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Juventus go seven points clear at top

Serie A leaders Juventus secure 18th win in 26 games as snow disrupts Italian fixtures ahead of Milan derby.
Last Modified: 24 Feb 2013 19:48
Swiss international Stephan Lichsteiner was on form for Juventus and scored the opener [AP]

Goals from Paul Pogba, Sebastian Giovinco, Stephan Lichsteiner eased Juventus to a 3-0 home win over Siena and a seven-point lead on idle Serie A title challengers Napoli on Sunday.

Third-placed AC Milan are now 13 points adrift with even more importance on the San Siro derby against Inter Milan, a further point back, set for later on Sunday.

Napoli and fourth-placed Lazio play their respective matches on Monday, which handed Juventus the perfect opportunity to distance their title rivals against a Siena side fighting for its Serie A survival.

Serie A Results

Sunday February 25

 Sampdoria 2-0 Chievo
 Atalanta 2-3 Roma
 Bologna P-P Fiorentina
 Cagliari 4-3 Torino 
 Juventus 3-0 Siena 
 Parma 1-2 Catania 
 Inter Milan v AC Milan 

Swiss international defender Lichsteiner was on form throughout the day and came close to beating Gianluca Pegolo with a strike which shaved the post in the first half.

Lichsteiner finally got lucky when an angled cross from Andrea Pirlo was parried by Pegolo and the ball bounced off the Swiss and into the net on the half hour.

Siena had few real chances in the match and Italy forward Giovinco virtually put the match beyond reach in the 74th minute when he pounced on the rebound from Pirlo's free-kick to double Juve's lead.

Frenchman Pogba put the icing on Juve's performance by toying with the Siena defence on the edge of the area before unleashing a low strike which beat Pegolo at his far post.

Juventus's 18th win in 26 games leaves Antonio Conte's side in control at the top of Serie A with a seven point cushion on Napoli who travel to Udinese on Monday and 14 in front of both AC Milan and Lazio.

Fiorentina's hopes of moving up from sixth place were put on hold after their match at home to Bologna was postponed due to heavy snow.

Roma revival

The winter weather played havoc with preparations for several games, all of which took place under varying conditions.

Roma's visit to snow-hit Bergamo side Atalanta got off to the worst possible start when Croatian teenager Marko Livaja put the hosts ahead with a superb strike eight minutes in.

Roma levelled through Marquinho's fine individual effort four minutes later and the Giallorossi moved into the lead just after the half hour thanks to Miralem Pjanic's free-kick.

In worsening conditions and with visibility poor, Livaja, 19, restored parity on the stroke of half-time.

Roma looked to be heading for only their fifth draw of the campaign until Greek defender Vassilas Torosidis got on the end of American Michael Bradley's cross in the 71st minute to beat Andrea Consigli in the Atalanta net.

Atalanta finished the match with ten men after Matteo Contini was given his marching orders two minutes from the whistle for slapping Roma midfielder Simone Perrotta.

Catania maintained their superb campaign with a shock 2-1 win away to Parma which kept the Sardinians in seventh and well within sight of a place in European football next season.

The weekend's shootout, however, took place back on the island where Cagliari claimed a 4-3 win over nine-man Torino.

The match was heading for a 2-2 draw until Torino pair Angelo Ogbonna and Abou Diop were red carded within minutes of each other inside the final 10 minutes.

Mauricio Pinilla stepped up to put the hosts 3-2 ahead after being fouled by Ogbonna, only for Rolando Bianchi to pull Torino level from the spot minutes later after he was fouled in the area.

Cagliari finally made their two-man advantage count in injury time when Daniele Conti's shot from distance took a deflection off Kamil Glik to leave Jean-Francois Gillet stranded in the Torino net.

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Source:
AFP
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