Juventus beats Chievo 2-0 to move 7 points clear
MILAN (AP) — Paul Pogba showed why the top European teams are interested in him as he orchestrated a 2-0 win for Juventus against Chievo Verona, sending the defending champion seven points clear atop the Serie A table on Sunday as Roma drew 1-1 at Fiorentina.
Pogba scored a stunning opener on the hour mark and was instrumental in his team’s second, netted by Stephan Lichtsteiner.
“Paul scored an extraordinary goal and pulled the ball down brilliantly for the second,” Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri said. “He is an intelligent, calm and level-headed lad who always wants to improve. ... The club has to decide (whether to sell him) but it’s not a problem to consider right now. It is difficult to replace world class players, but football goes on.”
Former Fiorentina forward Adem Ljajic cancelled out Mario Gomez’s strike as Roma drew its third successive league match.
“We had a great second half, there was a good reaction,” Roma coach Rudi Garcia said. “I saw an ambitious team which is capable of scoring. With this spirit we will win many matches.
“We’ll continue on our path without looking at the others. We have to be more clinical for the entire 90 minutes.”
Meanwhile, there will be further debate about goal-line technology after Palermo had a goal ruled out in a 1-1 draw at Sampdoria, with the home side’s new signing Samuel Eto’o in attendance.
A stoppage-time goal gave Torino a 1-0 win at Inter Milan, its first since 1988, while a late Alejandro Rodriguez strike also saw Cesena beat Parma 2-1 in a relegation battle between the two bottom sides.
Hellas Verona beat Atalanta 1-0, with Javier Saviola scoring his first Serie A goal.
Juventus struggled to break down Chievo although Giorgio Chiellini nodded just over from a couple of corners, and had another header from a corner deflected over the bar by goalkeeper Albano Bizzarri.
It took a moment of magic to break the deadlock as Pogba skipped past two Chievo players before unleashing a powerful 20-yard strike into the bottom corner for his fourth goal in as many games.
Pogba almost claimed the second too as he brought down a cross with his foot before hitting it on the volley, forcing a great save from Bizzarri, only for Lichsteiner to slot in the rebound.
Roma knew it couldn’t afford another slip after draws against Lazio and Palermo but Mario Gomez redirected David Pizarro’s long-range strike for his third goal in two matches after scoring twice in the Italian Cup midweek.
Roma looked a different side after the break and leveled after four minutes. Juan Iturbe did well to bring down Francesco Totti’s long ball and hold off the defenders before squaring for Ljajic, who did not celebrate his goal.
There was further bad news for Roma as Kevin Strootman went off as a precaution after taking a knock to the knee he had surgery on back in March.
In Genoa, all eyes were on the stands, where club president Massimo Ferrero sat with a smiling Eto’o and fellow new signing Luis Muriel, with all three wearing Sampdoria scarves.
Eto’o underwent a successful medical this weekend and Everton said it expected the deal to be finalized in the next 24 hours.
Samp got off to the perfect start when Eder ran on to Roberto Soriano’s through ball and fired across to give his side the lead in the sixth minute.
The home side should have increased its advantage before Palermo levelled at the start of the second half with Franco Vazquez smashing in Edgar Barreto’s pass.
Palermo was denied a winner when Michel Morganella’s effort crashed off the underside of the crossbar before bouncing off the ground and out. Replays showed the ball had crossed the line but the referee ignored Palermo’s protests.
Sampdoria moved level on points with third-placed Lazio, a point clear of Napoli, which hosts Genoa on Monday.
At San Siro, Emiliano Moretti scored in the dying seconds as Inter fell to its first defeat in six matches.
Maxi Lopez headed a corner across to Moretti, who nodded in from point-blank range in the fourth minute of stoppage time.