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Serie A wrap: Juve overcome Inter, Napoli stumble

Uruguay defender Martin Caceres and club stalwart Alessandro Del Piero struck in the second half for Juve after Gianluigi Buffon’s heroics in goal.

JUVENTUS REMAIN UNBEATEN in Serie A this season and effectively ended Inter Milan’s Champions League hopes with a 2-0 win on Sunday.

Uruguay defender Martin Caceres and club stalwart Alessandro Del Piero struck in the second half for Juve after Gianluigi Buffon’s heroics in goal had denied visitors Inter in the first half.

The win sees Juve close the gap on leaders AC Milan at the top of the table to four points. For Inter, even a Europa League place now looks unlikely, with Claudio Ranieri’s men seven points adrift of fifth place and 10 behind Lazio, who occupy the final Champions League qualification spot.

Diego Forlan and Diego Milito were both denied by the outstanding Buffon in the first half and Juve made their visitors pay when Caceres headed the opener on 57 minutes, before substitute Del Piero delighted the home fans with a composed finish in the 71st minute. Earlier, Napoli lost ground on third-placed Lazio after relinquishing a two-goal lead to 2-2 draw at home to Catania.

Walter Mazzarri’s men led 2-0 thanks to goals from Blerim Dzemaili and Edinson Cavani with a quarter of an hour left to play at the Stadio San Paolo. But they conceded two late goals against Catania, who extended their unbeaten run to seven matches as Nicolas Spolli and Davide Lanzafame got on the scoresheet. Lanzafame secured an unlikely point when he poked in after a scramble from a corner.

It meant Lazio extended their advantage in third spot to three points thanks to a 1-0 win at home to Cagliari. Mobido Diakite’s 88th-minute header gave Edy Reja’s side a deserved victory at Stadio Olimpico.

In other matches, Genoa secured a late 2-2 draw at home to Fiorentina. Delio Rossi’s Fiorentina side led when Cesare Natali netted on 69 minutes, after Fernando Belluschi and Riccardo Montolivo had traded goals in the first half.

But the visitors were denied all three points when Argentine forward Rodrigo Palacio struck in the 89th minute. Elsewhere, Mattia Destro cancelled out Francesco Acerbi’s ninth-minute goal to help Siena to a 1-1 draw at Chievo.

Relegation-threatened Parma came from behind to draw 2-2 against fellow strugglers Cesena, and were denied all three points late on when they twice struck the woodwork. Novara and Lecce, second and third from bottom respectively, played out a 0-0 draw in a relegation battle.

Finally, Atalanta climbed above Bologna and into ninth place on the table with a 2-0 triumph.

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