Juventus edge out Inter Milan
A review of the weekend's action so far in the Italian Serie A, including a Derby d'Italia victory for Juventus.
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Juventus overcame the first major obstacle on the last leg of their Serie A title defence by edging out 10-man Inter Milan 2-1 in Saturday's Derby d'Italia.
League leaders Juve were also eager to avenge November's 3-1 home defeat to the Nerazzurri which saw their unbeaten run ended one game shy of 50, and Fabio Quagliarella drew first blood within minutes.
Inter dominated for long spells but, despite Rodrigo Palacio's second-half equaliser, they could not break down a resilient Bianconeri defence after Alessandro Matri found a winner 30 minutes from time.
Esteban Cambiasso's late dismissal for a foul on Sebastian Giovinco then summed up a frustrating afternoon for Andrea Stramaccioni's men, who remain in sixth place.
A hat-trick from Blerim Dzemaili and a late double from Edinson Cavani saw Napoli emerge victorious from an eight-goal thriller at Torino.
Dzemaili saw the first of his two hat-trick goals at the Stadio Olimpico cancelled out by Paulo Barreto and then Jonathas from the penalty spot.
Marek Hamsik had missed his first-half spot-kick and it looked like Napoli would live to regret it as Riccardo Meggiorini gave Torino the lead midway through the second half.
But the introduction of Cavani from the bench inspired Dzemaili to a third goal before the Uruguay striker notched twice in the last six minutes to keep his side nine points behind leaders Juventus.
Riccardo Montolivo's first-half goal was enough for AC Milan to take all three points from their trip to Chievo and sustain their improbable title challenge.
Montolivo decided a game affected by rainy conditions in the 25th minute.
A Nicola Legrottaglie own goal and an Antonio Candreva strike late on earned Lazio a dramatic 2-1 win over top-three rivals Catania at the Olimpico.
Catania went into the match knowing a victory could see them jump from eighth to fifth and they looked set to move just six points behind Milan - who occupy the final Champions League spot - when Mariano Isco put them into the lead in the 50th minute.
However Lazio scored in the 79th and then 81st minutes to snatch what could be a vital three points as they moved to 50 points, four off Massimiliano Allegri's men.
Cagliari continued to prosper despite their supporters' exile from the Stadio Is Arenas as a brace from Mauricio Pinilla sealed a 2-1 victory over Fiorentina.
It was a third straight win behind closed doors at the controversial stadium, from which Rossoblu fans are barred due to ongoing safety concerns, and on Saturday's evidence they may choose not to apply for re-entry for the four remaining home games.
Pinilla needed 11 minutes to beat Emiliano Viviano before firing the winner from the penalty spot just before half-time.
Juan Cuadrado's second-half response gave Fiorentina brief hope they could make up ground on third-placed AC Milan, but they remain fourth while Cagliari climb to 11th.
Palermo claimed an invaluable win in their battle to avoid relegation from Serie A by downing European hopefuls Roma 2-0 at the Stadio Renzo Barbera.
A 15-match winless streak had seen the Rosanero tumbling towards the second tier after nine seasons at the top table, but an early goal from Josip Ilicic gave the home faithful reason to believe on Saturday.
And towards the end of a season where Palermo have so often surrendered any advantage, Fabrizio Miccoli rubber-stamped all three points against an under-par Roma side who never really got going.
Palermo are now three points shy of 17th-placed Genoa with eight games remaining while Roma drop to seventh.
Antonio Di Natale spurned the chance to get Udinese's Serie A season back on track as he missed a second-half penalty in his side's goalless draw against Bologna on Saturday.
The home side won the spot-kick in the 65th minute after Saphir Sliti Taider fouled Roberto Pereyra in the box, but Di Natale was denied by a fine save by Bologna keeper Gianluca Curci.
Pedro Obiang missed a late chance to snatch a late victory for Sampdoria in their goalless draw against 10-man Atalanta at the Stadio Atleti Azzurri in Bergamo on Saturday.
Obiang twice fired wide in the last 10 minutes as the visitors piled on the pressure following Stefano Lucchini's red card for a professional foul on Gianluca Sansone.
The result meant Atlanta failed to nudge any further clear of the Serie A relegation zone while Sampdoria's hopes of a top 10 finish were hit by their second game without a win.
Serie A strugglers Genoa and Siena shared the spoils in a 2-2 draw at the Luigi Ferraris, a result which will leave both teams with mixed feelings.
Marco Borriello gave the hosts an early lead but Siena turned the game around with goals either side of half-time from Innocent Emeghara and Alessandro Rosina, the latter from the penalty spot.
That put them on course for a crucial three points but Bosko Jankovic's equaliser dumped them back into the final relegation place, one point and one place below Genoa.
Parma returned to the top half of the Serie A table with the most comfortable of 3-0 wins over relegation-bound Pescara at the Stadio Ennio Tardini.
A lean two-month period saw the Gialloblu tumble out of the race for Europe but Yohan Benalouane found Saturday's visitors were there for the taking with his unopposed first-half header.
Further strikes from Gabriel Paletta and Amauri then allowed Parma boss Roberto Donadoni the luxury of handing two youngsters their club debuts in the final 30 minutes.
Donadoni's men return to 10th place while Pescara drop to 20th, six points from safety with only eight games remaining.