Leading duo drop points

A review of the weekend's action in the Italian Serie A, as Juventus and Roma are both held to draws.

Last Updated: 09/02/14 at 23:06 Post Comment

Hellas Verona celebrate their 2-2 draw against Juventus

Hellas Verona celebrate their 2-2 draw against Juventus

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

Hellas Verona and Lazio applied the brakes to the Serie A title race by holding leaders Juventus and nearest challengers Roma to frustrating draws on Sunday afternoon.

The Bianconeri travelled to Verona eager to extend their nine-point lead over Roma, who were concerning themselves with tackling city rivals Lazio in the Rome derby, but a last-gasp equaliser from substitute Juanito saw Hellas force a 2-2 draw to deny the reigning champions their 14th win from 15 games.

A first-half brace from Carlos Tevez had put Juve on the right track but, after veteran striker Luca Toni hit back after the break, Argentinian striker Juanito scored on the stroke of full-time to earn a valuable point for fifth-placed Verona.

Roma therefore had a rare opportunity to cut the gap between first and second to seven points, but Lazio thwarted their ambitions by standing firm throughout the first goalless Rome derby since April 2007.

It was certainly not a classic encounter at the Stadio Olimpico, although Roma did dominate and might have snatched victory had Gervinho's goal not been ruled out for offside before the break.

The match also saw Lazio captain Stefano Mauri - banned in October for six months for failing to report match-fixing - return to action as a second-half substitute.

Walter Samuel's header booked Inter Milan a first Serie A victory in 2014 at the expense of relegation-threatened Sassuolo.

The 1-0 win that lifted Inter into fifth place was certainly hard-earned at San Siro, with new signing Hernanes and Diego Milito thwarted on numerous occasions by a much-improved Sassuolo backline.

Genoa moved into the top half of the table as Luca Antonelli's early goal secured a 1-0 victory at relegation-threatened Livorno and, back at the Marassi, Sampdoria beat Cagliari by the same scoreline thanks to Daniele Gastaldello.

Bologna pulled away from the drop zone as Jonathan Cristaldo scored twice to mastermind a come-from-behind 2-1 victory at Torino.

Ciro Immobile opened the scoring in the north west but Cristaldo had turned the game on its head by the 24th minute. Bologna are now in 16th and four points clear of the bottom three.

Elsewhere, basement boys Catania were held to a goalless draw by eighth-placed Parma at the Stadio Ennio Tardini.

Clarence Seedorf suffered a Serie A defeat for the first time as AC Milan coach with Gonzalo Higuain on target twice for an impressive Napoli in a 3-1 win on Saturday.

Adel Taarabt marked his Milan debut with a goal to put the Rossoneri ahead, but Gokhan Inler replied immediately.

Higuain then struck twice as Rafael Benitez's men coasted to a deserved victory which re-establishes their three-point advantage over fourth-placed Fiorentina and takes them to within three of second-placed Roma, who face Lazio in a derby on Sunday.

Fiorentina bounced back from two straight defeats to put nine points between themselves and fifth-placed Hellas Verona thanks to a 2-0 win over Atalanta.

A Josip Ilicic free-kick and late Rafal Wolski strike were enough to see off the challenge of Atalanta, who ended the game with 10 men after losing Luca Cigarini to a red card nine minutes from time.

Udinese pulled away from the relegation zone thanks to a 3-0 win over Chievo.

Antonio Di Natale's third goal in his last four games unlocked the game for the Friulian side.

Bruno Fernandes and Emmanuel Badu completed the rout to take Udinese nine points clear of the drop zone.


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