Juve pull 12 points clear of Roma

16 February 2014 05:02

Champions Juventus dug deep against a spirited Chievo to beat the Serie A strugglers 3-1 in Turin and take their lead over Roma to 12 points on Sunday.

Roma sit second with a game in hand and will have a chance to bring the gap back to nine points at the Olympic Stadium later if they account for Sampdoria.

Elsewhere, third-placed Napoli extended their lead over Fiorentina to six points with a 2-0 away win at struggling Sassuolo with goals from Blerim Dzemaili and Lorenzo Insigne coming in either half.

Parma, meanwhile, turned on the class away to Atalanta to stun the Bergamo side 4-0, a result which moved Roberto Donadoni's men up to sixth at the expense of Verona.

Parma also have a game in hand, their encounter with Roma being rained off two weeks ago, and are now only three points behind fifth-placed Inter, who beat Fiorentina 2-1 on Saturday.

For entertainment value, the Genoa v Udinese clash which finished 3-3 was hard to beat.

Udinese took the lead three times thanks to Dusan Basta, Bruno Fernandes and Luis Muriel only for Genoa to pull level three times thanks to Moussa Konate and an Alberto Gilardino double in the space of ten second-half minutes.

Three players were sent off in a bad-tempered finish to Livorno's 2-1 away win at Cagliari, which moved the visitors out of the relegation zone at the expense of Catania, who had pulled clear thanks to a 3-1 rout of Lazio earlier.

Brazilian Emerson gave Livorno the lead just before the break with a wonderful strike from 35 metres which had echoes of Mario Balotelli's winner for Milan against Bologna on Friday.

A Paulinho penalty eight minutes after the restart gave the visitors a two-goal cushion until Nene struck for the hosts on 64 minutes.

Cagliari suffered a blow when Daniele Conti saw red on 71 minutes for dissent, but he was soon followed by Livorno pair Federico Ceccherini, for a second bookable offence, and Marco Benassi after he was shown a straight red for a foul on Mauricio Pinilla.

Juventus broke the deadlock in the 17th minute when winger Kwadwo Asamoah capped a one-two with Fernando Llorente with a left-foot strike from outside the area that left Michael Agazzi in the Chievo net with no chance.

Juve coach Antonio Conte left Frenchman Paul Pogba on the bench and stand-in Claudio Marchisio made the most of his rare start to give Juve a 2-0 lead on the half-hour when he tapped home Agazzi's rebound from Andrea Pirlo's free kick.

Juve were pegged back seven minutes after the restart when a defensive mix-up left Martin Caceres bundling the ball past Gianluigi Buffon and into his own net.

But Juve soon restored their two-goal cushion, in textbook fashion, when Llorente, left unmarked in the Chievo box, headed Pirlo's corner from the left past a flailing Agazzi as his defence looked on.

At Sassuolo Dzemaili struck on the half-volley from the edge of the area to give Napoli a 37th minute opener after Marek Hamsik's flick-on from a cutback at the left byline.

Lorenzo Insigne gave Rafael Benitez's visitors a two-goal cushion 10 minutes after the restart when he ran on to Hamsik's through ball on the left before feinting and sending a curling shot past Gianluca Pegolo.

Source: AFP