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Serie A wrap: Juve go three points clear

SoccerNews in Serie A 20 Oct 2012

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Juventus moved three points clear of Napoli at the top of Serie A by striking late to claim a vital 2-0 victory.

Juve had the better of a disappointing encounter in terms of possession and territory, but they struggled to create any clear-cut chances and it was Napoli who came closest to opening the scoring during the first half, with forward Edinson Cavani hitting the crossbar with a free kick.

However, the hosts eventually made the breakthrough with 10 minutes to go when Martin Caceres headed home an Andrea Pirlo corner just moments after being introduced from the bench.

Fellow substitute Paul Pogba repeated the feat just moments later with a terrific volley to ensure that Napoli left Turin empty handed and give his side the initiative in this season’s title race.

Apart from the Cavani shot in an ill-tempered, underwhelming and largely incident-free opening 45 minutes, a well-struck drive from Claudio Marchisio, right on half-time, was the only other effort of note.

Giovinco really should have ended the stalemate 10 minutes into the second half when the ball dropped invitingly for him in the area, after he had miscued a low cross from Kwadwo Asamoah. However, after shifting it onto his right foot, the former Parma man fired wide.

With 10 minutes left, Caceres broke the deadlock, the versatile defender timing his arrival into the six-yard box to perfection before burying Pirlo’s corner past a helpless De Sanctis.

Not to be outdone, Pogba, who had taken over in midfield from the subdued Arturo Vidal, made the points safe when he found the bottom corner with a controlled volley from the edge of the area just three minutes later.

The result leaves Juventus three points clear at the top of the table and extends their unbeaten run to 47 games.

In the later game, Lazio held off a strong-finishing AC Milan to take the points in a 3-2 home win.

The Rome club led 2-0 at half-time with goals from Hernana and midfielder Antonio Candreva.

Lazio looked to be cruising when veteran Germany international striker Miroslav Klose made it 3-0 in the 49th minute with his six goal of the season.

But Milan staged a late fightback through goals by Nigel de Jong in the 61st minute and Stephan El Shaarawy 10 minutes from time to give Lazio a scare.

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