Tue, Mar 04, 2014 - Page 18 News List

Llorente and Tevez fire Juve to victory

RACE FOR EUROPE:While Juventus went 11 points clear at the top of Serie A, third-placed SSC Napoli were held to a 1-1 draw by relegation-threatened AS Livorno

AP, ROME

Bologna goalkeeper Gianluca Curci dives to make a save against Hellas Verona in their Serie A match in Verona, Italy, on Sunday.

Photo: EPA

Fernando Llorente and Carlos Tevez scored either side of halftime as Juventus asserted their dominance in Serie A with a 2-0 win at AC Milan on Sunday.

Striding toward their third consecutive title, the victory moved Juventus 11 points ahead of second-placed AS Roma.

“Only a tank could stop Juventus,” Milan coach Clarence Seedorf said. “They showed their strength and Tevez provided the difference. He’s a great player.”

Milan, who were starting to gain momentum under Seedorf, dropped to 10th, six points adrift of the European places.

Milan started strongly with Kaka and Andrea Poli threatening in the first half, but Juve took control when Llorente collected a pass from Stephan Lichtsteiner in the 44th minute to score from the edge of the penalty area and highlight Milan’s porous defense.

Then in the 68th minute Tevez was left alone to find the target with a long-range shot which crashed in off the underside of the crossbar.

It was Tevez’s 15th goal of the season, putting him top of the Serie A scoring chart, one ahead of ACF Fiorentina’s Giuseppe Rossi, who has been out injured since January.

Milan sorely missed Mario Balotelli, who is still recovering from a right-shoulder injury. Making matters worse, midfielder Poli was taken to hospital after getting hit in the face during a collision with Juventus defender Martin Caceres in the 51st minute.

Earlier, third-placed SSC Napoli were held to a 1-1 draw at relegation-threatened AS Livorno without their standout forward Gonzalo Higuain.

Belgium international midfielder Dries Mertens converted a penalty for Napoli in the 31st minute, but Livorno equalized when a back-heel by 19-year-old Senegalese defender Mbaye Ibrahima resulted in an own-goal by Napoli goalkeeper Pepe Reina in the 39th.

Still, Napoli moved seven points ahead of fourth-placed Fiorentina in the race for the final UEFA Champions League spot.

Fiorentina, who were missing two key suspended midfielders Borja Valero and David Pizarro, lost 1-0 at home to SS Lazio.

The Tuscan team’s coach Vincenzo Montella served a touchline ban following the fallout from last week’s 2-2 draw at Parma, which featured three red cards.

Albanian midfielder Lorik Cana scored for Lazio five minutes in with a bicycle-kick.

Livorno moved level with AC Chievo Verona third from bottom, with the last three clubs destined for Serie B at the end of the season.

Higuain is among Serie A’s leading scorers with 13 goals, but was suspended for the match. His replacement, Goran Pandev, earned Napoli’s penalty with what appeared to be minimal contact from Livorno defender Federico Ceccherini, leading to protests from the hosts.

Elsewhere on Sunday, Parma beat 10-man US Sassuolo 1-0 with a second-minute goal from Marco Parolo to move level with Hellas Verona in sixth place — a point behind Inter and the Europa League places.

Verona goalkeeper Rafael saved a 47th-minute penalty from Rolando Bianchi in a 0-0 draw at home to Bologna.

UC Sampdoria won 2-0 at Torino with goals from Stefano Okaka and Manolo Gabbiadini, Atalanta BC beat 10-man Chievo Verona 2-1 after strikes by Carlos Carmona in the 21st minute and a winner from Luca Cigarini in the 85th, while Genoa beat 10-man Catania 2-0 with goals from Luca Antonelli and Stefano Sturaro.

Earlier in the lunchtime fixture, Cagliari kept their focus to beat visiting Udinese 3-0 amid speculation that the Sardinian club could be sold.

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