Roma beat Napoli 1-0, bring an end to 4-month los­ing streak at home games

The China Post - - SPORTS -

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.

AP

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.

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