TURIN, ITALY - APRIL 01: Giorgio Chiellini of Juventus FC competes for the ball with Marek Hamsik of SSC Napoli during the Serie A match between Juventus FC and SSC Napoli at Juventus Arena on April 1, 2012 in Turin, Italy. (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)

Serie A, Week 30: Juventus Beat Napoli To Move Within Two Points Of Milan

Juventus capitalised on Milan's failure to overcome Catania, earning all three points against Napoli on Sunday night. Meanwhile, other third-place hopefuls Udinese and Lazio also lost over the weekend.

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Juventus Vs. Napoli, 2012 Serie A: Second Half Hammering Gives Juve 3-0 Victory

It was a glorious night in Turin for the Juventus faithful as their team picked up a much-needed three points with a 3-0 victory over Napoli. The partenopei were off their game tonight, with the Holy Trinity almost anonymous. They made it through the first half having conceded no goals, but that was really more due to the ineptitude of Marko Borriello than any of their own skill. In the second half, goals from Leonardo Bonucci, Arturo Vidal and Fabio Quagliarella lifted Juventus, putting them just two points behind AC Milan.

Bonucci struck first for the Old Lady, although he almost seemed to not have a clue about the goal. Of course, the goal came from a Andrea Pirlo free kick, with the master whipping it into the center of a pile of pink shirts. Mirko Vucinic whipped the ball goalwards, where it deflected off Bonucci, catching Morgan De Sanctis off guard and landing in the back of the net.

Bonucci's goal may have been a near-accident, but the bianconeri made up for that with their second goal, a result of splendid footwork by Vidal. The Chilean, racing up the left wing, encountered Hugo Campagnaro, but zigzagged around the Napoli defender, stepped past an oncoming Camile Zuniga and fired his shot past a diving De Sanctis.

To further compound the visitors' misery, former Napoli striker Quagliarella scored the third for Juve. A pass from Alessandro Del Piero set Quags free on the right, and it was all too easy for him to slip past the Napoli "defense" and put the ball in the back of the net.

Just to make things even more fun, in the 86th minute, Zuniga lost his mind and decided to elbow Giorgio Chiellini in the face. He saw a straight red card, which will leave Walter Mazzarri with a bit of a headache against Lazio next week, seeing as Christian Maggio needed to leave the match with injury after just 25 minutes of play.


Juventus Vs. Napoli, 2012 Serie A: Halftime And Goalless In Turin

It's been whispered that Antonio Conte admitted that he picks the Juventus starting XI at 3 a.m. That might be the only way to explain the forward paring against Napoli: Mirko Vucinic has played well over the past month, but using Marco Borriello from the start makes no sense whatsoever. It may have been that Conte hoped his imposing presence would slow down play, but the only way Borriello is slowing things down is by rolling on the ground and complaining. It's got to be a sure thing that Conte will bring off Borriello after the break, right?

The visitors have already been forced into a substitute, with Christian Maggio still suffering from the injury he picked up against Chelsea. Andrea Dossena replaced the wingback, taking Camile Zuniga's place on the left while the Colombian shifted to the right. While Maggio rarely grabs as much attention as the Three Tenors up front, he is the backbone of Napoli, and it's tough to see them winning without him on the pitch.

While Juventus have seen plenty of chances go begging thus far, primarily due to the inability of Borriello and Vucinic to link up, one or two substitutions will make all the difference. Despite Walter Mazzarri's insistence that his team has worked on set pieces this week, they look frail as ever when confronted with a corner or free kick. It's likely Juve will score -- but will Napoli be able to respond? Their counterattack is there, sure, but their passes have gone astray. If they don't settle down, nothing will even come close.

Yet if Juve don't settle down their tempers, the match could change in an instant. The hosts are playing a bit down and dirty tonight, with three players already having picked up yellow cards. Arturo Vidal earned a caution for a dangerous foul on Marek Hamsik, Stephan Lichtsteiner for dissent, and Paolo De Ceglie for a rash challenge on Ezequiel Lavezzi.


Juventus Vs. Napoli, 2012 Serie A Week 30: A Lesson In Table Climbing

Juventus want to close the gap on league leaders Milan, while Napoli hope to draw even with Lazio in third. Will anyone emerge victorious from Turin?


Inter Milan Vs. Genoa, 2012 Serie A: Mental Match Ends 5-4 In Favor Of Inter

Nine goals. Four penalties. Two red cards. Comeback after comeback for the visitors. It's surprising, really, that Andrea Stramaccioni's heart survived his first match on the Inter Milan bench. After the hosts took a 3-0 lead in the first 40 minutes, Genoa came back fighting. The grifoni never managed to catch up, but they gave us all a thriller, resulting in a 5-4 win for Inter.

