Juventus keep improving with win over troubled giants Roma

November 2nd, 2008 - 3:29 pm ICT by IANS  

Milan, Nov 2 (DPA) A 2-0 win over struggling giants Roma pushed Juventus within three points of leaders Inter Milan in the Italian Serie A, and worsened the crisis of the Rome guests holding them dangerously close to the lower reaches.Juve have now 18 points from 10 games, while Roma were held on seven, just two more than tail-enders Reggina, but with a game in hand.

In a weekend opener in Reggio Calabria, champions Inter went top as a late goal from Colombian defender Ramiro Cordoba gave them a 3-2 win over minnows Reggina in a pulsating game that opened the season’s 10th round.

The title holders moved on to 21 points, but may be leapfrogged Sunday as leaders Udinese and Napoli look to beef up their 20-point tally.

Udinese lead Napoli on goal difference when they welcome tough underdogs Genoa. The Naples side close the weekend late Sunday visiting giants AC Milan, who trail on 19 points.

At Turin’s Stadio Olimpico late Saturday, Juve’s hammering attacks early in the game only produced a harmless free kick by Alessandro Del Piero before Roma seemed to gather steam and threatened in the 13th minute with Julio Batista setting up his Brazilian compatriot Rodrigo Taddei in the area.

There was further tension among Juve fans in the 20th minutes as a low feed from Batista crossed the area and bounced off the post with Austria’s goalkeeper Alex Manninger unable to intervene.

The powerful Batista threatened again nodding high in the 21st minute and in the 33rd Roma goalkeeper Alexander Doni, himself a Brazilian, made a prodigious save slapping away a close-range downward header from defender Giorgio Chiellini before Marco Marchionni misfired a difficult volley.

Del Piero adjusted his aim in the 38th minute to put Juve ahead with a textbook swerving free kick he drilled into the top right corner to the right of Doni.

The hosts produced an impressive pressing after the break, coming close with a spectacular overhead kick by Brazilian Amauri and scoring again in the 48th minute as Marchionni burst into the area to stun Doni with a deft touch.

Amauri tried a header that flew high in the 53rd minute as Roma appeared to be on the ropes struggling to leave their own midfield and provide useful feeds for their Montenegro striker Mirko Vucinic.

Another great shot from Amauri in the 68th minute met the hands of the diving Doni shortly before the striker was replaced by Vincenzo Iaquinta.

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