Substitute Emanuele Giaccherini struck in extra time to snatch a 1-0 win for Juventus at home to Catania today to increase their Serie A lead to nine points.
Giaccherini had only been on the field 15 minutes, during which time he'd been booked for diving, when he shot home from the centre of the box following a storming run from Paul Pogba down the right. Juve came up against determined opponents who refused to relinquish an inch of space in defence and their hosts lacked the inspiration to break them down.
Mirko Vucinic hit a post in the first period while Claudio Marchisio came close to opening the score but Catania remained resolute and determined. After the break young French prospect Pogba tested Argentine goalkeeper Mariano Andujar while Marchisio swept a shot just over the bar but Juventus, with Andrea Pirlo stiffled in midfield, simply could not find a breakthrough. That was until Giaccherini's injury-time intervention and even after that fellow substitute Fabio Quagliarella should have put gloss on the score when sent through one-on-one with Andujar but the goalkeeper trumped the forward.
That last-gasp goal completed a joyful day for the reigning champions as their nearest challengers Napoli crashed to a 2-0 defeat at struggling Chievo. It was a tough day for Napoli in Verona as they fell to defeat at Chievo for the third year in a row. Serie A top scorer Edinson Cavani missed a spot-kick and Napoli's goalscoring troubles are now becoming increasingly acute.
They have managed only two goals in their last seven games in all competitions while Cavani's last successful strike came at the end of January. French born Senegal international full-back Boukary Drame opened the scoring for Chievo on 12 minutes with Frenchman Cyril Thereau doubling the advantage just before the break. The defeat leaves out-of-sorts Napoli, who have not won in their last seven games in all competitions and five in the league, dropping into the clutches of hard-charging AC Milan.
The Rossoneri won 2-0 at lowly Genoa on Friday night to take their unbeaten run in the league to ten games and now trail the Neapolitans by just two points.
Siena boosted their survival hopes with a crucial 2-1 win at fellow strugglers Palermo. The Tuscans started the season with a six-point reduction for match-fixing offences but are now just two-points off Genoa in the final safety position. A Segundo Ibarbo hat-trick earned Cagliari a 3-1 in over Sampdoria, with the young Columbian scoring in the 18th, 52nd, and 72nd minutes.
Brazilian born Italian international Amauri scored a hat-trick as Parma scored four goals in the last 13 minutes to overturn a 1-0 deficit at home to Torino and record a convincing 4-1 success. Atalanta overcame a 24th minute goal from Pescara's Gaetano D'Agostino to earn three points with a 2-1 win at home.
Inter Milan crashed 1-0 against Bologna with former Milan striker Alberto Gilardino snatching the only goal of the game. And Lazio slumped to a 2-0 loss against Fiorentina with goals from Montenegro striker Stevan Jovetic and Serbian international Adem Ljajic.