Alvaro Morata came off the bench to hand Juventus a hard earned 1-0 win over Palermo, and send the Biaconeri 14 points clear in the Serie A.
The league leaders were far from convincing in Saturday’s encounter at the Stadia Renzo Barbera and were bailed out by a Morata easy tap-in the 70th minute after Palermo goalkeeper, Stefano Sorrentino, failed to deal with a Carlos Tevez free kick.
Juventus were also missing the services of their influential midfielder, Paul Pogba, who was suspended for the match.
Paulo Dybala was the danger man for Palermo, but failed to increase his 12-goal tally so far in the season, despite giving the Juventus defenders a tough time for the better part of the first half.
Juventus manager, Massimilano Allegri reacted by introducing, Arturo Vidal, with the start of the second half hoping to inject life in the midfielder in the absence of Pogba.
Morata was introduced on the hour mark coming on for fellow Spanish striker, Fernando Llorente, who failed to shine, and he scored not long after.
Palermo also pushed forward in search of an equaliser, but were consigned to a first defeat in 11 home league matches.
The Serie A leaders who have not been convincing in recent weeks, managed to hang on to their win and stretch the lead to 14 points ahead of second placed Roma, who will be in action on Sunday.
In the other Serie match played on Saturday, Cagliari and Empoli played out to a 1-1 draw at the Stadia Sant’Elia.
Joao Pedro put Cagliari ahead in the 20th minute of the match and it looked like they would get the three points to boost their chances of survival, but Empoli equalized in additional time through Matias Vecino, breaking the hearts of the home supporters.