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Juventus move nine clear in Italian soccer
By Emmanuel Barranguet
10:36 AEST Mon Mar 11 2013

Substitute Emanuele Giaccherini struck in injury time to snatch a 1-0 win for an uninspired Juventus at home to Catania on Sunday to increase their lead to nine points in Italian soccer's Serie A.

Giaccherini had only been on the field 15 minutes, during which time he'd been booked for diving, when he shot home from the centre of the box following a storming run from Paul Pogba down the right.

That last-gasp goal completed a joyful day for the reigning champions as their nearest challengers Napoli crashed to a 2-0 defeat at struggling Chievo.

Juve could not find a breakthrough until Giaccherini's injury-time intervention and, even after that, fellow substitute Fabio Quagliarella should have put the gloss on the score when he was sent through one-on-one with Andujar but the goalkeeper trumped the forward.

"It's been a very demanding week between Napoli, the Champions League and Catania," said Juve coach Antonio Conte.

"Tomorrow (Monday), I've given (the players) a day off, which wasn't planned - just to recuperate."

It was a miserable day for Napoli in Verona as they fell to defeat at Chievo for the third year in a row.

Serie A top scorer Edinson Cavani even missed a spot-kick and Napoli's goalscoring troubles are becoming increasingly acute.

They have managed only two goals in seven games in all competitions while Cavani's last successful strike came at the end of January.

Napoli coach Walter Mazzarri played down his side's title chances and claimed they have more modest aims.

"No one in this club has ever spoken about the title - we've been clear about that."

French-born Senegal international full back Boukary Drame opened the scoring for Chievo after 12 minutes with Frenchman Cyril Thereau doubling the advantage just before the break.

The defeat leaves out-of-sorts Napoli, who have not won in their past seven games in all competitions and five in the league, dropping into the clutches of hard-charging AC Milan.

AC won 2-0 at lowly Genoa on Friday night to take their unbeaten run in the league to 10 games and trail the Neapolitans by just two points. And their two nearest challengers for that final Champions League berth lost at home.

Inter Milan crashed 1-0 against Bologna and Lazio slumped to a 2-0 loss against Fiorentina.

Siena boosted their survival hopes with a crucial 2-1 win at fellow-strugglers Palermo.

Brazilian-born Italian international Amauri scored a hat-trick as Parma hit four goals in the last 13 minutes to overturn a 1-0 deficit at home to Torino and record a convincing 4-1 success.


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