Roma beat Napoli 1-0, bring an end to 4-month losing streak at home games
Roma ended its fourmonth winless streak at home with a 1-0 victory over Napoli in Serie A on Saturday, while Lazio kept up the pressure on its city rival with a 3-1 win at relegation-threatened Cagliari.
In the late match, Carlos Tevez struck again to help runaway leader Juventus beat Empoli 2-0 and maintain its 14-point advantage.
Miralem Pjanic finished a swift counterattack for Roma in the 25th minute and goalkeeper Morgan De Sanctis did the rest — saving shot after shot in the second half.
Lazio, which also missed a penalty on its way to a seventh consecutive victory, remained a point behind second-place Roma.
Fiorentina beat Sampdoria 2-0 to leapfrog its opponent into fourth, six points behind Lazio. Sampdoria was a point further back, one ahead of Napoli in the fight for Champions League places.
AC Milan won 2-1 at Palermo for its first away victory since October, while Inter Milan was booed off the pitch at San Siro after being held to 1-1 by bottom club Parma.
All 10 matches of the 29th round were on Saturday due to the Easter holiday.
Elsewhere, Cesena gave itself hope of avoiding relegation as it came back from three goals down to draw 3-3 at Hellas Verona. It moved to four points off safety, with 17th-place Atalanta losing 2-1 at home to Torino.
Genoa drew 1-1 against Udinese, and 10-man Sassuolo held on to beat Chievo Verona 1-0.
Security was tight for Napoli’s first visit to Roma since a fan of the southern club died following a shooting before last season’s Italian Cup final at the Stadio Olimpico.
Residents of the entire Campania region that includes Naples were barred from buying tickets for the match, and 1,000 police officers were called in to maintain order.
There were no reports of problems.
Pjanic scored the only goal when Juan Iturbe rapidly carried into the area and passed to Alessandro Florenzi, who from the right flank picked out the Bosnia international to slot it in.
In the second half, De Sanctis was superb in denying Dries Mertens several times. The 38-year-old goalkeeper also made a leaping save on a shot from Manolo Gabbiadini.
Juventus took the lead against Empoli in disputed circumstances from an indirect free kick after Daniele Rugani was adjudged to have made a backpass to goalkeeper Luigi Sepe. Tevez blasted it under the bar from close range for a league-leading 17th goal, one more than Milan striker Jeremy Menez.
Roberto Pereyra sealed the match in stoppage time, tapping in the rebound after Tevez’s effort was parried by Sepe.
The pressure was on Lazio, which was playing later in Sardinia, and it took the lead just after the half hour. Felipe Anderson did well on the right flank, beating several players before putting in a cross which Stefano Mauri intelligently flicked on to an unmarked Miroslav Klose.
Cagliari leveled five minutes after halftime with a superb, deflected chip from Marco Sau over a helpless Federico Marchetti.
Substitute Keita Balde Diao changed the match, earning a penalty with his first touch as he was brought down by Luca Rossettini.
Lucas Biglia converted that spot kick but failed with his second nine minutes later, blazing over the bar after Keita was tripped by Modibo Diakite, who was sent off.
Marco Parolo sealed the match off a stoppage-time free kick.
Fiorentina, which hit the woodwork in the first half through Gonzalo Rodriguez, broke the deadlock with Sampdoria when Alessandro Diamanti cut into the left of the penalty area and curled a fine strike into the far bottom corner.
Mohamed Salah doubled the home side’s lead just three minutes later with a great individual run, slicing his way past three defenders.
In Sicily, Menez again came to Milan’s rescue, with a wonderful solo effort to inflict what was only Palermo’s third home defeat of the season.
Juventus’ Arturo Vidal, left, challenges for the ball with Genoa’s Andrade Edenilson during a Serie A soccer match at the Juventus stadium, in Turin, Italy on Sunday, March 22.