Tue, Jan 13, 2015 - Page 18 News List

Juventus down Napoli to go three points clear

AP, MILAN, Italy

AS Roma’s Daniele de Rossi, center, controls the ball against SS Lazio in their Serie A match at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome, Italy, on Sunday.

Photo: AFP

Serie A leaders Juventus won 3-1 at SSC Napoli to move three points clear of AS Roma, who fought back from two goals down to draw 2-2 against SS Lazio in the capital derby earlier on Sunday.

Miguel Britos leveled for Napoli, canceling out a stunning Paul Pogba volley, but Juventus restored their advantage five minutes later through Martin Caceres, who was making his first appearance in more than three months.

There was a suspicion of offside on that goal and Napoli were further infuriated after having a late equalizer ruled out for a foul on Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, before Arturo Vidal sealed the victory in stoppage-time.

“We are tired of this,” Napoli president Aurelio de Laurentiis wrote on Twitter. “Juve are a strong team, if they are then also helped by referees then they become unbeatable. It is unacceptable that with six officials they cannot see two players who are offside. Either it’s bad faith or incompetence. These six officials have to be frozen out for a long time.”

Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri shrugged off the comments after steering the Bianconeri to a first win at the Stadio San Paolo since 2000.

“It makes me smile, if we start protesting at refereeing decisions then it’ll be chaos,” he said. “Mistakes happen and everyone makes them, from presidents to referees, it’s normal.”

Napoli remained fourth, a point behind Lazio after the latter’s derby disappointment.

Francesco Totti scored both Roma’s goals in the second half. Roma’s talismanic captain celebrated his second in unusual fashion by taking a selfie of himself on the pitch.

UC Sampdoria moved level on points with Napoli after beating Empoli 1-0, while Genoa slipped up in the race for third when they lost 3-1 at Inter and they are level with ACF Fiorentina, who won a thrilling encounter with US Citta di Palermo 4-3.

Elsewhere, Cagliari defeated AC Cesena 2-1, Atalanta BC drew 1-1 with AC Chievo Verona and Hellas Verona beat Parma 3-1.

Juventus were hoping to avenge their Supercoppa Italiana defeat at the hands of Napoli and took the lead just before the half-hour mark when the ball fell to Pogba and the youngster fired a spectacular volley into the far corner.

Napoli leveled in the 64th minute when Britos escaped the Juventus defense to volley in a corner from close range.

However, Juventus restored their lead almost immediately when Caceres turned in Andrea Pirlo’s free-kick on the half-volley for his first goal since 2012.

Napoli thought they had leveled again five minutes later when Buffon dropped a cross after colliding with Kalidou Koulibaly and Caceres bundled the ball into his own net, but the referee awarded a foul amid furious protests from the hosts.

With Napoli fighting hard for the equalizer, Juventus sealed the match on the counterattack when Alvaro Morata raced from the halfway line before picking out Vidal, who smashed the ball past the goalkeeper from long range.

Roma were looking to move top — for a few hours at least — after cutting the gap to Juventus to one point last week, but Lazio were also full of confidence after a decent run had seen them climb to third.

Felipe Anderson set up Stefano Mauri’s opener before doubling Lazio’s lead before halftime. The young Brazilian has five goals and five assists in as many games.

Rudi Garcia made two changes at halftime, bringing on Kevin Strootman and Adem Ljajic for Radja Nainggolan and Alessandro Florenzi.

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