Juventus fall to Palermo

Palermo dent Juventus' Champions League qualification hopes as Napoli fail to close the gap in Italy's Serie A.

    Juve pleas fall on deaf ears as their poor run of form continues to blight their season [GALLO/GETTY]

    Juventus' woes continued as they lost their fourth match in a row with a 2-1 loss at Palermo, dropping the struggling 27-time champions into eighth place in Italy's Serie A.

    Second-placed Napoli froze in the spotlight when they lost 2-0 at mid-table Chievo, missing the opportunity to move within two points of leaders AC Milan, who drew 0-0 with Lazio.

    AS Roma suffered a disappointing 1-1 home draw with second-bottom Brescia.

    Early lead

    Juventus have not been able to overcome a series of injuries that have decimated their attack, taking out Fabio Quagliarella, Simone Pepe and Luca Toni.

    Palermo took an early lead, just as they had done against Inter Milan at the weekend, as Javier Pastore crossed from deep and Fabrizio Miccoli took the ball in his stride before finishing under goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon from a tight angle.

    Giulio Migliaccio then headed home a Mattia Cassani cross after a short corner to make it 2-0.

    Claudio Marchisio got Juventus back into the match as he finished through a crowd of bodies after goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu had made a mess of another corner.

    Although they had blown a 2-0 lead against Inter, this time Palermo held out.

    Juventus also lost 2-1 to Udinese at the weekend, and were eliminated 2-0 by Roma in the Italian Cup quarter finals last week following a 0-0 draw with Sampdoria.

    Napoli frustrated

    Chievo completed the double over their opponents  this season with a 2-0 win in Verona.

    Serie A results

    Wednesday February 2

     Cesena 1-1 Catania
     Chievo 2-0 Napoli
     Fiorentina 1-0 Genoa
     Palermo 2-1 Juventus
     Parma 0-1 Lecce
     Roma 1-1 Brescia
     Sampdoria 0-1 Cagliari
     Udinese 1-1 Bologna

    Davide Moscardelli and Gennaro Sardo scored the goals to down an out of sorts Napoli who dropped to five points off leaders AC Milan.

    On six minutes Sardo was off target with a header and soon after Davide Mandelli shot just wide.

    Napoli created nothing going forward and Chievo went deservedly ahead on 20 minutes with a brilliant goal from Moscardelli, who took down a Sergio Pellissier chipped pass in the area and then curled a peach of a left footer around a defender and in off the far post.

    It should have been two on 36 minutes as Napoli goalkeeper Morgan De Sanctis charged from his area to deny Pellissier but with the simple task of lobbing the ball back over the goalkeeper and into the unguarded net, Moscardelli missed the ball completely.

    Incredibly, in injury time Napoli had a similar chance with Chievo goalkeeper Stefano Sorrentino left stranded in no-man's land after a mistake by Marco Andreoli but Serie A top goalscorer Edinson Cavani, with an identical task to Moscardelli's earlier one, scuffed his shot horribly off target.

    Any hope Napoli had of improving after the break was quashed on 50 minutes as Sardo won a 50-50 challenge and then somehow ran through three defenders before cleverly slotting the ball past De Sanctis.

    It took the visitors until 10 minutes from time to finally threaten as Christian Maggio crossed for Cavani who headed just wide.

    But five minutes from time Moscardelli wasted a chance to close out the game on the counter, blazing over from eight yards. 

    SOURCE: Agencies


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