Run­away Serie A lead­ers Ju­ven­tus out­class sec­ond-place Lazio 2-0


Run­away l eader Ju­ven­tus took an­other im­por­tant step to­wards the Serie A ti­tle as it eased to a 2- 0 win over sec­ond- place Lazio on Satur­day.

Car­los Tevez scored a league- lead­ing 18th goal, and Leonardo Bonucci added the sec­ond within 29 min­utes at Ju­ven­tus Sta­dium, blow­ing away Lazio’s hopes of a ninth suc­ces­sive victory.

Lazio mid­fielder Danilo Cataldi was sent off late on for a danger­ous tackle on Tevez.

There have been re­ports again re­cently that Tevez will re­turn to Boca Ju­niors at the end of the sea­son to be with his fam­ily.

Ju­ven­tus moved 15 points clear of Lazio, which could be over­taken by city ri­val Roma when it hosts Ata­lanta on Sun­day.

Victory also boosted Ju­ven­tus ahead of Wed­nes­day’s trip to Monaco for the sec­ond leg of their Cham­pi­ons League quar­ter­fi­nal.

Ear­lier, Sam­p­do­ria was held to a goal­less draw at home by rel­e­ga­tion- threat­ened Ce­sena, de­spite play­ing with four strik­ers as it at­tempted to im­prove its chances of qual­i­fy­ing for Europe.

Lazio knew a club- record ninth suc­ces­sive win would cut Ju­ven­tus’ lead to a notim­pos­si­ble nine points, with seven rounds re­main­ing.

Juve had slumped to a shock 1- 0 de­feat at bot­tom club Parma last week­end ahead of the first leg of its Cham­pi­ons League quar­ter­fi­nal — which it won 1- 0 fol­low­ing a con­tro­ver­sial penalty — and was keen to avoid mak­ing the same mis­takes.

Al­varo Mo­rata was rested and re­placed by Alessan­dro Ma­tri in a strong start­ing XI, while Lazio was miss­ing key play­ers such as Ste­fan de Vrij, Marco Parolo, Ste­fan Radu, Filip Djord­je­vic and suspended duo Pe­dro Luis Ca­vanda and Diego No­varetti.

The match was also a pre­view to the Ital­ian Cup fi­nal be­tween them in June.

Tevez broke the dead­lock in the 17th minute with his first touch, spring­ing the off­side trap onto a long ball flicked on by Ar­turo Vi­dal and fir­ing into the bot­tom right cor­ner.

Tevez was also in­volved in the sec­ond, mak­ing a dart­ing run to fool the Lazio de­fense and al­low­ing Bonucci to sprint for­ward from the half­way line be­fore drilling hard and low past Fed­erico Marchetti.

In half an hour, Lazio had con­ceded as many goals as it had dur­ing its en­tire run of eight suc­ces­sive wins.

Lazio’s mis­ery was com­plete in the 89th minute when Cataldi was shown a straight red card.

In Genoa, Sa­muel Eto’o, Luis Muriel, Ste­fano Okaka and Eder all started for Sam­p­do­ria but couldn’t fin­ish off the home side’s nu­mer­ous chances.

Sam­p­do­ria was also de­nied by a goalline clear­ance when for­mer de­fender Ste­fano Luc­chini hooked Alessio Ro­mag­noli’s header off the line.

Sam­p­do­ria pro­vi­sion­ally moved level on points with fourth- place Napoli, while Ce­sena was third from bot­tom, but a point closer to safety.

Lionel Messi set up Luis Suarez’s first­minute opener then notched his 400th goal for Barcelona in stop­page time to give the Span­ish league lead­ers a hard­fought 2-0 win over Va­len­cia on Satur­day.

The 27-year-old Ar­gen­tine is the all­time lead­ing scorer for both Barcelona and the Span­ish league. His 400th goal in his 471st match for the Cata­lan club was also his 278th goal in La Liga.

He also tops the Cham­pi­ons League with Cris­tiano Ron­aldo with 75 goals each from the group phase on.

Ron­aldo made up for miss­ing a penalty by also scor­ing in in­jury time to reach the 50-goal mark for a fifth con­sec­u­tive sea­son as Real Madrid beat Malaga 3-1 at home to stay two points be­hind Barcelona with six rounds left.

The win, how­ever, proved costly with both Gareth Bale and Luka Mo­dric pick­ing up in­jures four days be­fore Madrid hosts Atletico Madrid in their sec­ond-leg Cham­pi­ons League quar­ter­fi­nal with the tie poised at 0-0.

Suarez net­ted his 12th goal in his last 12 ap­pear­ances as Barcelona went ahead just 55 sec­onds into the match at Camp Nou.

But Va­len­cia dom­i­nated the rest of the first half and the hosts needed goal­keeper Clau­dio Bravo to save Dani Parejo’s penalty in the 10th minute.

Va­len­cia striker Paco Al­cacer went

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