Juventus stroll past Atalanta

Italian champions extend lead at the top of Serie A with decisive victory over 10-man Atalanta as AC Milan also win.

The result puts the defending champions seven points clear of second-placed Inter Milan [GALLO/GETTY]
The result puts the defending champions seven points clear of second-placed Inter Milan [GALLO/GETTY]

Defending champions Juventus strolled to a 3-0 win over 10-man Atalanta in Italy’s Serie A on Sunday, scoring the opening goal after just 80 seconds.

Mirko Vucinic, Andrea Pirlo and Claudio Marchisio all scored before Thomas Manfredini was sent off after picking up a second yellow card, leaving Atalanta with 10 men for nearly an hour.

AC Milan also got off to a fast start on their way to a 4-1 victory at home to Pescara as Antonio Nocerino netted after 35 seconds. Pescara scored two own goals before Stephan El Shaarawy capped Milan’s celebrations of the 113th anniversary of their founding.

Juventus are seven points clear of second-placed Inter Milan at the top of the standings.

In control

Juventus have not lost at home to Atalanta since 1989 and it was clear early on that the streak would continue.

Vucinic raced onto Sebastian Giovinco’s pass and into the area before firing across goal, into the bottom right corner.

Atalanta should have levelled immediately when German Denis took advantage of a Luca Marrone error and raced through one-on-one with Gianluigi Buffon, but the Juventus goalkeeper pulled off a brilliant save.

Juventus doubled their lead in the 14th minute when Pirlo curled a stunning 30-yard free kick into the top left corner, giving Atalanta goalkeeper Andrea Consigli no chance.

Claudio Marchisio rifled in a third from the edge of the area before Manfredini picked up two yellow cards in a minute and was dismissed.

Juventus had a total of 28 shots on goal but failed to extend their lead.

There was a festive atmosphere at San Siro as Milan celebrated their anniversary. And they had an early goal when Nocerino slotted home Stephan El Shaarawy’s cross from five yards.

Results & fixtures

Saturday 15 December

Lazio 1-0 Inter Milan
Udinese 1-1 Palermo

Sunday 16 December

AC Milan 4-1 Pescara
Catania 3-1 Sampdoria
Chievo Verona 1-0 AS Roma
Fiorentina 4-1 Siena
Genoa 1-1 Torino
Juventus 3-0 Atalanta
Parma 4-1 Cagliari

It took until the 51st minute for Milan to double their lead, however. The Rossoneri were given an early Christmas present when Pescara striker Elvis Abbruscato headed in Robinho’s corner.

Pescara grabbed one back five minutes later as Christian Terlizzi was left unmarked to head home Romulo Togni’s free kick.

They almost levelled shortly afterward but Antonio Balzano sent a long-range effort crashing off the post.

Pescara then scored another own goal when Jonathas headed in El Shaarawy’s corner, before the young striker scored his 14th league goal of the season.

Siena lose

Pescara remain in 18th place, three points above bottom club Siena who were crushed 4-1 by Fiorentina in the Tuscan derby.

Luca Toni headed Fiorentina in front in the 15th minute and won a penalty three minutes later when he was held back by Felipe.

Gianluca Pegolo got a hand to David Pizarro’s penalty but could not stop it.

Pizarro, who had just returned from the funeral of his 32-year-old sister in Chile, wept as he celebrated, pointing to the sky.

Alberto Aquilani extended Fiorentina’s lead on the stroke of half-time, tapping in Romulo’s cross.

Siena got one back in the 70th through Reginaldo, before Toni scored his second.

Massimo Paci was sent off three minutes from time following a second booking to complete Siena’s misery, but Aquilani blazed the resulting penalty over the crossbar.

Fiorentina leapfrogged Roma into fifth place after the capital side lost 1-0 at Chievo Verona. Sergio Pellissier scored three minutes from time, in thick fog, to end Roma’s run of four league wins.

Genoa are a point behind Pescara after drawing 1-1 at home to Torino. Andreas Granqvist levelled after Rolando Bianchi had headed Torino in front.

Elsewhere, Parma came from behind to beat Cagliari 4-1.

Ishak Belfodil scored twice, either side of a goal from Jonathan Biabiany and a penalty from Jaime Valdes, after Marco Sau had given Cagliari the lead.

Catania also came from behind to win 3-1 at home to Sampdoria, with goals from Argentines Mario Paglialunga, Gonzalo Bergessio and Lucas Castro. Enzo Maresca scored from the spot for Samp.

Source : AP

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