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Juve On Brink Of Fifth Consecutive Serie A Title

Juventus supporters display a giant flag at their Italian Serie A soccer match against Palermo at the Juventus stadium in TurinJuventus could be crowned Serie A champions for the fifth year in a row on Monday after emerging victorious from a gritty encounter with Fiorentina.

A 2-1 victory at the Stadio Artemio Franchi pushed Juve 12 points clear ahead of second-placed Napoli, who must triumph at Roma to retain any mathematical chance of catching the leaders, although this Scudetto is realistically beyond their grasp.

Gianluigi Buffon once again played the role of saviour for the Bianconeri as he saved Nikola Kalinic’s last-gasp penalty to secure all three points.

Juve were made to battle hard for the vital win – Kalinic had responded to Mario Mandzukic’s opening rocket before substitute Alvaro Morata managed to stab home the winner.

Professionalism will forbid Juve from celebrating yet another title win on Sunday evening, but come mid-afternoon on Liberation Day there will almost certainly be exuberant festivities in the streets of Turin.

In Sunday’s early game Palermo won a relegation six-pointer at Frosinone to take an important step towards safety.

Two second-half strikes from Alberto Gilardino and Aleksandar Trajkovski fired the Sicilians to a 2-0 victory at the Stadio Matusa and Palermo are now level on points with 17th-placed Carpi.

Sassuolo maintained their pursuit of a Europa League place by beating Torino 3-1 at the Stadio Olimpico.

The Neroverdi are now just one point behind sixth-placed AC Milan after goals from Nicola Sansone, Federico Peluso and Marcello Trotta delivered a 13th win of the season.

Sansone’s second-minute headed opener was cancelled out by Bruno Peres, who struck the killer blow at the end of a swift Torino counter-attack.

But the second half belonged to Sassuolo, with Peluso nodding the ball home in the 75th minute before Trotta, formerly of Brentford, beat the offside trap to score deep into stoppage time.

Emiliano Viviano saved a first-half penalty as Sampdoria rallied from behind to beat Lazio 2-1 and reach 40 points.

Filip Djordjevic’s third-minute strike meant Samp faced an uphill battle to win at their own Stadio Luigi Ferraris and Fernando made life easier for them by equalising in the 20th minute.

Lazio won a penalty just before half-time but Antonio Candreva was denied by Viviano, the former Arsenal goalkeeper.

In the 79th minute Modibo Diakite was in the right place at the right time to divert the ball past Federico Marchetti when Matias Silvestre took aim.

Elsewhere, Bologna pulled out of a nosedive towards the drop zone by beating Genoa 2-0 with goals from Emanuele Giaccherini while fellow strugglers Atalanta lost Alejandro Gomez to a red card but managed to edge past Chievo 1-0 thanks to a Marco Borriello goal.

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