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Serie A: Juve go top with 2-1 win over Fiorentina

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Associated Press

Last Updated: October 26, 2011, 09:48 IST

Serie A: Juve go top with 2-1 win over Fiorentina

Alessandro Matri scored the winner in the 65th minute for his third goal in two games.

Turin: Juventus took the provisional lead in the Italian league with a 2-1 win over Fiorentina on Tuesday that extended the Turin club's unbeaten start to eight matches.

Alessandro Matri scored the winner in the 65th minute for his third goal in two games, following an excellent set-up from Simone Pepe.

Defender Leonardo Bonucci had given Juventus the lead by slotting home a rebound following a corner in the 13th and Stevan Jovetic had equalized for Fiorentina in the 57th with his third goal in two matches.

With 16 points, Juventus moved one point clear of Udinese, who visit Napoli on Wednesday without league scoring leader Antonio Di Natale.

Also on Wednesday, defending champions AC Milan seek their third consecutive win against Parma and Inter Milan play at Atalanta, who have only one loss.

Matri scored twice against Genoa at the weekend but Juve allowed a late equalizer in a 2-2 draw that raised questions over the Bianconeri's title aspirations, which are now back on track.

Still, Juventus need to improve their finishing.

"We created a lot but we didn't close the match out," Matri said. "The important thing is we won, though."

Fiorentina, who are seven points back, extended their winless streak to five matches and did little to alleviate the pressure on embattled manager Sinisa Mihajlovic.

Gian Piero Gasperini, who was fired by Inter Milan last month, watched the match from the stands.

Playing in their new 41,000-seat stadium, Juventus completely dominated the first half.

Simone Pepe, Claudio Marchisio and Mirko Vucinic each had chances before Bonucci finally found the target and Juventus also had numerous opportunities to double their lead.

Missing key midfielder Riccardo Montolivo to suspension, Fiorentina struggled on both ends during the first half.

Alberto Gilardino replaced Alessio Cerci at the center of Fiorentina's attack to begin the second half and the change had an immediate effect.

Gianni Munari put a header on goal in the 46th for Fiorentina's first chance and Jovetic then equalized with a precise shot from the edge of the area after Juan Vargas redirected a pass from Gilardino.

For Juve's winner, Pepe managed to slip a perfect pass through several defenders as he was falling down to set up Matri near the center of the area.

Gilardino had a chance to equalize in the closing minutes but couldn't get a shot off from the center of the area.

Before kick-off, fans honoured Italian MotoGP rider Marco Simoncelli with a long applause. Simoncelli died on Sunday after a crash at the Malaysian Grand Prix.