Roma demonstrate title desire
A review of the weekend's action in the Italian Serie A.
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Roma closed to within five points of Serie A leaders Juventus as Mattia Destro's hat-trick handed Cagliari a 3-1 defeat at the Stadio Sant'Elia on Sunday.
Juve, who have seven games remaining, can reopen their eight-point gap with victory over Livorno on Monday night, but nerves will be frayed in Turin after Roma demonstrated their determination to snatch the Scudetto.
Destro scored once in the first half and twice after the break to reach 13 goals for the season before Mauricio Pinilla gave 15th-placed Cagliari some reason to be cheerful by blotting Roma's clean sheet with a late penalty.
Marco Parolo fired Parma into sixth place and seriously wounded Napoli's bid to finish second with a 1-0 win.
A strike of real quality 10 minutes into the second half proved enough to return Europa League-chasing Parma to winning ways following three defeats on the spin.
While their title bid has been over for some time, Napoli retain ambitions of catching Roma but now trail the capital club by 12 points with only six games remaining.
Fourth-placed Fiorentina pulled five points clear of Inter Milan by edging a 2-1 home victory over Udinese.
Juan Cuadrado opened the scoring at the Stadio Artemio Franchi before Gonzalo Rodriguez's second-half penalty set La Viola on a course to win their first game in three attempts.
Bruno Fernandes ensured a nervous finale by surprising goalkeeper Neto with a cross-shot.
Ten-man Lazio maintained their push for a European place with a 2-0 victory over a disappointing Sampdoria.
Antonio Candreva scored his ninth goal of the campaign to put the Biancoceleste ahead in the 42nd minute.
Despite playing in numerical inferiority following the sending off of midfielder Lucas Biglia for a second yellow card early in the second half, Lazio doubled their lead through Senad Lulic in the 73rd minute.
Torino scored twice in the final 11 minutes to clinch a 2-1 come-from-behind win over bottom side Catania.
Gonzalo Bergessio put the hosts ahead after only two minutes at the Stadio Angelo Massimino, but substitute Alexander Farnerud drew Torino level in the 79th minute before Ciro Immobile netted a late winner.
The result in Sicily lifts the Granata to 10th place in the table while ending their three-game losing streak on the road.
Elsewhere, Nicola Sansone struck twice as second-bottom Sassuolo ended Atalanta's six-game winning run with a 2-0 triumph.
Sansone put the visitors in front in the 33rd minute and doubled their advantage after the interval as the Neroverde won for the second time away from home this season.
The outcome lifted Sassuolo to within three points of safety, while Atalanta dropped to eighth in the table.
On Saturday, Inter Milan once again wasted the chance to get a stranglehold on a place in Europe next season as they twice threw away the lead to be held 2-2 at home by Bologna.
Mauro Icardi scored both goals for the Nerazzurri, after six and 63 minutes, with Michele Pazienza's deflected shot bringing Bologna level first before Panagiotis Kone scored their second in the 74th minute.
Inter then missed a penalty late on, with Diego Milito denied from the spot.
Luca Toni's second-half strike earned Hellas Verona derby honours from their clash with Chievo .
Leading scorer Toni slotted home the only goal of the game from close range in the 65th minute to follow up his brace in last weekend's 3-0 victory over Genoa.