Juventus increase lead, Bologna sink Napoli
Juventus extended their lead over title challengers Inter to seven points thanks to a 3-0 rout of Atalanta yesterday as Milan continued their Serie A resurgence with a 4-1 defeat of Pescara.
Champions Juve held a four-point lead going into their 17th match of the campaign but took full advantage of Inter’s 1-0 defeat away to Lazio on Saturday to pull clear of the pack.
In yesterday’s late match Napoli spurned the chance to leapfrog Inter into second place after two late goals gave Bologna a shock 3-2 away win.
Montenegrin striker Mirko Vucinic opened the scoring for Juve with barely 90 seconds on the clock, and midfield veteran Andrea Pirlo doubled the hosts’ lead on the quarter-hour with a sublime, curling free-kick.
Claudio Marchisio made it three for Juve with a low drive from the edge of the area after latching on to Sebastian Giovinco’s squared pass.
Atalanta’s Thomas Manfredini was red-carded for a second bookable offence just after the half-hour after a rash challenge on defender Giorgio Chiellini, and although they battled there was no way back for the Bergamo side.
Despite the growing gap, Juve coach Antonio Conte remained cautious: “It was a good result for us against a difficult team, but the season is far from over.
“Winning the title is never easy but through our good organisation and solid play we hope to show it’s within our grasp.”
Milan’s resurgence, following a disastrous start to the season, continued as they outclassed Pescara.
Alberto Nocerino finished off a great move to tap home from Stephan El Shaarawy’s squared pass in the first minute and then Pescara striker Elvis Abbruscato headed home Robinho’s cross to double the hosts’ lead.
Although Christian Terlizzi rose to meet a free-kick and reduce the arrears on the hour, Pescara scored another own goal through Brazilian striker Jonathas, who headed El Shaarawy’s corner past keeper Mattia Perin.
El Shaarawy was finally rewarded after powering down the left to slot home Giampaolo Pazzini’s low cross for his league-topping 14th goal of the season. Nocerino dedicated his goal to the victims of the latest shooting disaster to hit the United States.
“I dedicate this goal to the families of the children who were killed in America,” he said.
Fiorentina’s 4-1 rout of Siena, complete with a brace from former Italy striker Luca Toni, saw them leapfrog Roma into fifth place.
Roma had hoped to restore order on their away trip to Chievo, a match played in heavy fog, but suffered a 1-0 defeat following a late goal by Chievo striker Sergio Pellissier.
At the San Paolo, Uruguayan striker Edinson Cavani gave Napoli a 70th-minute lead after team-mate Alessandro Gamberini had bundled the ball home to level Manolo Gabbiadini’s 10th minute opener.
The three points looked to be secured, however Napoli’s concentration dipped in the final 10 minutes and Bologna punished their hosts with two quick goals in succession.
Panagiotis Kone levelled in spectacular fashion with a bicycle kick effort on 86 minutes and three minutes later Daniele Portanova rose to direct his header past a beaten Morgan De Sanctis to secure a shock win.
Bologna’s fifth win of the season moved them up three places to 13th.
And Portanova, making his first appearance since serving a four-month ban for his role in a match-fixing affair while at former club Siena, believes they can improve.
“I suffered a lot, so this goal is dedicated first to my family, and then to a true friend, a brother, Gabriele Bordoni,” said Portanova.
Bordoni is the lawyer who assisted Portanova during his legal wranglings.
Toni 15, 79; Pizarro 18 pen; Aquilani 44;
HT: 3-0. Att: 23,347.
Red card: Paci (S) 87.
Missed penalty: Aquilani (F) 88.
Paglialunga 55; Bergessio 65; Castro 90;
Maresca 29 pen;
HT: 0-1. Att: 12,000.
HT: 0-0. Att: 9,000.
HT: 1-1. Att: 16,000.
Vucinic 2; Pirlo 14; Marchisio 27;
HT: 3-0. Att: 38,625.
Red card: Manfredini (A) 32.
Nocerino 1; Abbruscato 51 og; Jonathas 79 og; El Shaarawy 81;
HT: 1-0. Att: 42,520.
Gamberini 50; Cavani 70;
Gabbiadini 10; Kone 86; Portanova 88;
HT: 0-1. Att: 25,000.
Belfodil 21, 86; Biabiany 54; Valdes 65 pen;
HT: 1-1. Att: 11,066.
14 goals: El Shaarawy (Milan).
12 goals: Cavani (Napoli).
10 goals: Klose (Lazio).
Friday: 18.00 Pescara vs Catania; 20.45 Cagliari vs Juventus.
Saturday: 12.30 Inter vs Genoa. 15.00 Atalanta vs Udinese; Bologna vs Parma; Palermo vs Fiorentina; Sampdoria vs Lazio; Siena vs Napoli; Torino vs Chievo. 20.45 Roma vs Milan.
Prima Divisione ‘A’
AlbinoLeffe vs Como 3-1; Carpi vs Lecce 1-0; Cremonese vs San Marino 1-1; FeralpiSalo vs Treviso 3-0; Lumezzane vs Tritium pp; Reggiana vs Trapani 1-3; V. Entella vs Cuneo 0-1.
Leading standings: Lecce, Carpi 29; Trapani, SudTirol 25; V. Entella 23; Pavia 22; Cuneo, Cremonese, Lumezzane 19.
Prima Divisione ‘B’
Avellino vs Catanzaro 2-0; Benevento vs Pisa 2-1; Carrarese vs Nocerina 2-1; Gubbio vs Andria 1-1; Paganese vs Latina 0-0 (abandoned at half-time); Prato vs Perugia 2-0; Sorrento vs Frosinone 2-2; Viareggio vs Barletta 3-0.
Leading standings: Avellino 26; Latina, Pisa 24; Frosinone 23; Prato, Gubbio 22; Viareggio, Nocerina, Paganese 20.