A well-taken second-half strike from Argentinian midfielder Roberto Pereyra sealed a precious 1-0 win for Udinese away to Cagliari to keep the northerners' push for a place in Europe on track on Saturday.

Cagliari, who started the day only two places but nine points behind Udinese in 10th, finished the match with 10 men after Mauricio Pinilla was shown a straight red for a ridiculous shove from behind on Giampiero Pinzi.

However, by then the damage had been done as Udinese moved up to fifth ahead of the rest of the weekend's programme.

Elsewhere Saturday, Atalanta were denied victory against Bologna by a superbly-worked goal from Alberto Gilardino in a 1-1 draw.

Atalanta had the edge over the Rossoblu in rainy Bergamo and came close to breaking the deadlock in a lively second half thanks to Croatian teenager Marko Livaja.

Minutes later, a poor punched clearance by Bologna goalkeeper Gianluca Curci from Davide Brivio's left-wing cross fell to Giorgi Luigi, who with an acrobatic bicycle kick bundled the ball into the net.

Atalanta's celebrations lasted all too briefly, however.

When Alessandro Diamanti powered down the left he was given space to deliver an inch-perfect cross into the area for Gilardino, who controlled well before turning the defence and beating Andrea Consigli in the home goal.

Goals by Gokhan Inler, Goran Pandev and Blerim Dzemaili handed Napoli a valuable 3-0 win away to rock-bottom Pescara and put Juventus's title celebrations on hold for at least another week.

Juventus began the day with an 11-point lead on Napoli and would have secured their 29th Scudetto with a win over Torino on Sunday had Pescara beaten Napoli or held the visitors to a draw.

Given Pescara have only won six times in 33 games, that seemed a tall order for the league new boys who, after a 24th defeat of the season, seem destined for a return to Serie B.

Napoli are now nine points shy of Juventus before the 'Derby della Mole' on Sunday and now have a 10-point lead on AC Milan in third ahead of Catania's visit to the San Siro.

Source: AFP