Juventus keep pressure on Napoli, Milan clubs lose
Turin: Record defending champions Juventus edged past Roma 1-0 to sit one point behind Serie A league leaders Napoli, who beat Sampdoria 3-2 on a day which saw both AC Milan and Inter Milan suffer losses.
Central defender Medhi Benatia put in his cross-bar rebound in the 18th minute to decide Saturday evening's match at Turin's Allianz Stadium. Giorgio Chiellini headed Miralem Pjanic's corner-kick at Roma goalkeeper Alisson before Benatia smashed it at the cross-bar before sliding the ball in for the lone goal.
Alessandro Florenzi hit the cross-bar for Roma off a header while Patrik Schick failed to score Juventus goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny in a one-one-one situation after Benatia failed to clear a through ball.
With the win, Juventus have 44 points from 18 games, one point behind Napoli and six points ahead of fourth-placed Roma. "We gave Roma encouragement when the match looked pretty comfortable, but a 1-0 win is fine and gives us a morale boost," Juventus chief coach Massimiliano Allegri was quoted as saying by his club's website.
Napoli came from behind to seal the win over visitors Sampdoria at the San Paolo stadium in Naples. Gaston Ramirez gave a 1-0 lead to Sampdoria after just two minutes into the match, but Allan scored the equaliser 14 minutes later, reports Efe.
Sampdoria's Fabio Quagliarella converted a penalty in the 27th minute to score the second goal for his side. Napoli's Lorenzo Insigne levelled the score at 2-2 in the 33rd minute, while his captain Marek Hamsik netted the third goal four minutes later to secure the 3-2 home win. Hamsik became Napoli's all-time top scorer with 116 goals, surpassing Argentine star Diego Maradona.
"It's a fantastic achievement and I'm pleased that the goal took me over the line and got us the win. Samp played very well and it wasn't easy for us to impose ourselves," Slovakian Hamsik said.