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Andrea Pirlo's long blast helps Juventus rally to defeat Atalanta

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A long rocket from the foot of Andrea Pirlo, left, rallied Juventus past Atalanta on Friday.

Juventus came from behind to open up a 10-point advantage at the top of Serie A on Friday night thanks to a 2-1 win over Atalanta.

Giulio Migliaccio gave the guests a shock lead in the 25th minute, but Fernando Llorente and an eye-catching Andrea Pirlo strike turned the game around before half-time.

Juve took things easily in the second half, saving energy for Tuesday's Champions League tie with Borussia Dortmund and rarely risking letting their lead slip.

Second-placed Roma have the chance to move back to within seven points of the Bianconeri when they travel to Hellas Verona on Sunday, but with such an advantage at the top of the table, Juve will now be able to focus all of their efforts on the biggest game of their season so far on Tuesday.

Atalanta spent most of the early stages in defence, but when they sensed an opportunity, they broke quickly and tried to take it.

Davide Baselli could hardly believe his luck when he was left with only Gianluigi Buffon to beat, but the Atalanta midfielder wasted the chance although soon afterwards Atalanta took the lead when Migliaccio's header went in off the inside of the post, silencing the Juventus Stadium.

Juve's equaliser in the 39th minute was similar to Atalanta's goal, with the home side spurning a good opportunity before netting immediately after.

Paul Pogba's powerful but precise pass found Martin Caceres in space inside the penalty area, but his attempt to beat Marco Sportiello inside his near post was thwarted by the Atalanta custodian.

From the corner, Leonardo Bonucci's header was blocked on the line and four Juve players tried to scramble the ball in with Llorente ultimately succeeding.

Just when it looked like the sides would go into the break level, Pirlo took matters into his own hands and, with nothing apparently on from 35 yards, he unleashed one of his speciality shots which dipped and moved away from Sportiello and into the right-hand corner of the goal.

It was just the right time for Juve to take the lead, permitting them to focus on defending in the second half without taking too many risks and wasting any unnecessary energy in view of the visit of Dortmund on Tuesday.

They allowed Atalanta to attack them, showing little going forwards and perhaps not managing to save as much energy as they would have liked with their guests asking plenty of questions.

Juve had all the answers, though, and defended resolutely to extend their lead at the top of Serie A.

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