dummy.
“We’re happy but we’re still hungry for success and want to keep on winning,” Tevez told Mediaset Premium.
“Now we have a five-point lead on Roma but we can’t take our foot off the pedal.”
Juve coach Massimiliano Allegri told Sky Sport: “Hats off to the lads… they did really well despite taking their foot off the gas after the first two goals.
“Overall we should be happy. We have a five-point lead and we’re in the last 16 of the Champions League. The only black mark is our defeat (to Napoli) in the Super Cup.
“It’s been a positive weekend but there’s a long road to go before we win the league title.”
Defender Giorgio Chiellini set up Roberto Pereyra to expertly fire past Rafael into the far top corner for his first league goal in Juve colours, having opened his account in the Cup on Thursday.
Tevez’s second came barely 10 minutes later, the Argentinian nutmegging Rafael from close range after Claudio Marchisio’s short pass to net his league-leading 13th of the season.
Roma sit second at five points with Napoli and Sampdoria, in fourth, a further eight points behind. Earlier, Sampdoria and Fiorentina scored precious away wins to maintain their hopes of European football next season as AC Milan saw their chances of Champions League football dented by a shock 1-0 home loss to Atalanta.