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Serie A: Napoli make good on Juve’s slip-up, now just 2 back

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A roundup of all of Sunday’s action in Italy’s top flight…

[ MORE: Barcelona still unbeaten after 29 league games; Ronaldo scores 4 ]

Napoli 1-0 Genoa

Juventus slipped up in a big, big way on Saturday, stumbling to a scoreless draw away to tiny SPAL 2013, and opening the door ever so slightly for Napoli. With a win on Sunday, secured by Raul Albiol’s late winner, Napoli now trail Juve by just two points with the two sides level on games played (29) once again.

The victory snapped a two-game winless skid for Napoli, a run which saw them cough up the top spot which they had held for nearly the entire season, and set up perhaps a colossal title decider on April 22, when first hosts second in their quest to claim a seventh straight Serie A title.

Crotone 0-2 Roma

One spot and 14 points further down the table, you’ll find an interesting battle for third, with Roma picking up their third straight win, 2-0 over 18th-place Crotone on Sunday.

Stephan El Shaarawy (38th minute) and Radja Nainggolan (74th) bagged the goals for Roma, who lead Inter Milan by four points with nine games to go (Inter have a game in hand).

Sampdoria 0-5 Inter Milan

No one was more impressive this weekend than Inter, who put four past Sampdoria in the first half, including a hat trick from Mauro Icardi, who would then go on to add his fourth — Inter’s fifth — in the second half. That’s 22 league goals for the Argentine forward, who now trails Lazio’s Ciro Immobile by two in the Golden Boot race.

Elsewhere in Serie A

Lazio 1-1 Bologna
AC Milan 3-2 Chievo
Hellas Verona 0-5 Atalanta
Torino 1-2 Fiorentina
Benevento 1-2 Cagliari

Serie A: Juventus slip up vs. SPAL, let Napoli back in the race

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A roundup of all of Saturday’s action in Italy’s top flight…

[ MORE: Spurs advance to FA Cup semifinal | Man United join them ]

SPAL 2013 0-0 Juventus

Just one week after going top of the league with a game in hand, Juventus slipped up away to 17th-place SPAL on Saturday and left the door ever so slightly ajar for second-place Napoli in the title race.

Juve had 65 percent of possession on the day and out-shot SPAL by a count of 12-3 (3-0 on target), but the likes of Paulo Dybala, Gonzalo Higuain, Douglas Costa and Miralem Pjanic couldn’t beat 20-year-old goalkeeper Alex Meret (on loan from Udinese).

(Photo by Alessandro Sabattini/Getty Images)

Massimiliano Allegri’s side now leads Napoli by five points, but the game in hand now belongs to the chasers, who host 13th-place Genoa on Sunday with a chance to cut the deficit to just two points with nine games remaining. Just when it seemed crystal clear and a foregone conclusion Juve would wrap up their seventh straight Serie A title, newly promoted SPAL helped to make things quite interesting once again.

Elsewhere in Serie A

Udinese 1-2 Sassuolo

Sunday’s Serie A schedule

Sampdoria vs. Inter Milan — 7:30 a.m. ET
Crotone vs. Roma — 10 a.m. ET
AC Milan vs. Chievo — 10 a.m. ET
Torino vs. Fiorentina — 10 a.m. ET
Hellas Verona vs. Atalanta — 10 a.m. ET
Benevento vs. Cagliari — 10 a.m. ET
Napoli vs. Genoa — 3:45 p.m. ET
Lazio vs. Bologna — 3:45 p.m. ET

Serie A: Napoli drop points again, send Juve top with game in hand

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A roundup of all of Sunday’s action in Italy’s top flight…

[ MORE: Barcelona win without Messi | Atletico 8 points back ]

Juventus 2-0 Udinese

Paulo Dybala appears destined for the riches of Barcelona, or Manchester City, or perhaps Paris Saint-Germain in the not-so-distant future — maybe even this summer, though someone should probably pull the trigger for $200 million before the World Cup, after which the price will likely inflate to $250 million.

The 24-year-old Argentine superstar has 17 Serie A goals for Juventus this season, including a brace in Sunday’s 2-0 victory over Udinese to send the Bianconeri top of the league table, and will probably win the league’s player of the season award going away.

The victory sent Juve, who have a game in hand, one point ahead of Napoli.

