Alessandro Florenzi’s perfectly executed bicycle-kick inspired second-placed AS Roma to a 4-0 win over Genoa in Serie A on Sunday, although it did them little good as rampant leaders Juventus won their 11th league game in a row.
The champions survived a difficult opening half-hour and had goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon to thank as they came from behind to win 4-1 at Cagliari and set a new club record for number of successive league wins.
Another record was smashed in the evening match as US Sassuolo’s 19-year-old forward Domenico Berardi became the first player to score four goals against AC Milan in Serie A’s 85-year history as he led the promoted side to a stunning 4-3 win.
Elsewhere in the league, third-placed SSC Napoli beat Hellas Verona 3-0 away with goals from Dries Mertens, Lorenzo Insigne and Blerim Dzemaili, while ACF Fiorentina — sorely missing Serie A top-scorer Giuseppe Rossi due to injury — lost ground in a 0-0 draw at Torino.
In Sunday’s other games, Parma beat AS Livorno 3-0, as SS Lazio and Bologna played out a scoreless draw.
At the halfway point in the championship, Juventus have 52 points from 19 games, Roma 44 and Napoli 42.
Fiorentina, still waiting for striker Mario Gomez to recover from a knee injury, are a further five behind in fourth, while Milan are languishing in 11th after their seventh defeat of a terrible campaign.
Roma, who gave up their unbeaten league record at Juventus a week ago, bounced back in style after Florenzi set them on their way in the 25th minute.
Genoa seemed to have survived a Francesco Totti free-kick when the ball hit the wall, but a defender lofted it into the area and Florenzi, — with his back to goal — met it with a majestic overhead shot which went in off the foot of the post.
Roma stalwart Totti added the second with a deflected shot on the half-hour, Maicon finished off a counterattack two minutes before the break for the third and defender Mehdi Benatia completed the scoring early in the second half for his fifth goal of the season.
Genoa’s misery was completed with a bizarre sending off for midfielder Matuzalem, who was given a second yellow card for gesturing to Roma fans as he was being substituted.
Juventus fell behind when Mauricio Pinilla scored from close range following a corner in the 21st minute and the visitors rode their good luck as Buffon turned another effort by the Chilean around the post and Daniele Conti headed over the bar.
Llorente equalized when he headed in Stephan Lichtsteiner’s cross in the 31st minute, then Buffon made another outstanding save to block Daniele Dessena’s header.
Juventus settled the game in the last 20 minutes when Claudio Marchisio scored with a 25m shot, Llorente finished off a counterattack and Lichtsteiner pounced on a blunder by goalkeeper Antonio Adan for the fourth.
It was all too much for Pinilla, who was sent off for dissent.
Juventus coach Antonio Conte was delighted after his team kept up their winning run.
Milan appeared to be cruising when Robinho and Mario Balotelli put them 2-0 ahead after only 13 minutes in the mist at Sassuolo.
Instead, Berardi replied with four goals in just more than 30 minutes, as Sassuolo went 4-2 ahead before Riccardo Montolivo pulled one back near the end.