Diego Milito turned the screws against his former club. For his first goal, in the 13th minute, Milito comfortably headed in a lovely cross from Diego Forlan. The second took advantage of Genoa's horrific defending, which allowed the Argentine to go one on one against Sebastien Frey. Milito then turned the reigns to his compatriot, with Walter Samuel knocking in a ball from Lucio to make it 3-0.

The visitors pulled one back in first-half stoppages, a goal by Emiliano Moretti, but it seemed more like consolation than anything. Who could have predicted the madness of the second half?

Rodrigo Palacio made it 3-2 from the spot after the ball collided with Javier Zanetti's arm inside the box. Inter gained a little breathing space, courtesy of a beauty of a Mauro Zárate goal in the 74th minute. His curving shot snuggled past Frey's hand and settled into the far corner of the net, giving the hosts a 4-2 advantage.

Then the meltdown began. Julio Cesar, rattled by Palacio going clear on goal, tripped the Genoa forward. The red card was shown and this time it was Alberto Gilardino who converted the penalty. Five minutes later, it was Genoa who were down to ten men. Although Fernando Belluschi's tackle on Fredy Guarin appeared to be clean, he was shown the red card. Milito stepped up to the spot, bagging his hat-trick and giving Inter the 5-3 lead.

In the 90th minute, Genoa earned yet another penalty, after a high boot from Lucio. Gilardino took it once again, putting the visitors within one. But the drama just couldn't hold out, and Inter walked away from the San Siro victors.


Parma Vs. Lazio, 2012 Serie A: Parma Down Lazio 3-1

Parma accelerated away from the Serie A relegation zone with an emphatic home win against 3rd-place Lazio. Things got off to a brilliant start for the hosts when McDonald Mariga netted just five minutes in, and just after that Sergio Floccari made it 2-0 with a header from six yards.

Lazio dominated possession but the visitors had real trouble generating real scoring chances and Parma were defending very well, mostly reducing their guests to long-range chances. However, Lazio managed to score from one of those chances ten minutes before the breaks, Lionel Scaloni pulled a goal back from well outside the box in the 35th minute.

That could have made for a stressful second half, but Parma wrapped things up twenty minutes from time. Floccari made it 3-1 with a very neat finish from a free kick that fizzed off Federico Marchetti's right-hand post and into the back of the net. The final score could have been even more emphatic, but the hosts wasted a few great chances towards the end of the match, and it would end 3-1. The loss is a big blow to Lazio's Champions League hopes for next season - they're only three points ahead of fourth-place Napoli and the Partenopei have a game in hand.


Catania Vs. AC Milan, 2012 Serie A: Fulltime, Catania Earn Well-Deserved Point

AC Milan likely envisioned their visit to Sicily as an easy enough way to earn all three points, further pulling away from Juventus in the title challenge. But Catania had other plans. The rossazzuri, sitting in a surprising seventh place, were down at halftime after a goal from Robinho, but managed an equaliser from Nicolás Spolli to come away from the tie with a point.

Despite playing host to the league-leaders, Catania came out fighting, refusing to sit back and play defensive football. They employed their usual swift, counter-attacking style, although plenty of wayward passes allowed Milan to stop the attacks before they grew too dangerous. It was the visitors that took the lead in the 35th minute, when Zlatan Ibrahimovic played a clever ball to Robinho, allowing the Brazilian an easy tap-in. The rossazzurri continued to respond; alas, the most they could conjure up was a wonder strike from Alejandro Gomez that rebounded off the crossbar.

After the break, the hosts again started off brightly. Gomez managed to get the ball in the back of the net, although the goal was disallowed for offside. Replays showed the attacker was clearly kept on. But before the 60th minute, Catania found their deserved equaliser. In the confusion surrounding a corner, Spolli volleyed in a header from Nicola Legrottaglie, evening the scoreline.

In yet another questionable moment of the match, it appeared as though Robinho scored his second, but the hilarious rossazzurri defence somehow managed to rescue the ball. Giovanni Marchese cleared the ball off the line, and replays showed it hadn't completely crossed over.

The title-holders certainly went down fighting, pressuring Catania to the very end. The rossoneri tried shot after shot, but somehow the Catania defense were up to it -- Vincezo Montella's defensive substitutions likely didn't hurt. Neither did the effort by goalkeeper Juan Pablo Carrizo, who made a fantastic save to deny Ibra in the 89th minute.

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