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Conte: Juve setting extraordinary pace

Antonio Conte remains cautious over suggestions Juventus have all but won the Serie A title, despite opening up a 17-point lead with a 1-0 victory at Genoa on Sunday.

Genoa proved gutsy opposition at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris and Emanuele Calaio saw a penalty saved by veteran goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon with 20 minutes remaining. It was Andrea Pirlo’s free-kick two minutes from time which eventually snatched the points for Juve, and Conte knows it was another important victory as they look to claim their third successive Scudetto.

“I prefer not to state percentages of something that could then turn out to not happen,” Conte said of his side’s title chances. “But of course coming to Genoa and winning against a team who played the game of their lives is very important.”

“The players begin to get tired and only a great team could have won like we did here, in spite of some debatable moments. Their defenders were very aggressive, they kept hold of possession and looked to play. They maybe could have been more precise with the final ball, but they were very good in both attack and defence.”

Despite being coy over their title hopes, Conte did acknowledge the gap will not make easy reading for nearest rivals Roma and Napoli as the league enters its final ten rounds.

“Moving forward at this extraordinary pace can be discouraging for the chasing pack because we’ve now got an incredible 75 points,” he said.

“Our objective is delivering a third consecutive Scudetto for the club president, and now we’ll go to Florence looking to reach the next round of the Europa League.”

Juventus travel to Fiorentina on Thursday in the UEFA Europa League, with the scores poised at 1-1 following the opening leg of their last-16 tie.