Juventus’ narrow win over Bologna means time is fast running out for Roma to overhaul the champions at the top of Serie A.
Antonio Conte’s side were largely frustrated in Saturday’s encounter with struggling at Juventus Stadium, but Paul Pogba struck the decisive blow with a fierce 25-yard drive just after the hour.
That victory put Juve temporarily 11 points clear at the summit, but second-placed Roma reduced that gap back down to eight points by picking up their eighth straight league win with a 1-0 victory at Fiorentina later on Saturday.
Radja Nainggolan scored midway through the first half at Stadio Artemio Franchi to leave Rudi Garcia’s charges with a small chance of picking up their first Scudetto since 2001.
In the race for the UEFA Europa League, Inter took a huge step towards ensuring their place in Europe’s secondary competition with a 2-0 win at Parma.
Samir Handanovic played a huge part in that success, keeping out a first-penalty from Antonio Cassano, while Parma were further frustrated when Gabriel Paletta was sent off for a second bookable offence shortly after the restart.
Rolando headed home the opener from the resulting free-kick, while Fredy Guarin wrapped up the points in the 89th minute.
With Coppa Italia finalists Fiorentina and Napoli both set to secure European football, sixth place would also yield a Europa League spot.
And Milan are now level with sixth-placed Parma after racking up a fifth straight Serie A win in a 3-0 triumph over strugglers Livorno at San Siro.
Mario Balotelli – making his 50th Milan appearance – broke the deadlock with his 30th goal for the club shortly before half-time, and goals in the second half from Adel Taarabt and Giampaolo Pazzini secured the win.
Defeat for Livorno means they are now three points adrift of safety in 19th, and the loss saw head coach Domenico Di Carlo dismissed from his position.
Fellow European hopefuls Lazio and Torino played out a 3-3 thriller at Stadio Olimpico.
After twice taking the lead, the hosts were behind for the first time in the 89th minute thanks to Ciro Immobile’s strike, yet Antonio Candreva scored his second of the game in the 94th minute to ensure the spoils would be shared.
In the battle to avoid relegation, rock-bottom Catania ended a nine-match winless run – including six straight losses – with a 2-1 victory over Sampdoria, Gonzalo Bergessio scoring the winner in the 63rd minute.
Fellow strugglers Sassuolo also earned a crucial three points in a 1-0 triumph at Chievo, Domenico Berardi’s goal five minutes before the break settling the encounter.
Sassuolo are now level on points with 17th-placed Bologna, while Chievo are just two points above the relegation zone.
In other matches, Cagliari and Verona were both 2-1 victors on their respective visits to Genoa and Atalanta, while third-placed Napoli were held to a 1-1 draw at Udinese.
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