Italian Serie A Roundup, Feb. 13
Juventus checked Inter Milan’s pursuit of city rival and Serie A leader AC Milan with a 1-0 win Sunday from Alessandro Matri’s first-half goal.
Matri found the net in the 30th minute in a match in which both teams had several scoring chances. Inter striker Samuel Eto’o squandered a late chance to equalize when he smashed the ball against the bar despite having an open goal at his mercy.
Inter is eight points behind Milan with a game in hand. Juventus is three further points behind.
Lazio, meanwhile, stayed in contention for a Champions League place with a 2-0 win at Brescia on Sunday.
Alvaro Gonzalez scored an early goal in the 17th and Libor Kozak added another in the 58th to earn the Rome team a comfortable win that puts it seven points behind league leader AC Milan.
"We haven’t had a particularly good time recently," Lazio coach Edy Reja said. "We haven’t won away for quite some time, but we had a good game today."
Fiorentina twice came from behind to earn its first away win in over a year with a 4-2 victory at Palermo.
"Finally we were able to call up our best players, those who can score and set up goals," Fiorentina coach Sinisa Mihajlovic said. "Until now we haven’t had them available and we suffered because of that. Today we didn’t stop trying to play good football."
Also Sunday, it was: Bari 0, Genoa 0; Cagliari 4, Chievo Verona 1; Catania 3, Lecce 2; Cesena 0, Udinese 3; and Sampdoria 3, Bologna 1.
Juventus midfielder Alberto Aquilani had the first chance of the game, but chipped just over the crossbar.
Juventus winger Milos Krasic started the build-up for the goal, pulling the ball back for Frederik Sorensen to find Matri, who headed his cross past goalkeeper Julio Cesar.
Inter immediately went on the attack, but Esteban Cambiasso hooked his shot over the bar.
Early in the second half, Inter had its best chance, but goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon punched Giampaolo Pazzini’s header away.
Matri had a chance to add a second, but headed Krasic’s cross wide from close range. He then took too long when Aquilani played him in and Maicon came back to clear.
Buffon had to rush off his line twice to stop Eto’o, and Matri then fired a shot wide from close range.
With two minutes remaining, Eto’o missed an open goal. He hit the bar from close range after Juventus’ defense had failed to stop Maicon’s low cross.
Gonzalez gave Lazio the lead when he headed in Stephan Lichtsteiner’s cross at the near post. He nearly doubled his tally 10 minutes later but Brescia goalkeeper Michele Arcari got down low to push the shot away for a corner after Gonzalez raced behind Brescia’s defense.
Lazio grabbed a second after the interval when Kozak got up highest to head in Cristian Ledesma’s corner.
Alessandro Diamanti was Brescia’s main attacking threat and he nearly grabbed a consolation goal in injury time when his free kick hit the bar.
"There are times in the season when you don’t play at your best," Reja said. "We had ours in January and suffered because of that. But we kept our spirits up and now things are starting to go our way."
In Palermo, Javier Pastore kept up his impressive form by grabbing the opener in the seventh. By halftime though Fiorentina was level after Alberto Gilardino nodded in Valon Behrami’s chipped cross.
Antonio Nocerino put Palermo back in the lead soon after the break with a diving header, but again Fiorentina fought back when Michele Camporese was left unmarked at a corner to score in the 70th.
Cesare Bovo’s own-goal put Fiorentina into the lead and Riccardo Montolivio secured the points with two minutes remaining.