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