Tue, Sep 30, 2014 - Page 18 News List

Juve, Roma set pace ahead of Euro challenge

AFP, MILAN, Italy

Genoa’s Mauricio Pinilla, right, and UC Sampdoria’ s Matias Silvestre vie for the ball during their game at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris in Genoa, Italy, on Sunday.

Photo: EPA

Juventus and AS Roma underlined their title credentials days before Champions League meetings with Atletico Madrid and Manchester City respectively as Inter and AC Milan lost precious points in Italy’s Serie A.

Days before traveling to Madrid, Argentine striker Carlos Tevez was the inspiration for Massimiliano Allegri’s Juventus, scoring his third and fourth goal of the campaign either side of halftime.

Alvaro Morata headed home a third with seven minutes left of a match that hinged on a missed penalty — saved by Juve goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon — by the hosts with the score at 1-0.

Tevez, strike partner Fernando Llorente and influential Chilean midfielder Arturo Vidal were all substituted late in Saturday’s win as the champions look to keep some powder dry for tomorrow.

Allegri was quick to underline the importance of Tevez, saying the Argentine “is fulfilling his potential, scoring goals, creating them, working hard, making sacrifices and dictating the tempo.”

Roma’s 2-0 win against Hellas Verona thanks to late goals from Alessandro Florenzi and Mattia Destro, who scored from 36m, mean Rudi Garcia’s side also remain unbeaten after five games.

Yesterday, Roma were to face a Manchester City side in dire need of a first Group E win, but the Frenchman was defiant: “We’ve shown we have confidence in our game. We’re ready to handle the challenges when they come, but we have to enjoy this experience and take what we can get from it.”

UC Sampdoria provisionally moved up to third place with a 1-0 win over Genoa in the city derby late on Sunday.

For Milan’s city rivals Inter, it was something of a black Sunday.

Undefeated after four opening games, the Nerazzurri were stunned 4-1 at home to Cagliari, who started the day bottom of the table but finished on a high after seeing Albin Ekdal hit a first-half hat-trick.

Ekdal became the first Swede since Zlatan Ibrahimovic to achieve the feat in Serie A.

“I was in the right place at the right time,” Ekdal said. “We have to keep on working hard if we’re to move up the table.”

SSC Napoli scored 1-0 win against US Sassuolo.

Jose Callejon’s first-half strike was enough to hand Napoli a precious win at Sassuolo, but the Partenopei are already eight points adrift of Juve.

In other results on Sunday, three games ended in 1-1 draws, those being AC Cesena against Milan, Chievo against Empoli and Torino against ACF Fiorentina.

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