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Unbeaten Juventus return to the top of Serie A

Unbeaten Juventus return to the top of Serie A

Juve beat struggling Novara 2-0, while Inter Milan's revival continued with a win over Cesena.

Milan: Unbeaten Juventus returned to the top of the Italian league with a 2-0 victory over struggling Novara on Sunday.

Simone Pepe gave Juventus the best start when he scored in the fourth minute but the result flattered Juventus with veteran goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon pulling off a string of impressive saves.

Fabio Quagliarella secured the Serie A win 15 minutes from time. Juventus are now two points clear of AC Milan.

Meanwhile, Inter Milan's revival gathered pace as Andrea Ranocchia helped them win 1-0 at struggling Cesena. Inter's fifth win in six games moves them up to fifth spot — 10 points behind Juventus.

Novara are two points clear of bottom place Lecce, who let slip a two-goal lead to draw 3-3 at Parma.

After AC Milan had gone provisionally top with victory on Saturday, the pressure was on Juventus and they didn't disappoint. Antonio Conte's team got off to the perfect start when Paolo De Ceglie crossed for Pepe to tap home from close range.

Alessandro Del Piero had several chances to put the game beyond Novara but he lacked the final touch. Novara's best chance came on the stroke of halftime but Marco Rigoni headed straight at Buffon.

Juventus sealed the points when Quaglierella headed in Andrea Pirlo's corner for his first goal in more than a year.

In a game of few chances at Cesena, Inter made it three wins in a row, thanks to Ranocchia's second-half goal.

Ranocchia found himself unmarked in the area shortly after the hour mark and headed home Maicon's freekick.

Lecce could have given their survival hopes a big boost as they looked to be on course for a 3-1 victory at Parma before letting the lead slip.

Parma were awarded a penalty in the 19th minute when Stefano Ferrario brought down Jonathan Biabiany. Sergio Floccari stepped up to the spot and sent Lecce goalkeeper Julio Sergio the wrong way, slotting the ball into the bottom left corner.

Two rapid David Di Michele goals saw Lecce take the lead as first he tapped in Davide Brivio's cross before scoring with a stunning bicycle kick from the edge of the area into the top right corner three minutes later.

Lecce looked to have won the game when they extended their lead eight minutes from time after Luis Muriel dribbled almost the length of the pitch before setting up Juan Cuadrado.

Parma got back into the game four minutes from full time when Lecce substitute goalkeeper Ugo Gabrieli flapped at a cross and the ball fell to Graziano Pelle to score. Daniele Galloppa grabbed the equaliser in stoppage time with a powerful snap shot from the edge of the area.

Catania beat Palermo 2-0 in what is likely to be Maxi Lopez's last home game for the Sicilian side.

The home side took the lead shortly after half an hour when Francesco Lodi lifted a 25-yard freekick over the wall and into the top left corner.

Catania were gifted their second when Matias Silvestre brought down Maxi Lopez in the area and the Argentine placed his penalty into the bottom left corner.

Maxi Lopez is likely to leave Catania in the winter transfer window and the striker left the field in tears when he was substituted midway through the second half.

Elsewhere, Bologna are further in trouble after losing 2-1 at Genoa.

Genoa took the lead at the end of the first half when Lucas Pratto muscled his way into the area and rounded the keeper before slotting the ball across the face of goal for Marco Rossi to tap into an empty net.

Bologna leveled shortly after the interval when Marco Di Vaio backheeled Alessandro Diamanti freekick into the path of Gaston Ramirez, who fired home.

Pratto won the game for Genoa five minutes from time as he lashed the ball into the bottom right corner from 18 yards for his first Serie A goal.