Dusan Vlahovic scored twice to help Juventus cut the gap behind Serie A leaders Inter Milan to two points with a 3-0 win at home to Sassuolo.

The Serbian netted his first after 15 minutes when he curled a superb effort into the top corner from 25 yards beyond goalkeeper Andrea Consigli.

And it was 2-0 minutes before half-time, Vlahovic sending a free-kick in off the crossbar as Max Allegri’s team made light work of dispatching 14th-place Sassuolo.

It takes the 23-year-old’s tally to nine goals this season and three in his last two league games, after he netted a stoppage-time winner against bottom side Salernitana in the previous game.

Substitute Federico Chiesa added a third in the closing minutes as Juve stretched their winning run in the league to four games.

Domenico Berardi had a chance to cut the arrears in the second half but failed to beat Wojciech Szczesny, as the visitors otherwise put up little resistance after falling two behind.

It was an 11th victory for Juve in their last 13 games and means they remain within striking distance of Inter in the title race.

The two are due to meet at San Siro on February 4, but before that Juve must navigate games against Lecce and Empoli to ensure they keep on Inter’s coat tails ahead of the showdown in Milan.

Juventus head coach Max Allegri insists it did not make sense to make a late dip into the transfer market.

Juve signed Timothy Weah and Arkadiusz Milik at the start of the window but offloaded a number of players – including the long-serving Leonardo Bonucci to Union Berlin.

However, Allegri did not feel the need to bring in last-minute replacements as he seeks a return to European football.

Juventus were banned from UEFA competition this season, missing out on their Europa Conference League place for finishing seventh in Serie A last term after breaching Financial Fair Play regulations.

They had initially finished fourth in the league before being handed a 10-point deduction for irregularities in the club’s accounting.

“Changing players just to change faces didn’t make sense,” he said ahead of the trip to bottom side Empoli, who have yet to score in their opening two defeats.

“There was no chance of taking someone who would improve the team. The input was to maintain a team that was competitive and at the same time sustainable.

“Many players left and this was a very good window. At least it’s closed and we can think about tomorrow’s game.

“Now we have a competitive team, with the prospect of believing that Dusan Vlahovic is doing much better than last year, that it’s a new year for Federico Chiesa.

“The goal this year is to get to December 30, draw a line and see where we are in the table.

“I think we need 86 to 90 points to win the Scudetto this year. Predications are difficult, what’s valid today is not valid tomorrow. Napoli are favourites because they won the Scudetto.

“The goal is to be in the top four again, as happened last year, and to play in the Champions League next year.”

Allegri’s confidence in his players is not necessarily shared by a section of the fanbase, with midfielder Nicolo Fagioli and defender Alex Sandro jeered by some supporters during last weekend’s draw at home to Bologna.

“I’m disappointed at hearing some boos at the Stadium on Sunday, directed at players who are always reliable and professional,” added the Juve boss.

“Fagioli missed some of our pre-season training but he is recovering after breaking his collarbone.”

Allegri was boosted in the draw with Bologna by a second-half cameo appearance from Paul Pogba, who has made just one start since returning to the club from Manchester United due to the France midfielder suffering a number of injuries.

“Pogba needed to be managed well, as he hadn’t played for a year,” Allegri added.

“He did well against Bologna, helping in the build-up to the goal. Even when he’s only at 70 per cent he’s decisive – he’s a different calibre.”

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