Serie A - Juve crush Palermo to go top
With previous table-toppers Udinese losing 2-0 at a Parma side inspired by Juve old-boy Sebastian Giovinco, Antonio Conte’s side moved level on 22 points with Lazio - but a superior goal difference places them at a summit they have been unfamiliar with in recent seasons.
It was a slick, clinical performance from the hosts, who were irresistible going forward at times and had the benefit of Gianluigi Buffon when Palermo did get behind their defence, which was well-protected by the combative Arturo Vidal.
The first two goals were well created and well taken, although they were aided somewhat by slack marking: Marchisio’s third, however, was a work of beauty and the icing on the cake for a champions’ performance.
The Sicilians, meanwhile, still have not scored an away Serie A goal this season and, while they lacked the same spark as Juve going forward, of greater concern was their haphazard positional play at the back.
"It was a treacherous game on paper and that's how it turned out on the field. If we hadn't been on our toes, we could have been surprised," said Conte.
His opposite number Devis Mangia was baffled by his team's poor away form.
"Perhaps we need to go for a psychoanalysis to cure these problems we are suffering when we travel," he said.
Chiellini had earlier missed a sitter, putting wide from three yards after a superb bending ball from Andrea Pirlo, who himself hit the woodwork with a curler from the edge of the box.
Rampaging right-back Stephan Lichtsteiner was giving Palermo all kinds of problems with his direct running and whipped crosses, and he also hit the side netting from an acute angle, while Marchisio drilled wide after one of the Swiss’s centres caused havoc in the box.
But it was not all Juventus, as the visitors looked lively on the break, with midfielder Josip Ilicic denied three times an inspired Buffon.
First the Italy goalkeeper spread himself superbly to block the Slovenian’s close-range finish from the left; next Buffon raced out of his box when Ilicic was put clean through, a poor first touch and apparent fear of the giant shot-stopper enough to see the chance disappear; then a more straightforward stop was made from a long-range effort.
The match was all-but over as a contest only two minutes into the second half though, when Lichtsteiner’s low diagonal ball from halfway was latched on to by Matri, who was afforded far too much time and space by the visiting defence, able to race inside and flash a low finish across the keeper and inside the far post.
It was a great take and finish but - much like the slack marking for the first goal - Federico Balzaretti and co. must take responsibility for allowing Juve in.
The Bianconeri were enjoying themselves now as Mirko Vucinic had a curling shot blocked, while another similar effort from the Montenegrin flew inches wide after he was picked out by a wonderful crossfield pass from Pirlo.
It may have been game over, but Palermo rallied gamely as they applied some pressure on the hosts. They were hardly rewarded though as, after one such move broke down, Juve countered and scored a superb third.
A cute pass down the left from Pirlo started it off, as Vucinic cut inside from the wing and slid a low ball in for Matri - he let the ball run through his legs for Marchisio, who controlled and finished for the goal his all-round play deserved.
Vucinic had a chipped effort land on the roof of the net, his last act as Fabio Quagliarella continued his comeback from a long-term knee injury with an appearance from the bench.
Poor Palermo right-back Eros Pisano had been given a torrid time by Vucinic, and Quagliarella’s first act was to turn him inside and out with a superb piece of skill.
The former Napoli and Udinese striker was making up for lost time, drilling one crisp effort wide and toying with Pisano with alarming frequency.
Another player with time on his mind is Juve legend Alessandro Del Piero, who looked bright in his late cameo and had a couple of efforts blocked.
In injury time Fabrizio Miccoli - mercilessly jeered by the home fans on account of his spell in Turin - toe-poked just wide but Palermo’s away goal drought continued as Juve closed out a comfortable victory.