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An injury-time header from Spain striker Fernando Llorente rescued misfiring Juventus in a 1-0 win over Udinese that sent the champions three points clear of Roma in Italy's Serie A on Sunday.

Early season pacesetters Roma had spurned the chance to regain top spot earlier when Rudi Garcia's men had to settle for their fourth draw in succession, 1-1 away to Atalanta.

Juve seized the chance to widen the gap but missed an embarrassing amount of chances before Llorente secured the points after heading Stephan Lichsteiner's shot past Zeljko Brkic in second-half injury time.

Juve's 12th win of the season -- their sixth consecutively, all with clean sheets -- leaves them three points clear of Roma with Napoli in third, a further six points adrift, ahead of their trip to Lazio on Monday when Fiorentina, in fifth, also host Verona.

Conte told Sky Sport Italia: "Picking up a point or taking none would not have changed a thing for us, but taking three does. All games are important. If we hadn't beat Livorno (last week) we wouldn't have had the chance to pull ahead today. Let's not forget, Roma had a five-point cushion not so long ago."

Udinese coach Francesco Guidolin said: "Losing in the 91st minute is terrible, but that's football. We're disappointed and bitter and I'm really sorry for the players because they gave it everything out there."

Juve suffered an early blow when midfielder Andrea Pirlo was forced off with an apparent knock to his knee, to be replaced by Paul Pogba, but the hosts should have gone in for the half-time interval several goals to the good.

Carlos Tévez was a constant threat and tested Brkic throughout although Juve survived a scare on the half hour when defender Leonardo Bonucci lost possession to Antonio Di Natale, who saw goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon halt his cheeky lob.

Juve's frustrations continued throughout the second half, when Buffon also had to stop strikes from Di Natale and Andrea Lazzari, but the hosts turned up the pace when Conte introduced Lichsteiner, then Fabio Quagliarella.

Swiss international Lichsteiner made his long-awaited return from injury when he replaced Simone Padoin just before the hour and with 15 minutes remaining striker Quagliarella replaced wing back Paolo De Sceglie.

"There's only a one-point difference between a draw and defeat, so I preferred to throw on another striker," explained Conte.

Quagliarella and Llorente both came close in the final 10 minutes but as the match looked to be heading for a draw Llorente reacted quickly to Lichsteiner's shot from the edge of the area to head past the wrong-footed Brkic.


Second-half strikes from Fernando Llorente and Carlos Tévez secured a 2-0 win away to Livorno on Sunday to send champions Juventus top of Italy's Serie A for the first time this season.

Juventus now have a two-point cushion on overnight leaders Roma ahead of the capital side's home game against struggling Cagliari on Monday. Napoli, stunned 1-0 at home by Parma on Saturday, are now six points off the pace in third.

Llorente, who also set up Tévez's strike, said: "We have to take it a game at a time but, for sure, overtaking Roma can add a little pressure to them. But we have to keep on winning, concentrate on our own jobs and continue doing what the coach asks us to do."

Juventus travelled to Tuscany looking for their fourth successive league win, with goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, making his 500th Serie A appearance, having kept clean sheets in their three previous games.

Despite missing several defenders due to injury and suspension, prompting coach Antonio Conte to slot midfielder Arturo Vidal in the middle of his back three, the Bianconeri weathered a frustrating first period and made the difference in 12 second-half minutes.

Goalscoring action was scarce in a frustrating first half for both sides. However, Juventus saw claims for a penalty waved away just before the hour despite the ball clearly coming off the arm of Federico Ceccherini.

Minutes later Llorente broke the deadlock when he smashed a volley past Francesco Bardi from Paul Pogba's cross from the right, and the Spaniard then held up several defenders to lay the ball off for Tévez to hit a low drive past the goalkeeper at his near post.

Conte said: "We struggled to find the openings at first, but when the goals came it was from situations that we had worked on in training."

Although Roma could regain top spot with a win on Monday, results elsewhere would be welcomed by Juventus, who host FC Copenhagen on Wednesday in a Champions League clash they cannot afford to lose if they harbor any hopes of qualifying from Group B.


Napoli travelled to Torino to take on Juventus on Sunday with some pretty high expectations. The team had only lost twice in all competitions so far this season and both those losses were without their key summer acquisition, Gonzalo Higuaín.  However, Juventus had a point to prove to their fans and critics as they came into the game ready to go.  Unfortunately for Napoli, a fired up Bianconeri squad playing in their home stadium was too much to handle as the team were ultimately defeated 3-0.

Juventus scored right off the bat as it was less than two minutes into the game before Fernando Llorente was able to put one past Reina. Replays show that Llorente was offside and that the goal should not have counted but nonetheless it was 1-0 before most people had even taken their seats. The early goal clearly derailed the Partenopei as the team were never really able to recover. It took  them about 20 minutes to finally find their way into the game but it was a rather lackluster first half for Napoli to say the least.

Napoli came out playing much better in the second half as they were able to create several opportunities. Hometown kid Lorenzo Insigne looked inspired as it was very apparent how much he wanted to score against his team's rival.  However, it was not meant to be as a beautiful Andrea Pirlo free kick sealed the deal. Paul Pogba would eventually add a third but it wouldn't matter as Napoli had not come with their best effort. 

Juventus were able to take advantage of a Roma slip up as the league leaders dropped points for the second consecutive week. Juventus now sit just one point back of Roma and have created a three point gap between themselves and Napoli.  A Roma win over Sassuolo would have put them 6 points up on Napoli and kept them 4 points up on Juventus. 

The Scudetto race is one that won`t be ending early this season. 


Juventus gave fresh hope to their Champions League campaign with a thrilling 2-2 draw against Real Madrid after Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale had put the Spaniards within sight of a fourth consecutive group win in Turin on Tuesday.

Juventus remain third in Group B but following FC Copenhagen's 1-0 home win over Galatasaray, Antonio Conte's men now trail the Turks by just one point with two games to play.

Conte sent out a similar set-up to the one deployed in the 2-1 defeat at the Santiago Bernabéu, with Fernando Llorente partnering Carlos Tévez at the head of a 4-3-3 -- a change from the Italians' preferred 3-5-2 formation.

After a shaky start the Italian champions finally found their feet and held a 1-0 lead at the interval after Arturo Vidal's 42nd minute spot kick following a foul on Paul Pogba by fellow Frenchman Raphael Varane. However Real turned the match in eight second-half minutes with Ronaldo chipping Buffon to level and then Bale beating the Italian 'keeper with a clinical shot after sidestepping Kwadwo Asamoah on the hour mark.

Ronaldo gave an early warning with an angled strike that inched just past outstretched keeper Gianluigi Buffon's far post after giving Ghanaian Asamoah the slip at left-back. However Juve eventually found their feet, with Pogba -- rumored to be a target for Real and several other European giants -- showing great skill to shake up the Spanish giants. The Frenchman's shot with the outside of his right foot was blocked by Pepe, but left Casillas panicking as Llorente lingered before the ball was cleared.

Casillas then somehow kept out Claudio Marchisio's header near the back post following Tévez's precision cross from the left.