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Juventus beats 9-man Roma 3-0 to take 8-point lead

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 5, 2014 at 4:53 pm •  Published: January 5, 2014
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MILAN (AP) — Serie A leader Juventus remained on course for a third straight title with a 3-0 victory over second-placed Roma, which was forced to play with nine men for the final 13 minutes on Sunday.

It was a 10th successive win for Antonio Conte's team and saw it extend its lead at the top of the table to eight points at the halfway stage of the season. It was Roma's first loss of the season.

"Our statistics are impressive and show that we fully deserve to be top of the table, clearing away any type of doubts," Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon said. "Today we won thanks to several incidents which we made the most of. While they were in the game, Roma showed they are a team to be feared, they are not second by chance. Roma impressed me for the first hour."

Juventus was in complete control following goals from Arturo Vidal and Leonardo Bonucci but Roma was still fighting to get back in the game.

However, Daniele De Rossi was sent off for a brutal tackle on Giorgio Chiellini and Leandro Castan was also shown a straight red card two minutes later after he handled on the goalline.

Mirko Vucinic fired home the resulting penalty against his former club.

"We had so much possession but we weren't efficient up front," Roma coach Rudi Garcia said. "For me that's the problem. We didn't have many chances but Buffon had a good first half, but they didn't have many chances either.

"We have to be stronger in the future to be able to win these matches, but the title race isn't over, it hasn't ended here, there are still 60 points at stake. We have to get back to winning as soon as possible. Our aim is to return to Europe, we are second so we are in the right spot."

Earlier, Fiorentina beat Livorno 1-0 in the Tuscan derby and Cagliari drew 0-0 at Chievo Verona as Serie A resumed following a winter break.

There was bad news for Fiorentina as star striker Giuseppe Rossi was injured again. Rossi, who is the top scorer in Serie A, limped off in the second period with what appeared to be a knee injury. The United States-born player has only recently recovered from two years of injuries and several surgeries.

Juventus was boosted by the return of key playmaker Andrea Pirlo from a five-week injury layoff, but it was Roma which started the brighter and Gianluigi Buffon had to rush out smartly to close down Adem Ljajic after six minutes.

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