Sport

Lazio beats Sampdoria 2-0 ahead of Juventus vs. Napoli

Lazio beats Sampdoria 2-0 ahead of Juventus vs. Napoliā€

The only major European league with anything resembling a genuine title race reaches a potentially decisive moment Sunday when leader Juventus and second-placed Napoli clash with four points separating them in Serie A. It was just their third league defeat this season and a first since 19 November. For their part, Napoli were 29 games unbeaten away in Serie A, and it proved to be the unstoppable force that prevailed over the immovable object in a tense 1-0 win for the away side.

From the Spaniard's subsequent corner, Napoli grabbed the all-important goal, Koulibaly rising above the Juve backline to head home a powerful victor, the final whistle sparking wild celebrations among the visitors and ensuring a thrilling conclusion to the title race.

But he was quick to remember that Juve remained one point clear with four matches to play.

Juventus, themselves famed for pulling off wins from similar situations, were left shattered after seeing their 20-match unbeaten league run ended while Napoli's players celebrated a famous win.

What is certain is that, by their own high standards, Juventus were a strangely submissive team on Sunday night.

Massimiliano Allegri's side were held to a draw at struggling Crotone on Wednesday.

But the next appointment will be tough and head coach Maurizio Sarri said: "Tonight we will enjoy this splendid victory".

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Juventus was dealt an early blow when key defender Giorgio Chiellini limped off in the 10th minute and was replaced by Stephan Lichtsteiner.

"Yet another twist in the most compelling of Serie A seasons!"

Manuel Pucciarelli also hit the upright as Chievo had several opportunities to take the lead in the first half.

Chievo set up a tense finale when substitute Mariusz Stepinski scored in the final minute.

It remains to be seen who has the last laugh.

Atalanta moved sixth into the Europa League places with a 2-1 win over Torino at the expense of AC Milan who dropped to seventh after a 1-0 defeat at home to bottom club Benevento on Saturday.



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