Inter Milan 0-0 Napoli

Juve’s rise to the Serie A summit was made possible by yet another slip-up by Napoli, who dropped points for the second straight game, in a scoreless draw with Inter Milan. Having lost to Roma in spectacular fashion last week, Juve already controlled their own destiny when they trailed by just one point with a game in hand.

Sunday’s draw at the San Siro leaves Maurizio Sarri’s side as serious outsiders in their bid to deny Juve a seventh straight Serie A title.

Elsewhere in Serie A

Roma 3-0 Torino (Friday)
Cagliari 2-2 Lazio
Genoa 0-1 AC Milan
Fiorentina 1-0 Benevento — MORE
Crotone 4-1 Sampdoria
Bologna 0-1 Atalanta
Hellas Verona 1-0 Chievo (Saturday)
Sassuolo 1-1 SPAL 2013

Serie A: Juve now in control after win, Napoli’s loss to Roma

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ROME (AP) — Defending champion Juventus was poised to regain control of the Italian title race, closing the gap on leader Napoli to one point with a game in hand after Paulo Dybala’s superb injury-time winner beat Lazio 1-0 on Saturday.

The script could not have been written any better for Juventus, which is chasing a seventh straight Serie A title and 34th overall. If Dybala’s 93rd-minute winner wasn’t already enough to celebrate, Lazio’s cross-city rival Roma then did Juve a huge favor by winning at Napoli 4-2.

Striker Edin Dzeko netted twice for a rampant Roma which jumped above Lazio and into third place by one point. They are in a fierce fight with Inter Milan — preparing for the Milan derby on Sunday — for a Champions League place next season.

Livewire Lorenzo Insigne gave Napoli the perfect start by sweeping in Mario Rui’s cross from the left after six minutes.

But home celebrations ended one minute later when in-form Turkey forward Cengiz Under scored an audacious but slightly deflected lob over Napoli goalkeeper Pepe Reina from inside the penalty area. He was found by Radja Nainggolan after Napoli lost possession in midfield.

Then, the imposing Dzeko easily rose above Raul Albiol to plant a firm header past Reina from Alessandro Florenzi’s cross. Both players were on Roma’s bench last week in the home loss to AC Milan, but probably won’t be anymore.

Napoli sent on all-time leading club scorer Marek Hamsik midway through the second half to spark its attack, and seconds later Insigne’s quick shot from outside the box curled just wide.

But Dzeko produced a masterful goal in the 73rd. Expertly controlling the ball some 30 meters out, he beat two players before bending the ball out of Reina’s reach and into the bottom left corner from the right edge of the penalty area.

Insigne was Napoli’s main threat and twice had shots saved shortly after Dzeko’s second goal. But Napoli’s awful defending could not go unpunished and Diego Perotti blasted in the fourth after a cross from the left was badly dealt with.

Napoli’s players hardly celebrated when Dries Mertens slotted in an injury-time consolation goal.

Paulo Dybala had done nothing all game for Juventus at Lazio.

That was until the 93rd minute when he brilliantly cut inside Luiz Felipe with a quick flick, showed great upper-body strength to hold off Marco Parolo, and fired into the top right corner while off balance.

The diminutive Argentina forward, who started the move by winning the ball in midfield and spraying it quickly to the right, sprinted jubilantly into the arms of delirious Juve fans behind the goal in the away end. His teammates mobbed him as he celebrated his 15th league goal, making him the team’s top scorer, one ahead of Gonzalo Higuain, who did not play.

Juventus neutralized Lazio striker Ciro Immobile, Serie A’s top scorer with 23, but created little until Dybala’s moment of magic.

Juventus was more concerned on keeping a close eye on Immobile, who scored four times in his last two matches against the Bianconeri.

He was not at his sharpest, yet hardly had any service.

Still, Juve’s defenders were glad to see him go off 10 minutes from time.

WATCH: Napoli grows Serie A lead with keeper-freezing free kick

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Napoli really could do it.

Partenopei is bidding to end Juventus’ six-season run atop Serie A and claim its first scudetto since 1989-90, the days of Diego Maradona.

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It took another step toward that third shield with a 5-0 shellacking at Cagliari on Monday, extending its unbeaten away run in league play to a remarkable 26 matches.

The finishing touches was applied by Mario Rui, who froze keeper Alessio Cragno with this free kick. The 26-year-old Portuguese left back picked a fine goal for his first Serie A marker.

Juve has played one less match thanks to a postponed meeting with Atalanta.