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Juventus one step ahead in title race with win over Roma

Rome, Mon, 23 Apr 2012 ANI

Rome, Apr 23 (Xinhua-ANI): Juventus won a three-point lead over AC Milan in the Serie A title race after they beat ten-man Roma 4-0 at home on Sunday.

Arturo Vidal scored a brace in the first eight minutes, and then the home side were assisted by a controversial penalty decision which saw Maarten Stekelenburg sent off in the 26th minute, and Andrea Pirlo on the rebound after seeing his spot-kick saved.

Claudio Marchisio completed the scoring in the 52nd minute to round-off a comprehensive win which, regardless of the red card, was never in any doubt.

Juventus head coach Antonio Conte warned his side against complacency following their win over Roma, as there are still five difficult finals awaiting them.

"The approach was fundamental and worthy of a top club. These lads continue to amaze me. We know it was a little step forward, but there are also five Finals in front of us and none of them are easy," he said.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic rescued a point in the final minute for AC Milan with a fine strike against Bologna to claim a 1-1 draw.

The Rossoneri looked to be heading for just their third defeat at the Giuseppe Meazza stadium this season after Gaston Ramirez had put Bologna in front in the 26th minute.

Ibrahimovic looked to have equalized in the 58th minute only for the referee to disallow the goal for a controversial offside decision. The hosts then had defender Daniele Bonera sent off for a second yellow card eight minutes from time but Ibrahimovic earned his team a vital draw.

Fiorentina had a penalty saved as Inter Milan held on for a 0-0 draw in Tuscany.

Inter goalkeeper Julio Cesar brought down Fiorentina's Andrea Lazzari in the 69th minute but then kept out Adem Ljajic's spot-kick. The outcome leaves Inter unbeaten under coach Andrea Stramaccioni, who replaced Claudio Ranieri last month, and helps keep them in the Champions League picture.

Substitute Valeri Bojinov struck at the death as relegation-threatened Lecce came from behind to claim a vital point, 1-1 at Lazio.

Francesco Matuzalem put the home side ahead in the 82nd minute after both teams had previously been denied by the crossbar. Bojinov then came to the visitors' rescue by scoring the equalizer seconds from time.

Cesena staved off relegation for a few days at least by drawing 2-2 at home to Palermo.

The Serie A basement boys turned the game around in the space of three minutes just before the half-hour mark as goals from Mario Santana and Vincenzo Rennella put them 2-1 in front. But Matias Silvestre equalized on the stroke of half-time to earn a point for Palermo, who had gone in front through Nicolas Bertolo.

Genoa's match against Siena was suspended for 45 minutes after a fan disturbance that saw the home players intimidated in the middle of the pitch and forced to remove their shirts by angry supporters.

The game eventually restarted after goalkeeper Giuseppe Sculli's emotional intervention, with Siena resuming 4-0 in front and going on to secure an important three points in their battle against relegation with a 4-1 win. (Xinhua-ANI)


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