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Football | Italy

Mauro Icardi © Gallo Images

Juve stunned, Cavani treble sinks Roma



Juventus's hopes of dropping Inter Milan virtually out of the Serie A title race suffered a setback as the champions went down to a shock 2-1 home defeat to Sampdoria on Sunday.

Inter had been stunned 3-0 by Udinese in the day's early match, handing Juventus the chance to take their lead over the Nerazzurri – widely considered Juve's main title rivals – to a massive 12 points.

But after Sebastian Giovinco had given the Bianconeri a 24th minute lead from the penalty spot the hosts were stunned by a double from Argentine striker Emanuel Icardi in the 52nd and 68th minutes.

At the halfway stage champions Juventus, on 44 points, now have a five-point lead over Lazio, who had secured a late 2-1 win over Cagliari on Saturday when the visitors' striker Victor Ibarbo fell victim to racist monkey chants.

Fiorentina had hoped to close the gap to Lazio to one point, as well as further distance fourth-placed Inter, only to suffer a shock 2-0 defeat at home to visiting Pescara.

La Viola finished the day in fourth place after Napoli moved up two places to third thanks to a superb 4-1 win over Roma at the San Paulo.

Napoli's 12th win of the campaign came largely courtesy of an Edinson Cavani hat-trick, which put the Uruguayan on 16 league goals and two clear of AC Milan's Stephan El Shaarawy (14) at the top of the scoring charts.

Giovinco stepped up to convert Juve's penalty with relative ease after Claudio Marchisio was adjudged to have been fouled in the box.

But Sampdoria came fighting back in the second half and when Icardi broke free in the 52nd minute he beat Gianluigi Buffon with an impressive angled strike from the edge of the area.

Italy 'keeper Buffon was then left clutching at thin air when, from a tight angle, the Argentine blasted the ball inside the near post and into the roof of the net on 68 minutes.

Sampdoria held on to record a famous win at Juventus Stadium and hand the champions only their third defeat of the season, which will be seen as a missed chance to leave Inter behind for good.

Juve coach Antonio Conte admitted it will be a match to forget: "It wasn't a performance we will look back on fondly.

"But we're human, not Martians and we've had problems with injuries and some players not being in top condition."

AC Milan, who hit the headlines midweek after midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng led his team off the pitch during a friendly to protest racist chants from fans of fourth division side Pro Patria, secured a precious 2-1 win at home to Siena.

Milan were whistled off the pitch after a scoreless first half, but Boateng provided the cross for Spain international Bojan to head their opener just after the hour mark.

Giampaolo Pazzini stepped up to convert a penalty in the final 10 minutes, but Michele Paolucci made it a nervy finish for Massimiliano Allegri's men at the San Siro when he reduced arrears in the closing minutes.

"It was a two-faced win," said Allegri.

"A bad first half and a good second. We didn't create much in the first half but we didn't concede much either. We deserved the win in the second half."

Milan held on to remain in seventh and sit two points behind Roma, who were already trailing by two goals (3-1) when Miralem Pjanic saw red for a rash challenge, only two minutes after Pablo Osvaldo had reduced arrears.

Elsewhere, Chievo secured a precious 1-0 win over Atalanta to leapfrog the Bergamo side into 11th while Genoa moved away from the relegation zone thanks to a Marco Borriello double in a 2-0 win over Bologna.

Parma moved up to eigthh, meanwhile, after Amauri's winner in injury time secured a 2-1 win over visiting Palermo, who had levelled Ishak Belfodil's opener for the hosts thanks to Igor Budan's 85th minute header.

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