CATANIA - Fabio Quagliarella struck
twice to give Juventus a 3-1 win at mid-table Catania on Sunday
and boost their hopes of emerging as AC Milan's main title
challengers this season.
Juve crashed out of the Europa League on Wednesday after
drawing 1-1 at Lech Poznan in arctic temperatures but the barmy
Sicilian weather at Serie A's most southerly venue brought out
the best in Luigi Del Neri's side.
The Turin club stayed third and are now just three points
adrift of second-placed Lazio, who beat faltering champions
Inter Milan 3-1 on Friday, and lie six points behind AC Milan
after the leaders overpowered Brescia 3-0 on Saturday.
The travelling fans were kept behind netting at Catania's
open-air Stadio Massimino, built in the shadow of the mighty
Mount Etna volcano, despite the home end also containing many
closet Juve fans given the popularity of Italy's most successful
club in Sicily.
Those supporters were biting their lips on 35 minutes when
Juve fans erupted with joy following Simone Pepe's controlled
finish to open the scoring after Vincenzo Iaquinta had picked
the winger out at the far post.
Catania hit back immediately, however, with Juve's defence
failing to deal with a ball into the box and Japan striker
Takayuki Morimoto scuffing his shot into the corner of the goal.
Quagliarella thought he had given Juve a new lead when his
shot bounced down off the bar, but the linesman gave no signal
despite replays suggesting the ball had crossed the line.
The Italy striker was finally on the scoresheet moments
afterwards in the 44th minute with a good finish following more
good work from Iaquinta and he grabbed his second after the
break following a defensive mix-up.
Media reports say Juve are interested in Catania striker
Maxi Lopez for the January transfer window and although the
former Barcelona player showed some good touches, he drifted in
and out of the game.
A Stefano Guberti brace and a Giampaolo Pazzini penalty
earlier helped Sampdoria beat bottom side Bari 3-0 to move
seventh and join Palermo, Inter and AS Roma on 23 points, 10
Troubled striker Adrian Mutu, out for 10 months after a
drugs ban and injury, grabbed his first goal of the campaign as
Fiorentina beat Cagliari 1-0.
Serie A's veteran forwards were in fine form with Hernan
Crespo bagging his second double in consecutive games to give
Parma a 2-1 win over resurgent Udinese, for whom Antonio Di
Natale, last season's league top scorer, struck his ninth goal
of this campaign.
Marco Di Vaio hit his eighth goal of the season as Bologna,
hit by a one point deduction in midweek because of financial
problems, won 2-0 at struggling newcomers Cesena and Luca Toni
equalised for Genoa in their 3-1 win at lowly Lecce.
Roma drew 2-2 at Chievo on Saturday and fourth-placed Napoli
host fifth-placed Palermo on Monday.
Brazil forward voices his support for protesters who have taken to the streets of Brazil
Tahiti coach says it would be "quite impossible" for his team to beat world champions Spain
Neymar puts in best performance for his country in 2-0 win over Mexico in Confederations Cup
Substitute Sebastian Giovinco taps in late goal to secure Italy thrilling 4-3 win over Japan
Who would you rather have playing for your club?
12 months out, the stars look to the World Cup
Your questions answered by an A to Z of legends
75% of all TV is Bale
On the road to ruin
Adidas Nitrocharge for you
FourFourTwo is brought to you by Haymarket Consumer Media & FourFourTwo is part of Haymarket Sport
| International Licensing | © Haymarket Media Group 2010