Mario Mandzukic often scores important goals and he did so again as he helped Juventus to a 1-0 win over title rival Inter Milan in the Derby d’Italia on Friday.

The imposing Croatia striker headed home in the 66th minute after Inter had missed a couple of golden opportunities as Juventus continued its seemingly unstoppable march to an eighth successive Serie A title.

Juventus' Cristiano Ronaldo, 3rd from left, heads the ball during the Serie A soccer match between Juventus and Inter Milan at the Turin Allianz stadium, Italy, Friday, Dec. (Andrea Di Marco/ANSA via AP)
Juventus’ Cristiano Ronaldo, 3rd from left, heads the ball during the Serie A soccer match between Juventus and Inter Milan at the Turin Allianz stadium, Italy, Friday, Dec. (Andrea Di Marco/ANSA via AP)

Juventus has an 11-point lead over second-placed Napoli, which hosts lowly Frosinone on Saturday. Third-place Inter is now 14 points behind Juventus.

Inter Milan coach Luciano Spalletti enters the pitch prior to the Serie A soccer match between Juventus and Inter Milan at the Turin Allianz stadium, Italy, Friday, Dec. (Andrea Di Marco/ANSA via AP)
Inter Milan coach Luciano Spalletti enters the pitch prior to the Serie A soccer match between Juventus and Inter Milan at the Turin Allianz stadium, Italy, Friday, Dec. (Andrea Di Marco/ANSA via AP)

Paulo Dybala had the first chance of the match but headed Cristano Ronaldo’s cross over the bar after drifting into the penalty area.

Inter had two great chances in quick succession. Mauro Icardi did well to hold the ball up and pick out a good run from an unmarked Roberto Gagliardini, but his scuffed finish came off the inside of the right post.

Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri gestures during the Serie A soccer match between Juventus and Inter Milan at the Turin Allianz stadium, Italy, Friday, Dec. (Alessandro Di Marco/ANSA via AP)
Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri gestures during the Serie A soccer match between Juventus and Inter Milan at the Turin Allianz stadium, Italy, Friday, Dec. (Alessandro Di Marco/ANSA via AP)

Moments later Icardi and Ivan Perisic both went for a Matteo Politano cross and ended up colliding with each other.

Juventus' Joao Cancelo, right, challenges Inter's Marcelo Brozovic  during the Serie A soccer match between Juventus and Inter Milan at the Turin Allianz stadium, Italy, Friday, Dec. (Alessandro Di Marco/ANSA via AP)
Juventus’ Joao Cancelo, right, challenges Inter’s Marcelo Brozovic during the Serie A soccer match between Juventus and Inter Milan at the Turin Allianz stadium, Italy, Friday, Dec. (Alessandro Di Marco/ANSA via AP)

Juventus began to take control and Marcelo Brozovic had to desperately slide in to block Rodrigo Bentancur’s effort.

Juventus' Cristiano Ronaldo performs an acrobatic kick during the Serie A soccer match between Juventus and Inter Milan at the Turin Allianz stadium, Italy, Friday, Dec. (Andrea Di Marco/ANSA via AP)
Juventus’ Cristiano Ronaldo performs an acrobatic kick during the Serie A soccer match between Juventus and Inter Milan at the Turin Allianz stadium, Italy, Friday, Dec. (Andrea Di Marco/ANSA via AP)

Veteran defender Giorgio Chiellini scored his first goal in two years in last week’s 3-0 win at Fiorentina and he almost got another one but he headed the resulting corner narrowly over.

Juventus finally broke the deadlock when former Inter midfielder Joao Cancelo put in a delightful cross from the left for Mandzukic — who netted in the World Cup final defeat to France — to nod in at the far post.

Inter's Mauro Icardi, left, and Juventus' Giorgio Chiellini vie for the ball during their Serie A soccer match at the Turin Allianz stadium, Italy, Friday, Dec. (Andrea Di Marco/ANSA via AP)
Inter’s Mauro Icardi, left, and Juventus’ Giorgio Chiellini vie for the ball during their Serie A soccer match at the Turin Allianz stadium, Italy, Friday, Dec. (Andrea Di Marco/ANSA via AP)

There was more positive news for Juventus as midfielder Emre Can came on late on for his first appearance for the Bianconeri since Oct. 6, having undergone surgery to have a thyroid nodule removed.

Juventus' Paulo Dybala is challenged by Inter's Roberto Gagliardini, right, during the Serie A soccer match between Juventus and Inter Milan at the Turin Allianz stadium, Italy, Friday, Dec. (Alessandro Di Marco/ANSA via AP)
Juventus’ Paulo Dybala is challenged by Inter’s Roberto Gagliardini, right, during the Serie A soccer match between Juventus and Inter Milan at the Turin Allianz stadium, Italy, Friday, Dec. (Alessandro Di Marco/ANSA via AP)

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Source: The Associated Press

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