Juventus beats Catania to extend Serie A lead to nine points

Associated Press
3/10/2013 2:31:10 PM
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ROME -- Juventus extended its lead atop Serie A to a commanding nine points Sunday with a stoppage-time 1-0 win over visiting Catania, while second-place Napoli lost 2-0 at Chievo Verona.

Emanuele Giaccherini scored the winner for Juventus in the first minute of added time, finding the target from the edge of the box following a cross from Paul Pogba, the 19-year-old French forward who left Manchester United after last season.

"I hope my goal is the one that seals the title," Giaccherini said. "Now we've got to wrap it up."

In Verona, Senegalese defender Boukary Drame put Chievo ahead 12 minutes in and French forward Cyril Thereau doubled the lead in the 43rd as Napoli goalkeeper Morgan De Sanctis had a disappointing day.

Napoli forward Edinson Cavani also struggled, having a penalty saved by Chievo goalkeeper Christian Puggioni in the 13th.

"Looking at the other results, today's points are worth much more than the regular three," Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon said. "They're worth at least six. ... I think Milan is the best in form of the followers."

With only 10 rounds remaining in the Italian league, Napoli at this point should be more worried about getting overtaken by third-place AC Milan, which is just two points behind after beating Genoa 2-0 Friday to extend its unbeaten streak to 11 matches ahead of Tuesday's key Champions League match at Barcelona.

"There are still 30 points up for grabs," Napoli manager Walter Mazzarri said. "We have 10 'finals' from now until the end of the season."

Meanwhile, Fiorentina moved into fourth with a 2-0 win at Lazio, which dropped down into a tie for fifth with Inter Milan following its 1-0 loss at home to Bologna.

Stevan Jovetic put Fiorentina ahead 20 minutes in at the Stadio Olimpico after receiving a backheel pass from Borja Valero, and Adem Ljajic doubled the lead in the 50th with a curving free kick over a Lazio wall.

At the start of the match, Lazio supporters targeted UEFA President Michel Platini with an offensive banner after the team was ordered to play its next two European home matches in an empty stadium due to persistent fan racism.

UEFA is scheduled to hear Lazio's appeal Monday.

At the San Siro, former Italy forward Alberto Gilardino scored with an acrobatic volley in the 57th for Bologna, beating Inter's reserve keeper Juan Pablo Carrizo, who played in place of the suspended Samir Handanovic.

Elsewhere, Parma beat Torino 4-1 with a hat trick from Brazilian-born forward Amauri; Colombia forward Victor Ibarbo also scored three times as Cagliari defeated Sampdoria 3-1; Atalanta edged out Pescara 2-1 with two goals from Argentine forward German Denis; and Siena beat Palermo 2-1 in a direct battle to avoid relegation.

Juventus players celebrate (Photo: The Canadian Press)


(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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