There was a month or two earlier this season where it looked like Juventus might stumble in their pursuit of a fifth consecutive Serie A title. Now, after 21 weeks of play in Italy's top-flight football league, the Zebras are just two points off the lead. Furthermore, Juventus have now won 11 Serie A matches in a row, and 13 of their last 14 games across all competitions.
Even last season, when Juve never left the top Serie A spot after taking up residence there in week four, the soccer club never managed an 11-game winning streak. In fact, the last time Juventus was in this kind of undefeated mode was in the middle of the 2013/14 Serie A campaign, when they won 12 games in a row from late October to late January. The Zebras, of course, won that league campaign with a record 102 points-17 points more than their nearest competitors, AS Roma.
Juventus vs. RomaÂ
Fittingly, AS Roma were the club that Juventus beat over the weekend to extend their winning streak to 11 games. After two seasons in a row of being the runners-up, Roma have looked weaker this year. They've won just nine of their 21 games so far and are currently in fifth place-six points behind Inter Milan at fourth.
Despite the step down that Roma have taken for the 2015/16 campaign, though, they still beat Juventus in the earliest weeks of the season. Indeed, on August 30th, the Wolves hosted the Zebras and won the match 2-1. It was the second loss in a row for Juventus (they'd lost their opening match to Udinese), and an early sign that there might be trouble in paradise for Italy's 4x reigning champions.
Things could hardly have been more different when the two teams met once again on Sunday. Wearing the Juventus home shirt 2015/16 and hosting Roma instead of the other way around, and with a ton of momentum at their backs, the Zebras navigated their way to a 1-0 victory.
To Roma's credit, it looked for much of the match like Juve's long, long winning streak might finally come to an end. Both teams headed for the locker rooms at halftime with zero points on the scoreboard, and while Juventus led in terms of possession, Roma certainly weren't a passive opponent. Ultimately, though, Paulo Dybala was able to convert an assist from Paul Pogba for a 77-minute goal-enough to win the match.
The Rest of the Top Five
Right now, Juventus have a record of 14 wins, three draws, and four losses, with a goal difference of +23. Napoli, meanwhile, are holding off the defending champions for the top slot-albeit slightly. Napoli beat Sampdoria 4-2 over the weekend, extending their own Serie A winning streak to five games. Their record (14 wins, five draws, and two losses) remains slightly better than Juve's, as does their GD (+27). Plus, Napoli's Gonzalo Higuain is the league's top scorer right now, and no one else is even close. Higuain has tallied 20 goals in Serie A play this season while Dybala and Sampdoria's Citadin Eder are tied for second with 11.
Still, Napoli aren't perfect. They showed weakness earlier this month, bowing out of the Coppa Italia in a 0-2 loss against Internazionale. Eventually, it seems like this soccer club will make a mistake and Juventus will take the opportunity to leap into the lead. In any case, the February 13th face-off between Juve and Napoli promises to be one of the best games of the season.
Speaking of Inter Milan, they dropped to fourth place over the weekend thanks to a 1-1 draw withÂ Carpi. Fiorentina used the opportunity to leapfrog their way into the top three, bouncing back with a 2-0 win over Torino after back-to-back losses against Lazio and AC Milan.
AC Milan, meanwhile, are on the cusp of breaking into the top five. A draw against Empoli this weekend puts the Red and Blacks just two points behind Roma. Could this season see both of Milan's football clubs back in the top five? If so, it would be the first time since 2011-when Inter won, and AC Milan took second.
No matter what happens from here, there is little doubt that the Serie A is the most competitive and entertaining division in European football this season. Keep up with the action by following Soccer Box on social media today! You can find us on multiple social platforms including Facebook, Twitter, and Google +.