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Juve, and Roma both drop points

Roma-fansItalian Serie A leaders Juventus were held to a 2-2 draw by struggling Cesena on Sunday, missing a late chance to win the game from the penalty spot.

Milan Djuric had the lowly hosts ahead but goals from Alvaro Morata and Claudio Marchisio sent the Turin side into the break with the lead. Franco Brienza’s strike drew the teams level with 20 minutes to play but there was still time for Arturo Vidal to miss a penalty as Cesena held firm.

Roma squandered the chance to put pressure on Juve after being held to a goalless draw by rock-bottom Parma. Elsewhere, Genoa thumped Hellas Verona 5-2 for their first win at the Luigi Ferraris stadium since 7 December.

An own goal from Alessandro Agostini put the hosts ahead in the tenth minute before M’baye Niang doubled Genoa’s lead two minutes later. Luca Toni reduced the deficit for Hellas in the 20th minute but Niang extended his team’s advantage on the half-hour mark.

Toni struck his second of the afternoon for the visitors before the hour but Genoa reclaimed their two-goal advantage through Andrea Bertolacci shortly after. Diego Perotti capped up a convincing performance for the hosts with his team’s fifth four minutes from time as Genoa clinched their ninth victory of the season.

Inter win second straight
Inter Milan picked up their second win in a row by beating Atalanta 4-1 to keep up their pursuit of a place in Europe next season and warm them up for a trip to Celtic in the UEFA Europa League on Thursday night.

Xherdan Shaqiri put them in front with a penalty in the second minute after Fredy Guarin went down inside the penalty area, but Maximiliano Moralez equalised in a good spell for the hosts.

Two goals from Guarin put Roberto Mancini’s men in the driving seat and Rodrigo Palacio rounded off their second three-goal win in a row, while Atalanta played much of the second half with ten men after Yohan Benalouane was sent off.

Mattia Destro scored his first goal for AC Milan but Massimo Maccarone’s second-half strike helped Empoli grab a 1-1 draw at San Siro.

Torino wasted numerous chances against Cagliari to clinch their fifth straight victory but nevertheless extended their unbeaten run to 10 games in a 1-1 draw. The Granata fell behind after Godfred Donsah put visiting Cagliari ahead in the 34th minute but Toro got back on level terms almost immediately through Omar El Kaddouri.

Lazio picked up three points towards their chase for European football with a hard-fought 1-0 win away to Udinese. Antonio Candreva’s first-half ‘Panenka’ penalty proved enough to settle the match, but only after the visitors had withstood significant pressure.

Struggling Chievo moved four points clear of the Serie A relegation zone with a 2-1 win over Sampdoria. Mariano Izco put them ahead after two minutes and Riccardo Meggiorini doubled the lead six minutes before the break. Luis Muriel grabbed a stoppage-time goal for Sampdoria but Chievo held on to make it two wins in a row.