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Millennium Post

Juventus thrash Novara to move closer to title

Juventus remained on course for their first Serie A crown in nine seasons after crushing relegation-threatened Novara 4-0 as AC Milan stayed three points adrift with a 4-1 win at Siena.

A brace from Mirko Vucinic and goals from Marco Borriello and Arturo Vidal yesterday helped unbeaten Juventus record their eighth success in a row to reach 77 points with three matches left.

The Bianconeri, who have a better head-to-head record against Milan, could clinch the title as early as Wednesday should they defeat Lecce and Milan lose to Atalanta.

Despite the heavy defeat Novara, eight points adrift of safety, were not condemned to Serie B after third-from-bottom Lecce were beaten 2-1 at home by improving Parma.

Coach Antonio Conte admitted Juve could only lose the scudetto now.

"Three days ago Novara beat Lazio so we knew it wouldn't be easy but we got the early goal and we kept our concentration right until the end," he told Italy's Sky Sports.

At Novara, Borriello almost gave Juve a second-minute advantage with a left-foot shot that flew just the wrong side of the far post.

But with the away side piling forward the lead arrived soon after when another former Roma striker, Vucinic, cleverly steered home Andrea Pirlo's 16th-minute free kick.

The Bianconeri doubled their lead five minutes before the break when an unmarked Borriello headed home Emanuele Giaccherini's inviting centre.

Chilean midfielder Vidal made sure of the points five minutes after the restart, stroking the ball home after goalkeeper Alberto Santana had halted Vucinic's charge, before the livewire Vucinic struck his second of the afternoon on 64 minutes.

Milan kept pace with Juve after frontmen Antonio Cassano and Zlatan Ibrahimovic struck in three first half minutes to defeat Siena. MORE (AFP)
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