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Juventus keep on Napoli’s heels after own goal earns victory over Genoa

Juventus players celebrate their 13th consecutive league victory after the 1-0 defeat of Genoa. Photograph: Marco Bertorello/AFP/Getty ImagesJuventus players celebrate their 13th consecutive league victory after the 1-0 defeat of Genoa. Photograph: Marco Bertorello/AFP/Getty Images

Juventus needed an own goal from the Genoa defender Sebastian De Maio to maintain their pursuit of the Serie A leaders, Napoli.

With Napoli winning 2-0 at Lazio on Wednesday night, Juve had to win to stay within two points of the top. They did so, but thanks only to an unfortunate moment for the centre-back De Maio, who turned Juan Cuadrado’s cross into his own net in the 30th minute to give Juve their 1-0 victory.

Simone Zaza was sent off at the death for Juventus who have now won 13 consecutive league games.

It was Gonzalo Higuaín’s 23rd goal of the season that propelled Napoli towards success at the Stadio Olimpico. The in-form Argentinian striker made it seven goals from his last five outings with a first-half strike, and José Callejón doubled the lead a few minutes later.

Fiorentina held on to third place thanks to Mauro Zárate, whose stoppage-time goal downed Carpi 2-1 in Tuscany.

The relegation-threatened club were within seconds of extending their unbeaten run to six games after Kevin Lasagna cancelled out Borja Valero’s early opener, but Zárate rescued Fiorentina with a curling effort at the death.

Roberto Mancini’s ailing Internazionale beat Chievo 1-0 despite the best efforts of Andrea Seculin. Mauro Icardi’s goal separated the teams at San Siro, but the fourth-placed Nerazzurri might have run riot if not for the heroics of Chievo’s goalkeeper.

Napoli have 53 points from 23 games, Juventus 51, Fiorentina 45 and Inter 44.

Milan followed up Sunday’s derby triumph with a 2-0 win at Palermo that brought them within six points of the Champions League spots.

Goals from Carlos Bacca and M’Baye Niang ensured Sinisa Mihajlovic’s men continued their steady rise up the table, with Roma (41 points), Internazionaleand Fiorentina now firmly in their sights. Roma won 2-0 at Sassuolo on Tuesday.

At the other end of the table, Hellas Verona celebrated a first victory of the season after recovering to defeat 10-man Atalanta 2-1.

Hellas triumphed at the 23rd time of asking thanks to goals from Luca Siligardi and Giampaolo Pazzini. Andrea Conti had given Atalanta the lead but the Bergamo side were weakened by the dismissal of their left-back Boukary Dramé. – theguardian –

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