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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jan 15, 2006

Del Piero hits winner as Juve march on

ROME, Jan 15 (Reuters) - Alessandro Del Piero maintained his record-breaking form when he struck the winner in Juventus's laboured 1-0 win over Reggina in Serie A on Sunday.

The striker, who hit a hat-trick in midweek against Italian Cup rivals Fiorentina to surpass Giampiero Boniperti as the club's all-time top scorer, netted just before halftime to maintain Juve's 100 percent record at home.

The result gave leaders Juventus 52 points from 19 matches, 10 points ahead of second-placed Inter Milan, who edged out Cagliari 3-2.

AC Milan slipped back one place to third on 40 points after losing 1-0 to AS Roma in the Italian capital.

Fiorentina remained fourth, also on 40 points, after the division's leading scorer Luca Toni broke his recent goal drought to hit the target twice, including a stoppage-time winner, in a 2-1 victory over Chievo Verona.

Reggina had taken just three points in their previous eight away games and were expected to offer little resistance to the Italian champions.

Juve started brightly with David Trezeguet volleying against the post, but Reggina's confidence grew as Carlos Paredes and Giacomo Tedesco flashed shots narrowly wide of Gianluigi Buffon's goal.

In the end it was 31-year-old Del Piero who came to Juve's rescue.

The Italy international ran on to Trezeguet's chip and lashed the ball past keeper Nicola Pavarini to take his tally for the club to 186.

In the second half, Zlatan Ibrahimovic missed a great chance to extend Juve's lead when he scuffed the ball wide from close range.

Inter Milan endured a similarly nervy afternoon at the San Siro stadium.

Roberto Mancini's team failed to score in either of their matches this year against Siena and Parma but seemed well in control as they went 2-0 up in the opening 15 minutes against Cagliari.

Brazilian striker Adriano was involved in both goals, first pumping forward a long ball for Obafemi Martins to score on the break before taking advantage of a great run and cross by Javier Zanetti to tap in at the far post.

Cagliari pulled one back through Mauro Esposito in the 20th minute but Andrea Capone's foul on Adriano early in the second half allowed the Brazilian to restore Inter's two-goal cushion from the penalty spot.

Inter's hopes of a trouble-free finale were dashed in the 81st minute when David Suazo's free kick deflected off Walter Samuel to beat keeper Julio Cesar.

The win moved Inter above city rivals Milan, who suffered their fifth away defeat of the season in Rome.

Milan's strike partnership of Andriy Shevchenko and Alberto Gilardino had notched up eight goals between them in their previous three Serie A matches, but struggled to wriggle through Roma's defence.

Clarence Seedorf almost put Milan ahead with a long-range effort that flew just wide early in the second half.

At the other end defender Cristian Chivu wasted a good chance to give the home side the lead when he opted to pass instead of taking a shot from close range.

Roma grabbed the winner in the 81st minute. Midfielder Mancini -- playing his first Serie A game after a two-month injury layoff -- picked up Francesco Totti's pass on the edge of the area and fired in a shot that deflected off Jaap Stam to beat Dida at his near post.

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