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Apr 15, 2013

Juventus beats Lazio, opens 11-point lead

Juventus moved a step closer to a successful defense of its Serie A title with a 2-0 win at Lazio on Monday that opens up an 11-point lead at the top of Serie A with six games left.

Two goals from Arturo Vidal inside the first half-hour ended Lazio's hopes of moving into contention for a place in the Champions League next season in the battle of the two last Italian survivors in Europe, up until last week.

Juve bounced back in style from its Champions League elimination to Bayern Munich while Lazio failed to do likewise after going out of the Europa League at the hands of Fenerbahce on Thursday.

Lazio, lacking the suspended Giuseppe Biava and Stefano Radu, had to improvize in defense, which is hardly an ideal situation when faced with the league leaders.

A foul by the inexperienced Cana on Mirko Vucinic inside the penalty area was punished in the eighth minute, and Vidal beat Federico Marchetti from the spot to put the Bianconeri ahead.

Vucinic was denied by a good diving save from Marchetti in the 20th minute before Vidal made it two.

Vucinic's cross was diverted kindly for Vidal by the luckless Cana, and the former Bayer Leverkusen midfielder accepted the invitation to score from close range.

Lazio's heads dropped and Paul Pogba missed two chances to increase Juve's lead before the interval.

The home team's coach, Vladimir Petkovic, appeared to have found the right words during the break as Miroslav Klose and Ederson both went close with two early chances in the second half.

But they were always open to attacks and Claudio Marchisio should have increased Juve's lead when he lifted his shot over in the 56th minute.

Libor Kozak came on, but the man who was so prolific as the Europa League's top goalscorer could not recreate that threat in a Serie A game, wasting several chances to reopen the game.

And Klose summed up his side's luck, or lack thereof, when he shot wide in stoppage time.

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