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Juventus close in on 29th title with win over Torino
Juventus needed two late goals to beat Torino 2-0 and now can secure the title next weekend against Palermo.
Milan: Juventus needed two late goals to beat Torino 2-0 in the Derby della Mole on Sunday as the defending champion inched closer to its 29th title. Arturo Vidal scored three minutes from time to give Juventus the victory, shortly after Torino had been denied what looked a clear penalty. Torino defender Kamil Glik was then sent off in the final minute before Claudio Marchisio sealed the result.
Antonio Conte's team is 11 points ahead of second-place Napoli and can secure the title against Palermo next weekend. "It's the most important goal I've scored since I've been here," Vidal said. "Now we're really so close to winning the title. It was a difficult game; Torino plays very well. What's important though is that at the end we won. We only need a point; now we have to think about the match against Palermo."
AC Milan remained third in the battle for the last Champions League spot, as substitute Giampaolo Pazzini scored twice in as many minutes to help his team fight back to a 4-2 win against Catania. The team is a point ahead of Fiorentina, who beat Sampdoria 3-0.
Elsewhere, Pablo Daniel Osvaldo scored a hat trick to help Roma to a 4-0 win over struggling Siena, who slipped into the relegation zone after Palermo beat Inter Milan 1-0. Erik Lamela scored Roma's other goal as the capital side moved into fifth and boosted its chances of a Europa League spot. They are two points above seventh-place Inter.
Torino, who hadn't scored in the past seven derby matches, frustrated Juventus for most of the match and almost took the lead later on. Alessio Cerci flashed the ball across the face of the goal and Jonathas was prevented from connecting with it in front of an empty net as his shirt was being held by Leonardo Bonucci.
Torino's appeals for a penalty were waved away and Juventus took the lead when Vidal fired a shot just inside the left post from 20 meters. Glik was then sent off for a second booking before Juventus doubled their lead when Fabio Quagliarella nodded Andrea Pirlo's free kick across goal for an unmarked Marchisio to volley home.
Meanwhile, Fiorentina broke the deadlock in stunning fashion in the 36th minute when Juan Cuadrado blasted a screamer from 30 metres into the bottom left corner. Adem Ljajic then squeezed in a shot between a crowd of players six minutes later for a special goal for the Fiorentina striker.
Sampdoria manager Delio Rossi was fired by Fiorentina almost a year ago to the day for punching Ljajic in the dugout. Fiorentina sealed the result in the 73rd. Ljajic did well to force his way into the area before passing to Alberto Aquilani for the simplest of tap-ins. Daniele Gastaldello was sent off late on for a dreadful tackle from behind on Ljajic.
Milan, who played later, knew they had to win to take back third spot. However, Catania took the lead on the half hour when former Milan defender Nicola Legrottaglie headed in Francesco Lodi's free-kick.
Milan levelled on the stroke of half-time. Kevin-Prince Boateng, who had earlier hit the crossbar, chested down Ignazio Abate's cross for Mathieu Flamini to fire a diagonal shot across into the bottom left corner. Gonzalo Bergessio restored Catania's lead in the 65th, chipping goalkeeper Marco Amelia.
Pazzini was brought on shortly after and immediately changed the game, pouncing twice to fire in rebounds after Mario Balotelli and Stephan El Shaarawy had efforts saved. Balotelli was returning from a two-match suspension and he sealed the result in stoppage time, winning and then converting a penalty after he was tripped by Mariano Izco.
Palermo got off to a bright start and could have taken the lead in the seventh minute but goalkeeper Samir Handanovic did well to smother Fabrizio Miccoli's volley. The Sicilian side took the lead just three minutes later when former Palermo defender Matias Silvestre gifted the ball to Miccoli, who poked it through for Josip Ilicic to score his fifth goal in as many games.
Matters got worse for Inter when captain Javier Zanetti was carried off on a stretcher. It was later confirmed he tore his Achilles tendon and now faces a six- to nine-month layoff. Zanetti turns 40 in August and there are fears that the injury could spell the end of his career. "I don't know exactly what happened but at a certain point I felt a pull and it really hurt so much. It still does," Zanetti said. "I will overcome this, too."
Genoa also boosted their chances of avoiding relegation when Marco Borriello helped them to a 1-0 win at Chievo Verona. Siena are now in penultimate place in Serie A, two points below Genoa and Palermo.
Elswhere, Lazio defender Giuseppe Biava was sent off for a second booking in stoppage time as the capital club drew 0-0 at Parma.