Chiellini helps Juventus keep pace with Inter

March 8th, 2009 - 4:05 pm ICT by IANS  

Rome, March 8 (DPA) Juventus kept the pace with Serie A leaders Inter Milan edging Torino 1-0 through a late goal from international defender Giorgio Chiellini.
The win Saturday night in the high-voltage city derby pushed Juventus on to 56 points from 27 games, with reigning champions Inter leading on 63 after beating Genoa 2-0 earlier in the day.

Lowly Torino are just one point above the relegation zone, but held Juventus on the ropes in the first half hour, missing good chances when Roberto Stellone aimed a high header and Simone Barone had a fast drive and a header saved by Gianluigi Buffon.

Juve had less ball possession, but still came close through a great volley and a downward header from Vincenzo Iaquinta that gave Matteo Sereni chances to display his diving skills.

The goalkeeper was again crucial for Torino as he parried a tricky drive from Claudio Marchisio and a shot that Brazilian Amauri tried from an angled position after the break.

Other prodigious saves in the 71st minute denied Juventus efforts this time with Sereni blocking a close-range header from Olof Mellberg and deflecting Hasan Salihamidzic’s tap-in on the post.

There was no blame on Sereni 10 minutes later, when Chiellini burst past the defence to nod home a free kick curled by veteran substitute Pavel Nedved.

In earlier action, Sweden’s ace Zlatan Ibrahimovic resumed his scoring habits being on target in Inter’s 2-0 beating of Genoa that Mario Balotelli sealed in the second half.

In a previous game, Roma had captain Daniele De Rossi sent off as they were held to a 1-1 home draw by visiting Udinese to dent their pursuit of a Champions League berth.

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