Pirlo’s last-gap goal saves Juventus
The reigning Serie A champions were under pressure at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris, and an under-strength team struggled to dominate an enterprising Genoa side Sunday, reports Xinhua.
Juventus’ veteran goalkeeper Gigi Buffon parried an Emanuele Calaio penalty before Pirlo scored the winner in the 89th minute.
With Roma playing Monday, the win puts Juventus 17 points clear at the top of the Serie A table.
Elsewhere, AC Milan’s miserable run was stretched as Antonio Cassano inspired Parma to a 4-2 victory at San Siro.
The pressure has been building on coach Clarence Seedorf following back-to-back defeats to Juventus and Udinese as the seven-time European champions limped out of the Champions League last week.
Seedorf has played down reports of a fall-out with striker Mario Balotelli, who scored Milan’s second after Adil Rami weakened the impact of Cassano’s early brace.
To make matters worse, the ‘Rossoneri’ will be without Christian Abbiati for this week’s trip to Lazio after the veteran goalkeeper saw red in the opening minutes.
Amauri and Jonathan Biabiany scored late on to ensure all three points went to Parma as the Ducale club reached fifth place on the back of a third straight win.
Sassuolo boosted their league survival hopes with a 3-1 win over Catania.
Gonzalo Bergessio had grabbed a first-half lead for Catania who looked dangerous through Spanish winger Keko.
But Sassuolo hit back with three goals after the interval to leapfrog their opponents and leave the Sicilians bottom of the table.
Livorno are the side to catch for the bottom three after they moved out of the drop zone with a 2-1 win over Bologna, who dropped into relegation zone in their place.
Fiorentina halted their recent slump with a 3-1 home win over struggling Chievo. However, they lie seven points behind third-placed Napoli in the table.
Two clubs troubled by off-field unrest, Cagliari and Lazio, met at Stadio Sant’Elia, with the capital club triumphing 2-0.
Lazio boss Edy Reja has overseen a recent upturn in form and goals in each half from Senad Lulic and Balde Keita saw them rise to seventh place with a third win in four games.
Atalanta beat Sampdoria 3-0 in a mid-table clash, a third straight success, lifting the victors four places to ninth.