Tag Archives: Udinese

Serie A: Bonucci saves Juve as Napoli trumps Roma

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Juventus needed Leonardo Bonucci’s header to save them against Udinese while Napoli strengthened hopes of gaining an automatic Champions League qualification spot after a 2-1 over fellow Serie A title challengers Roma.

Napoli netted twice through Dries Mertens as the Belgian international converted Marek Hamsik’s clever through ball after twenty five mintues to open the scoring and touched in Lorenzo Insigne’s cross early in the second half.

Roma scored a late consolation through Kevein Strootman, and threatened to bring the game level through Diego Perotti if not for Pepe Reina’s magnificent save for Napoli.

The result ensures that Napoli stays at third place as they advanced to two points behind of Roma.

Meanwhile Udinese stopped table leaders Juventus from heading to a runaway victory in the Italian top flight by forcing the Italian Champions to a 1-1 stalemate.

Napoli loanee Duvan Zapata put the hosts ahead by sprinting past Leonardo Bonucci and tucking the ball between Gianluigi Buffon’s legs.

Keen to make amends, Bonucci equalised by heading home Paulo Dybala’s free-kick — although Udinese almost won when Danilo’s header hit the post.

Although the match ended up as Juventus’ first draw in the season, they now advanced to eight points beyond closest table rivals Rome.

Serie A: Roma gives chase as Fiorentina trumps Juventus

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Roma shortened the gap on top of the Serie A table, as Fiorentina defeated Juventus in an ill-tempered match.

Roma, who defeated Udinese by 1-0 a few hours before the Italian Champions started their match at Stadio Artemio Franchi, shortened the gap on top of the league table to a single point.

Belgian midfielder Radja Nainggolan scored the only goal in the match with a half-volley, scoring on the turn after being fed by Kevin Strootman.

Roma’s striker and top scorer Edin Dzeko then fired a penalty over the crossbar, and was spared the embarrassment by his teammate Wojciech Szczesny. The keeper produced two vital saves to keep out Felipe dal Belo’s close range header and turn away Rodrigo de Paul’s shot, ensuring Roma’s victory and three points in the Italian top flight.

Another notable moment in Roma’s match was the introduction of Francesco Totti as a substitute, meaning that he has now played in 25 calendar years for Roma since his debut for the club in 1993.

On the other hand, Juventus suffered a small setback in their bid to retain the Serie A trophy after losing to Fiorentina by 2-1 on the road.

Juventus had been typically clinical this season, and had produced performances that often threatened to elevate them to a runaway victory for the Scudetto – a sixth consecutive Serie A title.

But Fiorentina, troubled by inconsistent performances this season, took a surprise lead at the 37th minute when forward Nikola Kalinic found the far corner of the net after being set-up by Federico Bernardeschi – who won possession off Alex Sandro.

Milan Badelj added to Fiorentina’s lead in the 54th minute with a cross that found the net, as the Juve defence were caught distracted by Federico Chiesa’s lunge at the ball.

Juventus’s top signing, Gonzalo Higuain managed to pull one back with a typically opportunistic strike four minutes later. His goal lead to tense final thirty minutes – play was repeatedly interrupted by late tackles and at the final whistle, the match finished with 38 fouls and eight yellow cards.

Regardless, Juve, looking to rally from their defeat could face a stern test ahead of them as they host fourth-placed Lazio next week – who are also just five points behind the champions. Roma, meanwhile, hosts mid-table club Caligari.