Juventus set up a rip-roaring
Serie A finale by closing the gap on leaders AC Milan to two
points with a 3-0 win over Napoli while Andrea Stramaccioni's
new Inter Milan charges and AS Roma scored five on Sunday.
An enthralling weekend of Italian action ended with
second-placed Juve prevailing in Turin thanks to defender
Leonardo Bonucci using his knee to divert Mirko Vucinic's shot
into the net after 54 minutes.
Arturo Vidal and Fabio Quagliarella ended Napoli's resolve.
After a shaky few weeks, Juve can again smell a first title
since their 2006 match-fixing demotion after champions Milan
drew 1-1 at Catania on Saturday amid more goal-line controversy
when a Robinho effort was wrongly ruled not to have gone in.
Eight games remain in the best title-run many Italians can
remember given the dominance of Inter Milan from 2007-2010.
Seventh-placed Inter reignited their outside hopes of
reaching third spot after Diego Milito bagged a hat-trick in a
5-4 thriller at home to Genoa to boost ex-youth coach
Stramaccioni, who took over from Claudio Ranieri last week.
"Contrary to what is being said, coming from the youth
sector, I've found a united Inter, a big family," Stramaccioni,
in charge at least until the end of the season, told Mediaset.
"It was only Inter v Genoa, but it was important, so
therefore it was lovely."
The hosts raced into a 3-0 lead with Argentine Milito
scoring twice within the first half-hour and his countryman
Walter Samuel sliding home Lucio's cross in the 38th minute.
Genoa refused to lie down and goals from Emiliano Moretti
and Rodrigo Palacio gave 36-year-old Stramaccioni a fright.
A 74th-minute Mario Zarate goal looked to have sealed the
win but a frantic final 10 minutes, in which three penalties
were scored including Milito's third goal, almost led to a draw.
However, Inter ran out winners despite having goalkeeper Julio
Cesar sent off in the 79th minute and are now seven points off
third-placed Lazio, who occupy the Champions League qualifying
round berth but went down 3-1 at struggling Parma on Saturday.
Goals also flowed at the Stadio Olimpico where Roma thrashed
second-bottom Novara 5-2 to move four behind city rivals Lazio.
The visitors had taken the lead through Andrea Caracciolo's
deft header but Roma hit back when Marquinho equalised with his
first goal for the club via a bullet header after 25 minutes.
The hosts went ahead nine minutes later when Osvaldo headed
in Francesco Totti's corner and three second-half goals from
Simplicio, Bojan Krkic and Eric Lamela sealed the win with
Takayuki Morimoto scoring for Novara.
Roma remain sixth but are now only a point behind Napoli and
Udinese, whose poor form continued with a 1-0 loss at Siena.
Fiorentina's recent slump went on as they lost 2-1 at home
to Chievo, leaving them in 17th, one place above the drop zone.
Lecce, in 18th, could not capitalise and played out a drab
0-0 draw with bottom side Cesena to lie five points from the
Mid-table Bologna lost 3-1 at home to Palermo while Cagliari
comfortably beat Atalanta 2-0.
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