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Roma lose to Napoli while Juventus moving closer to Serie title

English.news.cn   2014-03-10 09:11:25

ROME, March 9 (Xinhua) -- Roma suffered a 1-0 defeat at Napoli to see their gap with Italian Serie A leaders Juventus widened to 14 points on Sudnay.

Jose Callejon leapt highest to head home Faouzi Ghoulam's superb cross from the left wing and sealed the win just nine minutes from time.

Things did not look rosy for Roma in the first half as midfielder Kevin Strootman limped off with an injury.

The game was full of missed chances and it came down to Callejon to settle matters late on, inflicting Roma's second league defeat of the season.

Napoli head coach Rafa Benitez said his side can treasure their victory over Roma.

"We've seen many games that Napoli played well and didn't win, so to beat a strong side like Roma I think we ought to be happy," he said.

"I think we are the only team this season who have beaten Roma twice. That must mean we are doing something right," he added.

Roma head coach Rudi Garcia rued his side's wasted chances and conceded that they could not catch up with Juventus who beat Fiorentina 1-0 at home.

"We had many scoring opportunities and only missed that little bit of luck to convert them," he said.

"We played with character and maturity, so I don't think the defeat was deserved. We saw tonight that in football the best team doesn't always win," he said.

He acknowledged that Juventus have won this season's Serie A title.

"Mathematically the Scudetto race isn't over, but realistically it is. There's a huge gap," he said.

With their win over Fiorentina, Juventus equalled the Serie A mark of 14 consecutive home wins, a record set by Torino in the 1975-76 season.

Kwadwo Asamoah scored the only goal in the 42nd minute as Juventus drew first blood in their triple-header with Vincenzo Montella's side.

The sides are set to meet three times in less than a fortnight, with Sunday's Serie A clash to be followed by two encounters in the UEFA Europa League last 16.

Juventus head coach Antonio Conte was delighted with the performance of his side who allowed few chances to Fiorentina.

"We played the first half at a high level, then after the break we dropped back in part due to fatigue after international duty," he said.

"We allowed Fiorentina only one chance to score, rarely ran risks and held out pretty well," he said.

He praised his side have done a good job on their way to the third consecutive Serie A title.

"We did well to win the first Scudetto unbeaten, while last season only Inter and Sampdoria got the better of us. This term we are pretty winning too," he said.

"There are still 11 rounds to go, but we are 50 per cent Champions of Italy. We're going at an extraordinary pace, but they're not letting up behind us either," he added.

Lazio lost to Atalanta 1-0 at a sparsely populated Stadio Olimpico as their fans staged a stay-away protest against club president Claudio Lotito.

Despite the result Lazio remain in eighth after Torino were beaten 1-0 by Inter, with Rodrigo Palacio heading the winner.

Sampdoria staged a spectacular comeback as they scored four second-half goals to recover from 2-0 down to seal a 4-2 home victory over Livorno. The away side remain in the final relegation place and two points adrift of safety.

Alberto Paloschi helped Chievo seal a 2-1 victory over Genoa after converting two penalties for Eugenio Corini's side, eclipsing Alberto Gilardino's late leveller.

Elsewhere, Parma climbed to sixth with a 2-0 win over Verona, while rock-bottom Sassuolo ended their seven-game losing streak with a 0-0 draw at Bologna.

Editor: Yang Lina
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