Juventus secured a hard-fought victory over high-flying Sassuolo, with second half goals from Danilo, Aaron Ramsey and Cristiano Ronaldo helping the hosts secure all three points in a 2020-21 Serie A game.
In what was a dour start to the game, neither side managed to get a foothold in the first half, although Weston McKennie and Paulo Dybala sustained injuries. Aaron Ramsey and Dejan Kulusevski entered the fray, but both men were guilty of missing gilt-edged chances right before half-time.
Earlier, the visitors were reduced to ten men after Pedro Obiang's yellow card for a dangerous challenge on Federico Chiesa was upgraded to a red following a VAR consulation.
Despite the numerical advantage, Juventus needed an unlikely source in the 50th minute to take the lead.
A poor clearance in the Sassuolo box presented an opportunity to full-back Danilo, and the former Manchester City man hit a cleanly-struck shot from 21 yards that left Andrea Consigli with no chance.
Despite going behind, the visitors kept fighting, with a quick break presenting Gregoire Defrel with an excellent chance, and the French forward made no mistake from ten yards.
With less than 30 minutes to go, Juventus upped the ante and poured men forward in search for a winner, and that made for an extremely open game, with both sides creating several chances.
The hosts created good opportunities for Ronaldo, Kulusevski and Chiesa, but a combination of inspired goalkeeping from Consigli and dogged defending meant that the score remained level heading into the final ten minutes.
A momentary lapse in concentration by Vlad Chiriches saw the former Tottenham man fail to deal with a low cross into the box by Gianluca Frabotta, and Aaron Ramsey was on hand to convert at the back post.
The Ramsey goal came against the run of play, and with what was virtually the last kick of the game, Cristiano Ronaldo charged forward on a counterattack and secured all three points with a fine goal.
The win puts Juventus in good stead ahead of their trip to Inter Milan next weekend, while Sassuolo will hope to get back to winning ways when they host Parma.
On that note, here are five talking points from the highly entertaining fixture.
#5 Juventus keep themselves in the title race with late goals
Juventus made one of their poorest starts to a campaign in recent memory, as the players struggled to come to grips with Anrea Pirlo's coaching philosophy. However, the Bianconeri have appeared rejuvenated in recent weeks, particularly in their impressive 3-1 victory away to league leaders AC Milan last weekend.
However, that win appeared to be a false dawn, as Juventus fell back to old habits against 10-man Sassuolo. However the Bianconeri showed great determination to get the job done and secure all three points.
This win moves Juventus up to fourth in the standing, seven points behind the table-toppers with a game in hand.
They have a huge opportunity to make another statement of intent when they clash with an out-of-sorts Inter Milan next weekend. A win at the San Siro will give the Old Lady more confidence that they can make it ten Serie A titles in a row.
#4 Gregoire Defrel marks his 100th Sassuolo appearance with a well-taken goal
Gregoire Defreel made his 100th appearance for Sassuolo against Juventus, celebrating the milestone with his second goal of the campaign.
After been left out of the starting lineup in recent weeks, the 29-year-old capitalised on Juventus' high backline by scoring 13 minutes into the second half.
A quick breakaway saw the impressive Hamad Traore play Defrel in with an exquisite through ball, and the Frenchman evaded Leonardo Bonucci's challenge to level proceedings with a smart finish.