Juventus in comfort zone as Roma emerge from doldrums

Juventus in comfort zone as Roma emerge from doldrums

Juventus will head into the international break on a high and with a 14-point lead on closest challengers Roma, who ended a five-game winless run in Italy`s Serie A with a 1-0 victory at Cesena on Sunday.

Carlos Tevez took his Serie A goals tally to 16 as Juventus maintained their 14-point lead on Roma thanks to a hard-fought 1-0 win over Genoa.

Genoa travelled to Turin with faint hopes of taking a share of the spoils from the league leaders having handed Juve their only defeat of the season last October.

However Genoa goalkeeper Mattia Perin could do little to stop Tevez`s 25th minute strike from inside the area and despite stand-in keeper Eugenio Lamanna later stopping Tevez`s spot-kick, the hosts held on to record their 20th win of the campaign.

Tevez now leads fellow Argentinian Mauro Icardi of Inter Milan and AC Milan`s French winger Jeremy Menez -- both of whom have 15 goals -- in the race for Serie A`s capocannoniere (top scorer) award.

Juventus don`t return to action until they host Empoli a week after the international break and Tevez told JTV: "It was a beautiful goal, what else is there to say?

"But the most important thing is taking all three points, we know how important this game was in terms of the championship. That`s one game less, we have to keep in going like this."

While Juve have one hand on the title, Roma were celebrating ending a five-game winless run with a cagey 1-0 victory over struggling Cesena.

It ended a remarkably poor series of results for Garcia`s former title challengers, who saw Daniele De Rossi pounce on a cross early in the second half.

Roma`s third win in 12 successive games mainly served to keep city rivals Lazio at bay, but for how long remains to be seen.

Stefano Pioli`s men were impervious throughout a 2-0 home win over Verona, with Brazilian sensation Felipe Anderson breaking the deadlock on four minutes after rising to head Dusan Basta`s powerful cross past Francesco Benussi.

Midfielder Lucas Biglia should have doubled Lazio`s lead on the half hour but his first-time shot from Stefano Mauri`s short layoff came off the bar, while Antonio Candreva`s bouncing effort was saved on the line minutes later.

Verona were offering little in response, and Candreva put the game beyond reach with a piledriver of a free kick on the stroke of half-time.

Anderson should have had his second after the restart when he pounced on a poor midfield pass and ran half the length of the field before sending his drive off the crossbar.

Lazio remain third at a point behind Roma, but the Biancocelesti are now four ahead of Sampdoria and five in front of Napoli after a night of contrasting fortunes for them.

A well-struck free kick from Samp striker Eder secured a 1-0 home win over Inter Milan to move the Genoa side up to fourth, with Napoli moving the other way following a dour home draw with 10-man Atalanta in which Duvan Zapata only levelled for the hosts in the 89th minute.

Fiorentina remain in the hunt for a Champions League place but were lamenting dropped points in a 2-2 draw away to Udinese.

Malian international Molla Wague opened the scoring for the hosts on the quarter-hour but Mario Gomez struck twice, once with the head, in the space of three second-half minutes to send La Viola in front.

However Fiorentina were stunned just after the hour when Panagiotis Kone was allowed to run in unhindered to the back post to meet Antonio Di Natale`s acrobatic cross. 

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