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Football | Italy

Claudio Marchisio © Reuters Images

Juve back home with renewed zest



Four goals in Champions League action were Juventus' response to a defeat against Inter Milan that has weakened their leading position in the Italian Serie A.

Three days after losing 3-1 to the second-placed Nerazzurri, Juve crushed Nordsjaelland 4-0 on Wednesday to keep the knock-out phase of the elite tournament in their sights.

Back at home, the reigning champions lead on 28 points, but saw Inter move within one point after stopping their run of 49 unbeaten games.

The win over the Danes ended another run, being Juve's first success after nine draws in international games.

"After the defeat with Inter, some disappointment was normal because we wanted to keep the unbeaten record going," Claudio Marchisio, who opened the scoring against the Danes, told Sky TV.

"But there was no psychological backlash. There was instead a great reaction, with a great performance against a team who gave us trouble in the away leg (1-1)."

Saturday's visit to promoted Pescara should allow Juve to complete their recovery, while Inter look to keep up pressure when they close the weekend late Sunday in a regional derby with Atalanta.

With seven straight wins in the Serie A, and two in the Europa League, Inter are the team of the moment.

But young coach Andrea Stramaccioni said that "our heads aren't spinning after the win against the Bianconeri."

Stramaccioni tried instead to stay focussed on Thursday's game at Partizan Belgrade, which could pave the way to the knock-out stage in the Europa League.

"Saturday's win gave us confidence, but we are at the 11th (Serie A) round. One or two negative results can get us back where we were before."

Remaining action sees Cagliari host Catania Saturday ahead of Juve's late game, and Palermo and Sampdoria open the Sunday programme at noon.

Third-place Napoli, sitting five points behind Juve, visit Genoa after playing Thursday in the Europa League, a duty also awaiting Udinese and Lazio.

Lazio face Roma in the Rome derby, Chievo host the Udine side and AC Milan welcome in-form Fiorentina after drawing 1-1 with Malaga in the Champions League. Parma v Siena and Torino v Bologna complete the afternoon schedule.

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