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Jan 13, 2013

Lazio close in on Juve

Juventus saw their lead at the top of Serie A cut to just three points as a fine individual goal from Nicola Sansone kept Parma's lengthy unbeaten home run intact in a 1-1 draw.

• Rzouki: Juventus struggle in 2013
• Blog: Five reasons for Roma loss

Antonio Conte's Juve were desperate to atone for last weekend's surprise defeat to Sampdoria, a result which saw Lazio close to within five points of the league leaders.

Andrea Pirlo threatened to hand Parma a first home defeat since March with his fortuitous free-kick just after the break, but Sansone danced behind the Juve backline to level the tie and rescue a deserved point.

Lazio closed to within three points of Juve with a hard-earned 2-0 victory over 10-man Atalanta at the Stadio Olimpico.

While Antonio Conte's reigning champions were being held to a 1-1 draw in Parma, a controversial finish from Sergio Floccari and Davide Brivio's own-goal saw Lazio take full advantage in their pursuit of top spot.

AC Milan missed the chance to go sixth in the Serie A table after neither side managed to make the breakthrough in a hectic goalless draw at Sampdoria.

Massimiliano Allegri's men were eager to leapfrog Roma, who lost at Catania, but found themselves largely under the cosh in Genoa as Samp looked to claim their second big scalp in a week.

Edinson Cavani failed to register his 100th Serie A goal but Napoli kept in touch with Juventus courtesy of a third consecutive victory, this time 3-0.

The Uruguayan was primed to bring up a century of goals in the Italian top flight, with his former club Palermo the likely victims, but instead Christian Maggio proceeded to open the scoring.

Cavani continued to have an off day but Gokhan Inler and Lorenzo Insigne spared him any embarrassment by ensuring a third straight defeat for Palermo, who are now four points from safety.

Elsewhere, Udinese claimed a 3-1 victory over Fiorentina at the Stadio Friuli. A Zeljko Brkic own goal put the visitors ahead only for an Antonio Di Natale brace and a strike from Luis Muriel to compelte the turnaround.

Roma's European ambitions suffered another blow after they crashed to a third defeat in four Serie A matches after going down 1-0 to mid-table Catania.

Alejandro Gomez's second-half goal proved the difference between the two as Catania followed in the footsteps of Chievo and Napoli by sending sixth-placed Roma to defeat on the road.

Torino survived a late scare to take all three points in a dramatic 3-2 victory over Siena at the Stadio Olimpico.

It all looked easy for Torino as they led 3-1 at half-time thanks to goals from Matteo Brighi, Rolando Bianchi and Alessio Cerci, with Reginaldo replying for Siena.

But Michele Paolucci pulled a goal back for the Bianconeri and former Torino midfielder Alessandro Rosina missed a penalty in the 89th minute as the Granata only just held on to a win which lifts them seven points clear of the bottom three, and leaves Siena rock bottom.

Daniele Conti's late header completed a 2-1 Cagliari win that lifted them out of the Serie A relegation zone at the expense of Genoa.

Despite dominating the opening period the hosts, who had lost their past five matches, fell behind three minutes after half-time when Eros Pisano headed in a corner.

Marco Sau levelled almost immediately before Conti met Fernando Danilo Avelar's pin-point 82nd-minute free-kick to ensure the home fans, who were allowed back into the Stadio Is Arenas for the first time in a month, went home happy.

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