Substitute Christian Poulsen struck deep into injury time to earn ten-man Juventus a crucial 2-1 victory at Catania to keep their title hopes alive. Juve looked on the brink of slipping to nine points behind leaders Inter Milan, who won 3-0 at Lecce yesterday, as the clock ticked down with the scores at 1-1. Vincenzo Iaquinta had given the Turin giants an early lead before he was sent off, but Japanese forward Takayuki Morimoto's second half equaliser looked to have stolen a share of the spoils for the hosts before Dane Poulsen's late winner rescued Juve and cut the deficit to Inter to seven points.
Juventus were off to a great start as Iaquinta gave them the lead on 11 minutes when he headed home Mauro Camoranesi's free-kick from just six yards out after his marker chose to flop to the floor looking for a foul rather than challenge the former Udinese man in the air. Iaquinta's celebrations were short lived though, as within 90 seconds he had received his marching orders. First he was booked for removing his shirt while celebrating his goal and then, within seconds of the restart, he went into a challenge with his studs up and earned a second yellow card in quick succession.
There were still 77 minutes to hold out and the enormity of their challenge was soon apparent as Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon made a brilliant, point-blank save from an Alessandro Potenza header. Juve remained dangerous and just before the break Brazilian forward Amauri diverted a Pavel Nedved free-kick over the bar with Albano Bizarri well beaten.
However, the Sicilians equalised just six minutes into the second period. Buffon made another great save from Giuseppe Mascara's header, but could not get up in time to stop Morimoto's follow up into the empty net. Juve were under pressure and Davide Baiocco clipped the outside of the post with a clever flick from Mascara's corner. Despite their numerical disadvantage, Juve poured forward late on and Amauri headed Nedved's free-kick back across goal for the unmarked Poulsen to poke home.
Fiorentina moved up to fourth and the final UEFA Champions League qualifying position after Alberto Gilardino scored a last minute winner against ten-man Lazio, for whom Lorenzo De Silvestri was sent off in the first half. Lazio goalkeeper Fernando Muslera failed to hold Adrian Mutu's shot and Gilardino swept home the rebound to condemn Lazio to a fourth successive defeat.
Roma rise above Genoa
Roma moved into fifth above Genoa on a better head-to-head record after beating their Champions League-chasing rivals 3-0 in the capital. Genoa started the day in fourth, but goals from Brazilians Cicinho, Julio Baptista and Montenegro striker Mirko Vucinic settled the affair.
Their first goal was a stunning team effort with Cicinho starting the move which passed through Matteo Brighi, Francesco Totti and Simone Perrotta before the Brazilian popped up to tap home from the edge of the six yard box. If that was a brilliant team goal, Vucinic's was a stunning individual effort as he thrashed home Daniele Di Rossi's chip into the box with an unstoppable left-foot volley. Julio Baptista wrapped up the win in injury time with a powerful drive from just outside the box.