Soccer

Inter stymied by Cagliari, Juventus beats Torino

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The Canadian Press
2/23/2014 3:56:47 PM
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MILAN, Italy -- Carloz Tevez struck again to help Juventus beat Torino 1-0 in the Turin derby on Sunday as Antonio Conte's side maintained its charge to a third straight Serie A title.

Tevez scored on the half hour mark, although Torino will feel aggrieved not to have been awarded a late penalty when Omar El Kaddouri appeared to be tripped by Andrea Pirlo.

"It was a penalty on El Kaddouri," Torino coach Giampiero Ventura said. "It's disappointing because if (referee Nicola) Rizzoli had seen the penalty maybe we would have witnessed a different game. If we had drawn today it would have been a fair result."

It was Tevez's 13th goal of the season and sees him move level with Giuseppe Rossi at the top of the goalscoring table. The Fiorentina striker was injured at the beginning of January and is out for the rest of the season.

Juventus moved nine points ahead of second-placed Roma, which has a game in hand.

"It wasn't easy," Conte said. "But we conceded very little to Torino. There was contact but fortunately the referee chose well.

"We were calmer last year. Behind us we have a team like Roma, which is more dangerous that Napoli was last year. They don't make mistakes, they have enthusiasm and desire."

In the race for the final Europa League spot, Torino slipped four points below fifth-placed Inter Milan which could only draw 1-1 at home to relegation-threatened Cagliari.

Hellas Verona almost squandered a three-goal lead but held on to win 3-2 at struggling Livorno and moved a point behind Inter. Luca Toni scored his 12th of the season for Verona.

Elsewhere, AC Milan recovered from its disappointing Champions League defeat to Atletico Madrid by winning 2-0 at Sampdoria, which had former Rossoneri striker Maxi Lopez sent off. New signings Adel Taarabt and Adil Rami both scored their second Milan goals.

Also, Chievo Verona beat Catania 2-0 in a relegation fight and Udinese drew 1-1 against Atalanta.

In the evening match, bottom club Sassuolo levelled twice -- including one equalizer by former Lazio striker Sergio Floccari -- but lost 3-2 at Lazio.

Stefano Radu struck twice for Lazio, including a stunning opener off the inside of the post from more than 30 metres (yards).

Juventus had won all 12 of its home league matches this season and hadn't lost in the derby since 1995 -- a run of 15 matches.

Play had to be halted when Ciro Immobile -- who is co-owned by Juventus and has already scored 13 goals this season -- broke the goal with a fierce shot into the sidenetting which pulled the net off its support.

Juventus took the lead after 30 minutes when Tevez controlled Kwadwo Asamoah's cross with his back to goal and swiveled to fire an unstoppable effort into the near bottom corner.

There was controversy 10 minutes from time as El Kaddouri appealed furiously for a penalty but the referee instead booked the on-loan Napoli midfielder for diving. Replays appeared to prove El Kaddouri right but his dramatic fall may have cost him.

Cagliari had lost five of its past six matches but took a surprise lead four minutes from halftime, Mauricio Pinilla converted a penalty after Victor Ibarbo's shot was deflected off Walter Samuel and onto Juan Jesus' arm.

Inter levelled seven minutes after the break when Yuto Nagatomo crossed to the far post where Mauro Icardi headed on for Rolando to bundle in from close range.

Inter almost snatched all three points but Icardi's header crashed off the crossbar in the final minute.

Milan's chances of a European spot were reignited after another solid performance moved it five points behind Inter.

Milan had put on by far its best display of the season in the 1-0 defeat to Atletico in the first leg of its Champions League tie but had a massive injury list which included Mario Balotelli.

However, it continued from where it left off on Wednesday and took the lead in the 12th minute.

Taarabt's header from Rami's cross was parried by Angelo Da Costa at point-blank range but the on-loan Queens Park Rangers midfielder turned in the rebound.

The Morocco international was involved in the controversial second goal, crossing for Rami to head home after Da Costa had fumbled. Sampdoria players were furious as they felt Milan striker Giampaolo Pazzini had crashed into their goalkeeper.

Substitute Maxi Lopez was sent off in the 72nd, receiving a second yellow card for comments to the referee immediately after being booked.

Chievo moved out of the relegation zone with its first win in 10 matches and is a point above Livorno and two ahead of Catania.

Walter Mazzarri (Photo: Canadian Press)

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(Photo: Canadian Press)
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