Juve hammer Napoli to close in on leaders AC Milan
Apr 1, 2012, 20:39 GMT
Rome - Juventus beat guests Napoli 3-0 late Sunday with goals from Leonardo Bonucci, Arturo Vidal and Fabio Quagliarella to move within two points of Serie A leaders AC Milan.
The Devils, held to a 1-1 draw Saturday at Catania, saw their advantage on unbeaten Juve halved with eight games left.
Juve's furious start brought Bonucci and striker Marco Borriello close to scoring by the gaping goal-mouth before Borriello missed a header.
Slovak Marek Hamsik broke the Bianconeri's supremacy on 13 minutes with a right-flank run toward the careful Gianluigi Buffon, but the Turin hosts came close again with a wide header from Vidal off a free kick by Andrea Pirlo.
The second half saw Napoli custodian Morgan De Sanctis make a prodigious save to avoid an own goal, but he was stunned on 53 minutes by Bonucci's seemingly involuntary deflection on a drive from Mirko Vucinic.
The goal shook the guests from Naples, whose Ezequiel Lavezzi and Edinson Cavani seemed to finally get into the game as Goran Pandev also came on upfront.
The guests failed, however, to truly worry Juve's defence - the least beaten in the league with 17 goals from 30 games - and lost confidence when Vidal fired home after leaping past Hugo Campagnaro with 15 minutes left.
Naples-born substitute Quagliarella did not rejoice when he slammed home a third goal off a feed from just-fielded veteran Alessandro Del Piero.
Further bad news for Napoli was the late dismissal of midfielder Juan Zuniga, who will miss next weekend's big game at Lazio.
'It was a spectacular game, and it was great to score,' Vidal said. 'We have a great will to win and play well. This win can be a message for Milan. It showed that we are strong, and we always want to display our grit.'
Earlier Sunday, Diego Milito's hat-trick helped Inter Milan clinch an intense 5-4 home win over Genoa in new coach Andrea Stramaccioni's debut.
Inter remain seven points behind a berth for a continental event, while third-place Lazio retained a Champions League berth despite Saturday's 3-1 loss at Parma.
Napoli stayed fourth next to Udinese, who lost 1-0 at troubled Siena.
Roma beat lowly Novara 5-2 in noon action before Cagliari won 2-0 against Atalanta, Palermo had defender Andrea Mantovani dismissed as they won 3-1 at Bologna, Chievo stunned hosts Fiorentina 2-1, and Lecce drew 0-0 with bottom side Cesena.
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