Soccer

Juventus extends lead at top of the table with win over Chievo

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The Canadian Press
2/16/2014 5:03:32 PM
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Juventus eased to a 3-1 win over relegation-threatened Chievo Verona in Serie A as its remarkable home record continued on Sunday.

Juventus, which has now won all 12 of its home league matches this season, remained nine points clear of Roma, which beat Sampdoria 3-0 in the day's late kickoff and has a game in hand.

It was coach Antonio Conte's 100th match in charge.

Kwadwo Asamoah, Claudio Marchisio and Fernando Llorente scored for Juventus, which conceded a comical own goal.

"It's tough to be aggressive for the entire 95 minutes," Conte said. "But we can't allow ourselves to let up during this particular period. The minute our attention levels drop for a second, everything happens.

"It's not easy for anyone to win for three years in a row, but these lads are doing just that. Everyone has surprised me in a positive manner, and I hope they keep doing so."

Napoli remained four points behind Roma after beating lowly Sassuolo 2-0.

"We created several chances to score, I can't be anything other than happy," Napoli coach Rafa Benitez said. "I never talk about individuals, but I see (Marek) Hamsik is improving game after game."

Earlier, Catania pulled off a surprise 3-1 victory over Lazio to move off bottom spot.

Also, it was: Genoa 3, Udinese 3; Atalanta 0, Parma 4; and Cagliari 1, Livorno 2.

Juventus took the lead in the 18th minute when Asamoah curled a powerful effort into the far side of goal from just outside the area.

The Serie A leader doubled its advantage 11 minutes later. Chievo goalkeeper Michael Agazzi did well to parry Andrea Pirlo's free kick but Marchisio was on hand to net the rebound.

Juventus had squandered a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 at promoted Hellas Verona last week and it risked falling foul of another Verona team after a sluggish start to the second half.

Chievo pulled one back six minutes after the break as Stephan Lichtsteiner's attempted clearance ricocheted off teammate Martin Caceres and into the back of the net.

However, Llorente sealed the match in the 58th when he headed home Pirlo's corner.

Juventus has scored three or more goals in all but one of its past nine home matches.

Roma kept up the pressure on Juventus with a comfortable victory in the evening match.

Two sections of the Stadio Olimpico were closed in the first of a two-match punishment following anti-Neapolitan chants by Roma's fans during an Italian Cup match earlier in the month.

Mattia Destro scored twice, either side of Miralem Pjanic's stunning 30-meter free kick.

With his side three goals down, Sampdoria defender Daniele Gastaldello was sent off 10 minutes from time after a second booking.

Napoli maintained its bid for a Champions League berth with a comfortable win at Sassuolo.

Blerim Dzemaili broke the deadlock in the 37th minute after a series of fine saves from Sassuolo goalkeeper Gianluca Pegolo.

Lorenzo Insigne scored 10 minutes after halftime when he raced into the area and curled a shot into the far right of goal.

Dzemaili also hit the crossbar late on.

It was coach Francesco Guidolin's 172nd Serie A game in charge of Udinese, matching the club record set by Giuseppe Bigogno, and he looked set to celebrate with victory after two goals in quick succession from Dusan Basta and Bruno Fernandes

Moussa Konate reduced the deficit on the stroke of halftime but Udinese restored its two-goal advantage immediately after the break when Nicolas Burdisso tugged Thomas Heurtaux's shirt in the box and Luis Muriel converted the resulting penalty.

A brace from Alberto Gilardino saw Genoa rescue a point.

Catania had won only one of its previous 12 matches and started the day bottom of the table.

However, it got off to the best possible start when Mariano Izco volleyed in off the inside of the right post after just 41 seconds.

Stefano Mauri was making his first start since May following a ban for his role in a match-fixing scandal. The Lazio captain headed his team level in first-half stoppage time.

Nicolas Spolli headed Catania back in front immediately after halftime and Gino Peruzzi sealed the result in the 58th minute.

The relegation battle between Cagliari and Livorno burst into life a minute before halftime with a stunning strike from Emerson which swerved into the top corner from 40 metres.

Tempers flared towards the end and Cagliari captain Daniele Conti was sent off for insulting the referee. Livorno ended the match in nine men after Federico Ceccherini was dismissed for two yellow cards and Marco Benassi saw red for a poor challenge on Mauricio Pinilla.

Vidal and Asamoah (Photo: Canadian Press)

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(Photo: Canadian Press)
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