Roma moves 5 points behind Juventus with 3-1 win
Apr. 06, 2014
MILAN (AP) — Roma moved within five points of Serie A leader Juventus as Mattia Destro scored his first hat trick in a 3-1 win at Cagliari on Sunday.
Destro reinforced his case for a place in Italy's World Cup squad as well as bolstering Roma's title hopes ahead of Juventus' home match against relegation-threatened Livorno on Monday.
"A club which makes its mark on history is one which wins titles," Roma coach Rudi Garcia said. "The race for first place is not over yet, but it doesn't depend on us. ... The only thing we have in our hands is second spot, and we will try to keep that position until the end of the season."
Fiorentina maintained its charge to a Europa League spot with a 2-1 win over Udinese, while Parma also remained on course after turning around a poor run of form to beat third-place Napoli 1-0.
It moved level on points with Inter, with the two sides occupying the final Europa League places.
"I'm happy for the lads who had a great game, full of suffering and sacrifice, given that we also had important players out," Parma coach Roberto Donadoni said. "When we play like this we manage to get results, now we'll look forward and I think that with certain players coming back we can have our say."
Lazio is two points behind after a comfortable 2-0 win over Sampdoria, while Atalanta lost momentum with a 2-0 loss at home to lowly Sassuolo.
Torino reignited its European hopes as Ciro Immobile moved back to the top of the goalscoring table with the winner in a 2-1 victory at Catania, his 18th of the season.
Catania later sacked coach Rolando Maran for the second time this season.
Destro scored his first goal shortly after the half hour, firing home Gervinho's cross from close range after he had started the move.
The 23-year-old Destro doubled his tally 15 minutes into the second half, beating the offside trap to run onto a ball from on-loan Cagliari midfielder Radja Nainggolan and slot past Vlada Avramov.
Destro completed his hat trick in the 73rd, tapping in Alesandro Florenzi's cross.
Mauricio Pinilla netted a late consolation from the spot after he had been tripped by Mehdi Benatia
It was Roma's first win at Cagliari since 1995, excluding the 3-0 victory it was awarded last season when the Serie A game was postponed for safety reasons after Cagliari defied orders to play in an empty stadium.
In Florence, Juan Cuadrado scored and earned a penalty against his former club.
Cuadrado opened the scoring in the 25th minute with a long-range effort which was deflected by Udinese defender Danilo past goalkeeper Simone Scuffet.
Danilo's luck got worse as a soft penalty was awarded against him for a nudge on Cuadrado, and Gonzalo Rodriguez converted.
Bruno Fernandes got Udinese back into the match eight minutes from time with a cross-shot which flew into the top corner.
Cuadrado should have sealed the result but his effort crashed off the crossbar.
Fiorentina is unlikely to overtake Napoli for the final Champions League spot as Rafa Benitez's men are still nine points clear despite losing at Parma, which snapped a three-game losing streak.
Napoli thought it had taken the lead in the 10th minute but Federico Fernandez was rightly adjudged to have been offside when heading in Lorenzo Insigne's free kick.
Parma went in front 10 minutes into the second half when Mattia Cassani cut back for Marco Parolo to fire into the top corner from just inside the area.
Napoli had several chances to level, notably with an angled Insigne volley which scraped the outside of the right post.
Atalanta lost ground in the chase for a Europa League spot as it saw its club record run of six successive wins end following a double from Nicola Sansone.
Sassuolo moved three points from safety, while Atalanta was leapfrogged by Lazio.
Antonio Candreva gave Lazio the lead three minutes from halftime when he slotted home from close range after impressive work down the right flank from teenage forward Keita Balde.
Lucas Biglia was dismissed following a second booking shortly before the hour mark but Lazio doubled its advantage in the 73rd minute when Senad Lulic smashed Stefano Mauri's pullback under the bar.