Tue, Feb 25, 2014 - Page 18 News List

Tevez strikes to maintain Juventus’ charge for title

AP, MILAN, Italy

Paul Pogba of Juventus battles for the ball with Torino’s Cesare Bovo in their Serie A match at Juventus Stadium in Turin, Italy, on Sunday.

Photo: AFP

Carloz Tevez struck again to help Juventus beat Torino 1-0 in the Turin derby on Sunday as Antonio Conte’s side maintained their charge to a third straight scudetto.

Tevez scored on the half-hour mark, although Torino will feel aggrieved not to have been awarded a late penalty when Omar El Kaddouri appeared to be tripped by Andrea Pirlo.

“It was a penalty on El Kaddouri,” Torino coach Giampiero Ventura said. “It’s disappointing because if [referee Nicola] Rizzoli had seen the penalty maybe we would have witnessed a different game. If we had drawn today it would have been a fair result.”

Tevez’s 13th goal of the season saw him move level with Giuseppe Rossi at the top of the Serie A goalscoring table. The ACF Fiorentina striker was injured at the beginning of last month and is out for the rest of the season.

Juventus moved nine points ahead of second-placed AS Roma, who have a game in hand.

“It wasn’t easy, but we conceded very little to Torino,” Conte said. “There was contact, but fortunately the referee chose well. We were calmer last year. Behind us we have a team like Roma, which is more dangerous that [SSC] Napoli was last year. They don’t make mistakes, they have enthusiasm and desire.”

In the race for the final Europa League spot, Torino slipped four points below fifth-placed Inter, which could only draw 1-1 at home to relegation-threatened Cagliari.

Hellas Verona almost squandered a three-goal lead, but held on to win 3-2 at struggling AS Livorno and moved a point behind Inter. Luca Toni scored his 12th of the season for Verona.

Elsewhere, AC Milan recovered from their disappointing UEFA Champions League defeat to Atletico Madrid by winning 2-0 at UC Sampdoria, who had former Rossoneri striker Maxi Lopez sent off.

New signings Adel Taarabt and Adil Rami both scored their second Milan goals.

Also on Sunday, AC Chievo Verona beat Catania 2-0 in a relegation fight and Udinese drew 1-1 with Atalanta BC. In the evening match, bottom club US Sassuolo leveled twice — including one equalizer by former SS Lazio striker Sergio Floccari — but lost 3-2 at Lazio.

Stefano Radu struck twice for Lazio, including a stunning opener off the inside of the post from long range.

Juventus have won all 12 of their home league matches this season and have not lost in the derby since 1995 — a run of 15 matches.

Play had to be halted when Ciro Immobile — who is co-owned by Juventus and has already scored 13 goals this season — broke the goal with a fierce shot into the side-netting which pulled the net off its supports.

Juventus took the lead after 30 minutes when Tevez controlled Kwadwo Asamoah’s cross with his back to goal and swiveled to fire an unstoppable effort into the bottom corner.

There was controversy 10 minutes from time when El Kaddouri appealed furiously for a penalty, but the referee instead booked the on-loan Napoli midfielder for diving. Replays appeared to prove El Kaddouri right, but his dramatic fall may have cost him.

Cagliari had lost five of their past six matches, but took a surprise lead four minutes from halftime, Mauricio Pinilla converted a penalty after Victor Ibarbo’s shot was deflected off Walter Samuel and onto Juan Jesus’ arm.

Inter leveled seven minutes after the break when Yuto Nagatomo crossed to the far post where Mauro Icardi headed on for Rolando to bundle in from close range.

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