Giaccherini takes Juve nine points clear

Published March 10, 2013

| Sports Network

Substitute Emanuele Giaccherini scored a stoppage-time winner to help Juventus secure a 1-0 home win over Catania that takes the Old Lady nine points clear of second-place Napoli.

With Napoli losing 2-0 to Chievo on Sunday, Juve had the chance to take a commanding lead at the top of Serie A.

But the home side struggled to break down a stubborn Catania defense until the dying moments.

Catania goalkeeper Mariano Andujar made a few key saves, while Juve forwards Sebastian Giovinco and Mirko Vucinic were off the mark.

However, Juve boss Antonio Conte inserted Giaccherini 15 minutes from time and he livened up the attack before netting the winning goal in added time.

Paul Pogba's deflected cross was parried by Andujar, but it fell straight to Giaccherini, who took a touch before firing the ball inside the left post.

Juventus is now a firm favorite to retain the title with a nine-point advantage and only 10 games to play.

Chievo 2, Napoli 0

Verona, Italy - Napoli's title ambitions took a severe blow on Sunday with a 2-0 defeat at bottom-half side Chievo, leaving the club nine points adrift of Juventus at the top of the league.

Napoli is headed in the wrong direction at a bad time as the team is now winless in its last seven games in all competitions, while Chievo moves eight points clear of the drop zone with the victory.

Boukary Drame opened the scoring in the 12th minute with a long-range effort that beat goalkeeper Morgan De Sanctis, while Alberto Paloschi headed the ball against the crossbar as Chievo tried to extend its lead.

Cyril Thereau made it 2-0 to the home side a few minutes before the break, while Napoli squandered a chance to haul itself back into the contest in the 58th minute when Edinson Cavani had his penalty kick saved by goalkeeper Christian Puggioni.

Bologna 1, Inter Milan 0

Milan, Italy - Inter Milan's struggles continued on Sunday as the club slumped to a 1-0 defeat at the San Siro against Bologna.

The Nerazzurri was attempting to bounce back from a 3-0 Europa League defeat against Tottenham on Thursday, but the home side failed to find the net once more and yielded the lone goal in the 57th minute to Alberto Gilardino.

Diego Perez set up the tally with a nice through ball that allowed Gilardino to get into the penalty area and comfortably slot his shot past goalkeeper Juan Pablo Carrizo.

Inter piled on the pressure in the final minutes but Andrea Ranocchia missed the net from a dangerous position while both Rodrigo Palacio and Esteban Cambiasso had their efforts kept out by Gianluca Curci in the Bologna net.

Fiorentina 2, Lazio 0

Rome, Italy - Fiorentina used a 2-0 win at Lazio on Sunday to move into fourth place in Serie A, three points back of third-place AC Milan for the final Champions League place.

Lazio played the role of aggressor, but Fiorentina made the most of its opportunities and took the lead 20 minutes into the match when Adem Ljajic teed up a shot from Stevan Jovetic, who hammered it into the bottom corner of the net from the edge of the penalty area.

Ljajic then found the net himself five minutes into the second half with a well-struck free kick that made its way inside the right post.

Stefan Radu, Ogenyi Onazi and Sergio Floccari each had chances in the final 10 minutes for Lazio, but none found the net and the loss drops the club into sixth place.

Atalanta 2, Pescara 1

Bergamo, Italy - A goal in each half from German Denis lifted Atalanta to a 2-1 home win over last-place Pescara, which was under the control of interim manager Cristian Bucchi for the first time on Sunday.

Bucchi watched his side get off to a good start in the 24th minute with a well-placed shot from Gaetano D'Agostino, but Denis answered 10 minutes later from the penalty spot after Pescara's Damiano Zanon fouled Giacomo Bonaventura inside the area.

Denis was at it again in the 67th minute to put Atalanta in front when he took down a cross from Davide Biondini and hammered the ball into the roof of the net from close range.

Pescara was unable to find a way back and remains rooted to the bottom of Serie A, five points from safety.

Cagliari 3, Sampdoria 1

Cagliari, Italy - Victor Ibarbo's hat trick guided Cagliari to a 3-1 triumph at home against Sampdoria on Sunday in a battle of mid-table sides.

Ibarbo entered the match with just one goal on the season, but he found the net in the 18th minute to put Cagliari up 1-0 at halftime.

The second goal came early in the second half when Ibarbo pounced on a loose ball following a corner kick to fire his shot past goalkeeper Sergio Romero.

Ibarbo completed his hat trick 20 minutes later when he headed home Andrea Cossu's cross, while Sampdoria could only manage a stoppage-time penalty kick from Maxi Lopez.

Siena 2, Palermo 1

Palermo, Italy - Siena claimed three big points on Sunday at Palermo as the club came from a goal down in the second half to earn a 2-1 win that moves them to within two points of safety.

Both sides entered the contest level on 21 points and firmly in the middle of a relegation fight, making a win for either side vital.

The hosts snatched the lead shortly before halftime through Anselmo as he controlled a corner kick from Fabrizio Miccoli and fired the ball past goalkeeper Gianluca Pegolo.

But the lead lasted only a few minutes into the second half when Innocent Emeghara pounced on a loose ball and easily slotted in home to level the contest.

Emeghara had a hand in the winning goal as well when he drew a foul on Palermo's Steve Von Bergen inside the area, allowing Alessandro Rosina to beat goalkeeper Stefano Sorrentino from the spot.

Parma 4, Torino 1

Parma, Italy - Amauri's second-half hat trick allowed Parma to claim a 4-1 home victory against Torino on Sunday, snapping the home side's eight-match winless streak.

The contest remained scoreless into the second half until Mario Santana broke the deadlock for Torino in the 56th minute.

But Amauri started his scoring binge in the 77th minute after a poor pass from Torino's Angelo Ogbonna, while Nicola Sansone fired Parma into the lead three minutes later with a shot on the turn.

Amauri then secured the win with two goals in the final six minutes to bring an end to Parma's poor run.

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