Milan sink Samp as Inter confirm draw king status

23 February 2014 08:02

Carlos Tevez struck his 14th league goal of the campaign to secure a 1-0 derby win over Torino and help Juventus restore their nine-point lead over second-placed Roma on Sunday.

Roma, who still have a game in hand, reduced the gap to six points with a 1-0 win away to Bologna on Saturday.

However a superb strike from Tevez, who turned on Kwadwo Asamoah's delivery from the left to beat Daniele Padelli with a half volley on the half-hour, proved enough to give Antonio Conte's side their 17th consecutive win.

Torino have not beaten Juventus in the league since a 2-1 win in 1995 and Juve were unbeaten in their 16 previous league outings, a streak which included 14 wins and 43 goals.

With the statistics on their side, Juventus were expected to outclass Giampiero Ventura's men at Juventus Stadium.

However the champions were frustrated throughout by a determined Torino, who had strong claims for a penalty waved away when Andrea Pirlo fouled Omar El Kaddouri.

"From where I was standing, there was no contact made," said Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon.

Juventus also escaped seeing Arturo Vidal sent off after a nasty challenge on Matteo Darmian. The Chilean, who had already been cautioned in the first half for handball, escaped a second yellow card and was promptly replaced with Claudio Marchisio.

Tevez's strike means he is now joint top scorer in Serie A with Fiorentina's Giuseppe Rossi, who has been out injured for nearly two months.

"It was a good goal, but it's good to score any goal," said the Argentinian.

Earlier Adel Taarabt and Adil Rami scored either side of half-time to secure a precious 2-0 win for AC Milan away to 10-man Sampdoria and keep the struggling Serie A giants' resurgence on track.

Milan have now lost only once in the league under Clarence Seedorf and their second win on the trot, following a 3-1 reverse to Napoli two weeks ago, was all the sweeter as city rivals Inter were held to a 1-1 draw by struggling Cagliari at the San Siro.

It was the Nerazzurri's 10th draw this season, a largely unenvied feat shared only by Cagliari.

Milan are now only five points behind Inter in the first Europa League qualifying spot, but Seedorf called for calm.

"The priority is for this squad to keep on growing, then the results will come. This win will give us a mental boost in that respect," Seedorf told Sky Sport Italia.

Rami, who joined the club from Valencia where he spent long spells on the substitutes' bench, said: "I went four months without playing and that was a tough period for me.

"I've worked hard to be ready and I have a strong character. Credit as well to my teammates who always gave me confidence and the coach too."

Napoli, in third at 13 points off the leaders' pace, host Genoa in one of two matches programmed on Monday.

Milan were handed a boost when Sampdoria striker Maxi Lopez saw red on 72 minutes after receiving two bookings in quick succession, the second for a gesture at the referee.

A week after a 3-0 rout at Roma, during which Daniele Gastaldello was sent off, Mihajlovic was furious with the Argentinian.

"These things make me crazy," said the Serbian.

"We can't afford to have players sent off needlessly. I will be speaking to Lopez on Tuesday."

Inter, meanwhile, confirmed their status as Serie A's draw kings, along with Cagliari, after failing to capitalise on their clear domination of their visitors.

Mauricio Pinilla gave the Sardinians a 40th minute lead from the spot and although Inter levelled seven minutes into the second half thanks to Rolando they were unable to score more.

Inter coach Walter Mazzarri insisted his side had been denied a penalty when Mauro Icardi suffered a foul in the box.

But the former Napoli handler also applauded Cagliari's tactics.

"I don't usually want to talk about refereeing decisions, but this one was so blatant that I have to," Mazzarri told Sky Sport.

"Cagliari were strong against us. They came here with a team adapted to this kind of game."

Asked if he had felt the wrath of Thohir, the Italian added: "When you don't win of course you get angry. I don't know if he is, but I certainly am."

Source: AFP

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