Juventus retain title

A review of the weekend's action in the Italian Serie A, as Juventus retained their title.

Last Updated: 05/05/13 at 22:35 Post Comment

Juventus players celebrate their league triumph

Juventus players celebrate their league triumph

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A review of the weekend's action in the Italian Serie A.

Juventus retained their Serie A title with a 1-0 home win over Palermo on Sunday.

Juve only needed a point to claim their second straight Scudetto, and their 29th in total, but they took all three thanks to Arturo Vidal's 59th-minute penalty.

The victory lifts Juve 14 points clear of nearest challengers Napoli, who play Inter Milan tonight but can no longer catch the pacesetters with only three rounds of matches left after this weekend.

Antonio Conte's men had to play out the final seven minutes with a man less following the dismissal of midfielder Paul Pogba for spitting at Palermo defender Salvatore Aronica, but it made no difference as Juve claimed their eighth successive league victory and with it the title.

While Juve were left to celebrate the championship though, Palermo's problems at the other end of the table increased with today's results.

They had picked up 11 points from their previous five matches heading to Juventus Stadium but their defeat, combined with Genoa's win at Torino, saw them fall three points adrift of safety.

Edinson Cavani hit a hat-trick as Napoli consolidated second place with a 3-1 victory over Inter Milan.

The Uruguayan striker was his typically clinical self in front of goal with poacher's efforts in each half sandwiching a spot-kick.

It took Cavani's tally for the campaign 33 and with it increased the advantage over AC Milan to seven points.

Ricky Alvarez had equalised for Inter after 33 minutes, but the visiting defence could not handle Cavani and Andrea Stramaccioni's side are five points off a European place with three matches remaining.

Mario Balotelli revelled in the spotlight once again as his late goal helped AC Milan beat Torino 1-0 and put one foot in the Champions League.

The often-controversial Italy international has been a goalscoring revelation since swapping Manchester City for Milan in January, helping to ease the burden on Stephen El Shaarawy.

Sunday's goal, which came with just six minutes left, was his 11th since arriving at the club, although typically it was followed by a booking for dissent.

Milan are now four points clear of fourth-placed Fiorentina in third - the final Champions League spot - and with three games left, they will have to go some to let it slip.

At the other end, Torino are four points from danger and should be okay.

Elsewhere on Sunday, Udinese's European hopes remain healthy thanks to a convincing 3-1 win over a Sampdoria side who are looking over their shoulder with a great deal of concern.

The two now have just three Serie A games left to play and this success put Udinese to within four points of Fiorentina in fourth - losers at home to Roma last night - and are one behind fifth-placed Roma.

More importantly they have a four-point buffer over Inter Milan in seventh and, with Roma still to try and take a European spot via the Coppa Italia, Udinese are a good bet for the Europa League at least.

Antonio Di Natale was their matchwinner today, scoring twice to take his tally for the season to 21, with their other goal arriving from Luis Muriel. Eder had levelled for Samp, who have six points on the bottom three heading into the games later today.

Genoa moved three points clear of the relegation zone and condemned Pescara to an immediate return to Serie B thanks to a 4-1 win at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris.

Marco Borriello scored two and set up another for a buoyant Grifone, whose victory over the bottom-placed side never looked in any doubt.

Andrea Bertolacci and Antonio Floro Flores were also on target for Davide Ballardini's side with former Genoa favourite Giuseppe Sculli scoring a consolation for Pescara, who become the first side to be relegated from Serie A this season with three games of the season to go.

Miroslav Klose scored five goals as Lazio thrashed Bologna in their Serie A clash at the Stadio Olimpico.

The Germany international netted his hat-trick before half-time then came out firing again after the break to put Bologna to the sword in a dominant performance.

Hernanes also got onto the scoresheet for the home side with their second goal of the day, before Klose stole all of the headlines with a superb display.

Also on Sunday, Gonzalo Bergessio scored all three goals as Catania pushed 10-man Siena a step closer to the relegation trap door.

Argentina international Bergessio struck in the 14th, 52nd and 71st minutes - the latter two after Siena had lost Felipe to a red card - as Catania earned their first win in six to consolidate their place in the top half of the table.

Siena, in contrast, are in deep trouble near the foot of the standings after slumping to a third successive defeat and they are now five points adrift of safety with only three games remaining.

Meanwhile, Marco Parolo and Jonathan Biabiany scored either side of half-time in a 2-0 victory over Atalanta to boost Parma's hopes of a top-10 finish in Serie A.

Parolo superbly fired into the top corner a minute before the interval to give the hosts just reward for their first-half dominance before Biabiany sealed Parma's first victory in five matches just before the hour mark.

Atalanta initially responded well to falling behind but were deserted by luck and found Antonio Mirante in the Parma goal in fine form before Biabiany killed off any hopes of a comeback.

On Saturday, a late Pablo Osvaldo goal revived Roma's slim Champions League qualification hopes at the expense of a Fiorentina side who suffered a setback in their similar ambitions in a fiery affair at the Stadio Franchi.

The home side enjoyed most of the possession and had the better chances, hitting the post twice, but there was a sting in the tail for them as Osvaldo's strike with almost the last touch of the game secured a 1-0 win and cut the gap between the two sides to three points.

With three games of the season remaining, both remain in the hunt for third spot which is currently occupied by AC Milan, who have a one-point advantage over the Viola with a game in hand.

Chievo and Cagliari took a point apiece from a typical end-of-season stalemate between two sides who have already achieved their objectives for the campaign.

By reaching 40 points, the Flying Donkeys are now practically safe with three games of the season remaining while, with three points more, Cagliari could be mathematically assured of another term in Serie A tomorrow.


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