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Juventus extends lead

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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

MILAN - Juventus extended their lead over title challengers Inter Milan to seven points thanks to a 3-0 rout of Atalanta on Sunday as AC Milan continued their Serie A resurgence with a 4-1 defeat of Pescara.

Champions Juve held a four-point lead going into their 17th match of the campaign but took full advantage of the Nerazzurri's 1-0 defeat away to Lazio on Saturday to pull clear of the pack.

Montenegrin striker Mirko Vucinic opened the scoring with barely 90 seconds on the clock after beating Atalanta's offside trap to run in from the left and place his shot beyond reach of Andrea Consigli at the far post.

Midfield veteran Andrea Pirlo doubled Juve's lead on the quarter-hour with a sublime, curling freekick which dipped into the visitors' net despite a desperate attempt by Consigli to parry.

Claudio Marchisio made it three for Juve with a low drive from the edge of the area after latching on to Sebastian Giovinco's squared pass.

Atalanta were reduced to 10 men before the half hour when Thomas Manfredini was red carded for a second bookable offence after a rash challenge on defender Giorgio Chiellini.

The Bergamo side came back into the game in the second half but failed to find a way past the Juve defence. With only one more league game before the festive break, the Bianconeri lead Inter by seven points while third-placed Napoli can move up to second if they beat Bologna at home in Sunday's late match.


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