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Juve edge Roma, go top past Inter at Serie A mid-season mark

Italian champions Juventus won 2-1 at Roma Sunday to leapfrog Inter Milan at the top of the Serie A standings as the league reached its halfway point.

Rome, 13 January 2020 (dpa/MIA) – Italian champions Juventus won 2-1 at Roma Sunday to leapfrog Inter Milan at the top of the Serie A standings as the league reached its halfway point.

The Bianconeri have 48 points from 19 games, while Inter inched on 46 as Atalanta held them 1-1 on Saturday. Roma slipped to fifth behind Atalanta on goal difference as both have 35 points.

Third-place Lazio, on 42 with a game in hand, beat Napoli 1-0 and AC Milan won 2-0 at Cagliari in other Saturday action.

Juve defender Merih Demiral volleyed home in the third minute before a static Aleksandar Kolarov and Cristiano Ronaldo tallied his 14th goal as he converted a 10th-minute penalty after Paulo Dybala dispossessed and was floored by Jordan Veretout.

Demiral hurt a knee and exited on 19 minutes and young Roma talent Nicolo Zaniolo was stretchered off the pitch in tears on 34 amid reports of a torn knee ligament.

The Rome hosts pressed hard and came close when Edin Dzeko hit the post, pulling one back as the action continued from Diego Perotti’s penalty in the 68th.

Video review showed ball handling from Alex Sandro after he blocked a header from Cengiz Under.

“We played well for 60 minutes, then it was normal to suffer against a team like Roma,” Juve boss Maurizio Sarri said. “What I did not like was the way we managed the lead, when we could have hurt them.

“We are happy about the three points on a difficult pitch. But we must improve when we are ahead.”

Udinese beat Sassuolo 3-0 earlier Sunday and advanced to a comfortable 11th place.

Stefano Okaka nodded home after 14 minutes in the first half, with Ken Sema and Rodrigo De Paul completing a third straight success that pushed the Udine hosts on 24 points.

Sassuolo have 19 points and sit five clear from the three-team drop zone along with Sampdoria, who crushed second-last visitors Brescia 5-1 in a comeback win marked by a brace from veteran Fabio Quagliarella.

Fiorentina are on 21 after edging visiting bottom side SPAL 1-0, while Torino also struggled to a 1-0 home edging of Bologna to go seventh on 27 points, four more than their guests.

Eighth-place Verona came from behind to beat third-last Genoa 2-1.

Parma v Lecce is played on Monday.

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