(REUTERS) - Juventus won 2-0 at Lazio on Friday to extend their winning run in Serie A to five matches thanks to an early own goal from Santiago Gentiletti and a glorious Paulo Dybala effort.
After a tricky start to the season, the champions have improved dramatically, and moved level on 27 points with fourth-placed Roma after a comfortable victory over lacklustre Lazio.
Massimiliano Allegri's side are now just four points behind leaders Napoli, having played a game more, and are firmly in the title race following a fine run.
Second-placed Inter Milan host Genoa on Saturday, while Roma are at Torino. Leaders Napoli visit lowly Bologna on Sunday.
Juve took the lead in the seventh minute when Dybala drilled a ball across the face of goal and Lazio centre back Gentiletti, struggling to adjust his body position, deflected it past goalkeeper Federico Marchetti.
Dybala added a second in the 32nd minute with an act of individual brilliance. The Argentina international flicked up Mario Mandzukic's pass, juggled the ball on his knee and slammed a 20-metre volley into the far corner of Marchetti's goal.
It was an under-strength Juve side that took to the field at the Stadio Olimpico, with influential midfielders Sami Khedira and Paul Pogba missing through injury and suspension respectively.
Despite the absentees, the visitors started well while the home side were one-paced in attack and failed to deal with Juve's intense pressing game.
Lazio heads dropped after Dybala added the second goal and chances were few and far between after the break, as Juventus kept the ball from their opponents effectively and the hosts grew increasingly ill-tempered.
Lazio have now lost five of their last six games and remain in 10th place on 19 points.