Juventus regain top spot in Serie A

 

Juventus regained top spot in Serie A thanks to substitute Alessandro Del Piero's decisive goal in a hard-fought 2-1 home victory over Champions League hopefuls Lazio.

The unbeaten Turin outfit found themselves toppled at the summit by AC Milan last night after the Rossoneri won 1-0 at Chievo, but Simone Pepe set them on their way tonight with the opening goal after half an hour.

Stefano Mauri equalised for the visitors on the stroke of half-time but Del Piero grabbed an 82nd-minute winner with a superb free-kick to lift Antonio Conte's side a point above Milan with six games left.

Libor Kozak was sent off in stoppage time for a second bookable offence to add to Lazio's misery.

Roma struck twice late in the second half to defeat Udinese 3-1 and keep their Champions League hopes alive.

Daniel Osvaldo put the home team in front in the eighth minute, but Luis Enrique's side were pegged back as Gelson Fernandes equalised two minutes before half-time.

Udinese goalkeeper Samir Handanovic produced a wonderful display to repel Roma's efforts after the restart but could do nothing to keep out Francesco Totti's close-range effort four minutes from time, and Marquinho made it 3-1 at the death.

Napoli's hopes of securing European football suffered another setback as Walter Mazzarri's side fell to a 3-1 home defeat to Atalanta and had Macedonian striker Goran Pandev sent off.

Giacomo Bonaventura's 10th-minute opener for the mid-table visitors sent Napoli on their way to a third consecutive league defeat which left Mazzarri's men outside the UEFA Europa League qualifying places.

Ezequiel Lavezzi equalised for the home side, but second-half scores by Gianpaolo Bellini Carlos Carmona put the game out of reach.

Diego Milito netted twice as Inter Milan snatched a 2-1 win to bolster their European bid at home to Siena.

The visitors took an eighth-minute lead through Gaetano D'Agostino only for Milito to level on 42 minutes.

The Argentina striker then grabbed the winner from the penalty spot on 81 minutes after substitute Yugo Nagatomo was felled in the area.

Siena's night got worse in stoppage time when goalkeeper Gianluca Pegolo was dismissed for his protests with the referee.

The win moved Inter two points behind the Europa League places.

Elsewhere, Parma cruised to a comfortable 2-0 win over fellow strugglers Novara thanks to first-half goals from Sebastian Giovinco and Jonathan Moreira.

Novara midfielder Marco Rigoni missed a penalty in the second half as the relegation-threatened visitors failed to make the breakthrough.

Cesena kept alive their slim hopes of avoiding the drop by salvaging a 1-1 draw at fellow strugglers Genoa.

Marco Rossi opened the scoring for the home side at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris, but Adrian Mutu's reply 14 minutes from time ensured the points were shared.

Lecce's bid to escape relegation received another boost as they struck twice in the last two minutes to come from behind and claim a 2-1 win at 10-man Catania.

Gonzalo Bergessio put Catania ahead in the 52nd minute and Lecce should have equalised after the hour mark but David Di Michele missed a penalty.

However, substitute Daniele Corvia drew Lecce level in the 88th minute with Catania goalkeeper Juan Pablo Carrizo handed his marching orders for a second bookable offence. Di Michele then made amends for his earlier miss and netted the winner soon after.

Finally, Fiorentina were held to a goalless home draw by Palermo.

PA

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