Juventus remain on course for title


Juventus took a giant stride towards their 26th Italian league title yesterday when two second-half goals from Filippo Inzaghi saw the leaders beat bottom club Piacenza 2-0.

The club are now six points clear of second-placed Lazio, who were lucky to draw 2-2 at home to Inter Milan on Saturday night.

There were slip-ups also yesterday for defending champions AC Milan and AS Roma, whose title hopes were already slim.

The frustration was beginning to show for Juventus and Inzaghi was cautioned on the hour for a blatant dive. However he redeemed himself after 68 minutes, guiding home a free-kick from Alessandro Del Piero at the far post.

And Del Piero also created Juventus' second - beating two defenders on the left side before squaring a neat ball for Inzaghi to score. Elsewhere, Milan led 2-0 and 3-2 but had to share the spoils as Verona fought back for a 3-3 draw.

Demetrio Albertini, who has been dropped by the coach, sparked an early surge - cracking home a 17th minute free-kick and then supplying the pass for Andrei Shevchenko to score.

But the second half started disastrously for Milan when Argentinian Jose Antonio Chamot was sent off for a foul after 51 minutes. Verona scored twice in the following five minutes but they failed to hold on.

Apolloni was judged to have fouled Milan's Paolo Maldini and Shevchenko converted his 19th goal of the season from the resultant penalty. But there was a further twist in store as Fabrizio Cammorata notched Verona's equaliser with a glancing header in the fourth minute of injury time.

Roma's title hopes also nose-dived as they lost 1-0 in Sardinia to Cagliari.

Meanwhile, in Spain Deportivo Coruna cruised to a 20 win at home to Valencia on Sunday to maintain their fourpoint lead at the top of the First Division.

With Alaves and Real Zaragoza both recording 2-1 victories, against Real Sociedad and Racing Santander respectively, and Real Madrid and Barcelona winning on Saturday the situation at the top of the table was unchanged.

Deportivo lead on 52 points, followed by Alaves on 48 and Barcelona, Real Zaragoza and Real Madrid on 47.