Tevez hits hat-trick as Juve rout Sassuolo
Carlos Tevez scored a hat-trick as Juventus bounced back from their Champions League exit with a comprehensive 4-0 victory over Sassuolo on Sunday which took their lead over Roma to six points.
Antonio Conte's side exited Europe's premier club competition on Wednesday after a 1-0 defeat to Galatasaray in snow-hit Istanbul dropped the Italian champions to third in Group B and into the Europa League.
Conte had since set the target of winning both pre-Christmas games, at home to Sassuolo and away to Atalanta, and Juve completed the first task with consummate ease ahead of Roma's trip to Milan on Monday.
It was Juve's eighth consecutive win without conceding a goal and goalkeeper and captain Gianluigi Buffon told Sky Sport Italia: "It was a good way to make amends for Wednesday.
"The elimination hurt us, but now there's another trophy we now have to try and win."
He added: "That's eight straight wins without conceding. Credit all round, also to our strikers, who are our first defenders."
Promoted Sassuolo, who have already held Napoli, Lazio and Roma to draws, were given brief hope when Alessandro Longhi's angled drive at the back post went just wide under pressure from Arturo Vidal on three minutes.
But Juve, meeting Sassuolo for the first time, soon had Eusebio Di Francesco's visitors on the back foot.
Tevez broke the deadlock on 15 minutes after pouncing on the rebound from Vidal's close-range snap shot.
And on the half hour Federico Peluso opened his Juve account when he rose highest in a crowded box to meet a free kick and beat Gianluca Pegolo with a bullet header.
Sassuolo were being overrun and a defensive blunder by Lino Marzorati on the stroke of half time allowed Tevez to take possession and, after rounding Pegolo, stroke the ball home.
Shortly after the restart Di Francesco replaced Jasmin Kurtic with Juventus-owned striker Simone Zaza.
A surprise starter on the bench, Zaza made a positive contribution almost immediately by testing Buffon twice in the space of two minutes on the hour.
But Sassuolo's defence was conspicuously absent when Tevez scored his third on 68 minutes after being given space to first-time Isla's angled drive past Pegolo from close in.
Tevez said: "We spoke after Istanbul and knew we had to react. We're Juventus and know what we're capable of."
Earlier, a brace from Miroslav Klose in a 2-0 win over Livorno handed Lazio only their fifth win of the season to ease the pressure on under-fire coach Vladimir Petkovic.
"We deserved to lead by more than 2-0 at half-time and we were a little tense after the interval," said Petkovic. "But I have to compliment the lads for working hard and making sure we kept a clean sheet."
Fiorentina capitalised on Bologna's poor form to score three unanswered goals at the Stadio Artemio Franchi and move up to fourth at the expense of Inter, who travel to Napoli in Sunday's late game.
La Viola raced to a 13th minute lead when Josep Ilicic silenced the critics of an eight-month goal drought with a fine individual effort.
Before taking his league-leading tally to 13 goals, Giuseppe Rossi turned provider for Borja Valero who, with a clear run on goal, beat Gianluca Curci with a curling shot inside the keeper's far post.
Vincenzo Montella's side virtually sealed the points in the 64th minute when Rossi added a third.
This time, Valero returned the favour with a chipped pass into the path of the Italy striker, who coolly lobbed the advancing 'keeper from the edge of the area to take his his league-leading tally to 13 in 16 games.
"I'm really satisfied," said Montella.
"We were the most composed and consistent I've seen all season. I hope we'll be able to replicate this in the future."