"We should not forget that Juventus have been on this course for a long time," said Conte, who led the Bianconeri to the first three of their eight successive titles. "There was a gap created that is so big, so vast, that today we need to be honest and say it will be hard to remove that gap in one or two years.
"But I think apart from the 15 minutes after (Stefano) Sensi went off ... I think the match was balanced. We could have also won but congratulations to Juventus." Lautaro Martinez had converted a penalty in the 18th minute for Inter to cancel out Paulo Dybala's fourth-minute opener.
The Derby d'Italia victory sent defending champion Juventus top, a point above Inter and three above Atalanta. "Overtaking (Inter) at this time has little meaning, what matters is the performance of personality and character against a strong team, which had always won up to this moment," Juventus coach Maurizio Sarri said.
"We entered the game with a good approach, and we deserved to win." Juventus got off to the perfect start as Miralem Pjanic floated a ball over the top for Dybala to run onto and slot past the outstretched hand of Inter goalkeeper Samir Handanovic.
Cristiano Ronaldo almost doubled Juve's lead five minutes later but his effort crashed off the crossbar. Juventus defender Matthijs de Ligt has struggled since his big-money move from Ajax and he gave away a penalty for handball. Lautaro fired the spot kick into the bottom left corner.
Ronaldo thought he had restored Juve's advantage four minutes from halftime but Dybala had strayed offside when he provided the assist and the goal was disallowed. Matias Vecino also hit the woodwork for Inter midway through the second half.
Juventus won the match with a well-worked team move. Pjanic and Rodrigo Bentancur exchanged quick passes before the latter set up Higuain, who controlled the ball before driving it past Handanovic. FIRST MATCH
Atalanta marked its first match in its newly renovated stadium with a dominant 3-1 victory over Lecce. Duvan Zapata and Alejandro "Papu" Gomez gave Atalanta a comfortable halftime lead, which was extended by Robin Gosens, shortly after the interval.
It would have been more but for Lecce goalkeeper Gabriel. Lecce defender Fabio Lucioni netted a consolation late on for his first Serie A goal. It was the first time Atalanta had played at Gewiss Stadium, where works will continue until 2022.
Atalanta had played its home Serie A matches at Parma's Stadio Tardini. It will continue playing its home Champions League matches at San Siro in Milan. OTHER GAMES Bologna and Lazio played out an eventful 2-2 draw that saw two red cards and a missed penalty.
All the goals were scored in the first half with Italy forward Ciro Immobile twice equalizing for Lazio. Immobile had already been substituted when Lazio was awarded a late penalty after Francesco Acerbi was tripped by Rodrigo Palacio. Joaquin Correa fired his spot kick onto the crossbar.
Lazio midfielder Lucas Leiva was sent off in the 59th minute and Bologna counterpart Gary Medel followed him 10 minutes later. Napoli drew 0-0 at Torino, while Roma was held 1-1 by Cagliari. Fiorentina beat Udinese 1-0.
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