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Llorente, Tevez send Juve top

24 Nov 2013 16:31:52

Llorente, Tevez send Juve top

Second-half strikes from Fernando Llorente and Carlos Tevez secured a 2-0 win away to Livorno on Sunday to send champions Juventus top of Italy's Serie A for the first time this season.

Elsewhere, Lazio escaped with a 1-1 draw away to 10-man Sampdoria while Fiorentina's hopes of challenging for a place in Europe this season were dented by a 1-0 defeat away to dominant Udinese.

Juventus now have a two-point cushion on overnight leaders Roma ahead of the capital side's home game against struggling Cagliari on Monday.

Napoli, stunned 1-0 at home by Parma on Saturday, are now six points off the pace in third but could see Inter match them on 28 points if the Nerazzurri win away at Bologna in Sunday's late game.

Juventus travelled to Tuscany looking for their fourth successive league win, having kept a clean sheet in their three previous games.

And despite missing several defenders due to injury and suspension, prompting coach Antonio Conte to slot midfielder Arturo Vidal in the middle of his back three, the Bianconeri weathered a frustrating first period and made the difference in 12 second-half minutes.

Goalscoring action was sparse in a frustrating first half for both sides.

However Juventus saw claims for a penalty waved away just before the hour despite the ball clearly coming off the arm of Federico Ceccherini.

And minutes later Llorente broke the deadlock in the simplest of fashions, the big Spaniard volleying Paul Pogba's cross from the right past Bardi after the Frenchman had been set up by Asamoah.

Twelve minutes later Tevez virtually secured Juve's 11th win of the campaign with a low drive that beat Bardi at his near post after Llorente had done the hard work holding off several defenders to set up the Argentinian.

Although Roma could regain top spot with a win on Monday, results elsewhere would be welcomed by Juventus, who host FC Copenhagen on Wednesday in a Champions League clash they must win to have any hope of qualifying from Group B.

Two weeks after a 3-0 rout away to Juve, Napoli succumbed to their second successive defeat on Saturday when a late but fine individual effort from former Inter striker Antonio Cassano was enough to secure a surprise win for Parma.

Fiorentina also suffered a blow, failing to threaten during a trip to Udinese's tough Friuli Stadium that left 'La Viola' with their third defeat of the campaign, but still in fifth place.

Former Caen striker Thomas Heurtaux gave the hosts a 34th minute lead when he ghosted in at the back post to sidefoot Di Natale's freekick from deep on the left past a beaten 'keeper Neto.

Udinese were by far the dominant side and should have added to their tally in a second-half in which Fiorentina had little to offer.

Torino took advantage of Catania's recent slump to secure a 4-1 win at the Olympic Stadium, with Moroccan midfielder Omar El Kaddouri hitting a brace.

Sampdoria suffered a blow from the opening minute of the second half when Nenad Krsticic saw red for a challenge on Cristian Ledesma which left the Italian midfielder.

However the hosts rallied and substitute Roberto Soriano headed Samp into a shock 67th minute lead after 'keeper Federico Marchetti had fumbled at the crossbar following a poor clearance.

Samp looked to have secured all three points until their defence allowed Lorik Cana to weave his way towards the edge of the area where he beat Angelo Da Costa at his near post with a low drive.


AFP

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