Sunday, April 22, 2018 12:52:06 PM
AFP, Milan :
Mario Mandzukic overcame a wasteful first half to inspire Juventus to a 2-0 home win over Empoli that edged the Turin giants closer to a record sixth straight Serie A title.
Juventus, claiming their 22nd win in 26 games, moved 10 points clear of closest challengers Roma ahead of their visit to Inter Milan late on Sunday.
Napoli remain third but are now 12 points off the pace after a shock 2-0 defeat at home to Atalanta virtually ended their hopes of challenging for a long-awaited scudetto.
A Roma defeat at the San Siro would deliver a significant blow to their scudetto hopes, but Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri said nothing is won yet.
"Absolutely not," he said when asked if Juve had one hand on the title. "Roma could be seven points behind us by tomorrow, we still have a lot of games to play, Napoli could get to 90 points and Roma 95.
"We need to win a lot of games and tonight, against Empoli, wasn't so simple. It took us until the second half to break the deadlock."
Juventus are also challenging for a third consecutive league and cup double and Allegri underlined those ambitions by resting several players for Tuesday's semi-final first leg with Napoli.
The 'keeper's gloves went to Brazilian Norberto Neto after Gianluigi Buffon was rested, while Dani Alves and Daniele Rugani stepped in for veteran defenders Andrea Barzagli and Giorgio Chiellini, both on the bench.
Argentine playmaker Paulo Dybala also started on the bench but given Empoli's miserable record at Juventus Stadium there was little to suggest Allegri's choices would backfire.
Yet Empoli were a tough nut to crack in a balanced opening half that saw plenty of home chances, most by Mandzukic, go amiss.
After just five minutes Gonzalo Higuain prodded a Mandzukic knock-down straight at Lukasz Skorupski in the Empoli net from six yards.
Mandzukic then slid in at the back post only to direct Juan Cuadrado's deflected shot wide and on the counter Omar El Kaddouri spurned a great chance for the visitors.
The Croat Mandzukic should have done better after running on to Higuain's perfect pass, but hesitated on a one-on-one with Skorupski and allowed defenders to track back.
Mandzukic was at full stretch to meet another great pass from Higuain at the back post, but did better minutes after the interval when he rose high above the Empoli defence to meet Cuadrado's weighted delivery.
His powerful header beat Skorupski, smacked off the underside of the crossbar and eventually cleared the line after bouncing back off the splayed 'keeper and into the net for a 52nd minute own goal.
Former Barcelona star Alves hit Juve's second in Porto last Wednesday when he coolly chested down Alex Sandro's cross to beat Iker Casillas.
The Brazilian returned the favour for his countryman in the 65th minute. Sandro was left unmarked on the left side of the area in the 65th minute to pivot around his marker and beat Skorupski with a low angled drive at his far post.
Earlier, a brace from Juventus-bound Mattia Caldara torpedoed Napoli's scudetto hopes as 10-man Atalanta underlined their growing Euro ambitions in style with a shock 2-0 win at the San Paolo.
Napoli welcomed high-flying Atalanta looking to tighten their grip on the third and last Champions League qualifying spot.
But less than a week after suffering a 3-1 defeat to Real Madrid in the competition, Maurizio Sarri's men saw a 14-game unbeaten streak ended by their second successive league defeat to Gian Piero Gasperini's men.
Atalanta's 16th win moved the Bergamo side up to fourth, ahead of Inter Milan before they welcome Roma to the San Siro.
But coach Gian Piero Gasperini played down hopes of trying to qualify for the Champions League: "We have already targeted a place in the Europa League."
AFP, Stuttgart :Victories by Petra Kvitova and Karolina Pliskova gave the Czech Republic a commanding 2-0 lead over hosts Germany in their Fed Cup semi-final on Saturday. Two-time Wimbledon champion Kvitova needed just over an hour for an emphatic 6-3, 6-2 win over Julia Goerges at the Porsche Arena in ...
Salman Khan is one of Bollywood's biggest superstars and over the years he has made a brand out of himself. Everything from his dance moves, clothes, accessories to his attitude and body language is a rage among his fans. Salman was recently proven guilty in the 1998 Blackbuck poaching case. ...
Shree Narayan Singh's Batti Gul Meter Chalu is a social drama that depicts the contradiction between long hours of power cuts and the ironically high electricity bills that dig a hole in the common man's pocket. It narrates the story of a man's fight against power distribution companies. Shahid Kapoor ...
NONE of over 3,500 cases filed under the counter-trafficking law across the country has disposed of since the formulation of the act. It has left the victims and their families in utter frustration. They are also deprived of getting remedy and compensations. Whereas the perpetrators are threatening them to withdraw ...
Reuters, Colorado : Thousands of students again walked out of classes across the United States on Friday, marking the 19th anniversary of the massacre at Columbine High School with a show of unity aimed at pressuring politicians to enact tighter gun restrictions.Students from more than 2,600 schools and institutions planned to ...
EDITORS' COUNCIL, an organisation of editors of the country's national dailies, has recently expressed grave concern over Section 21, 25, 28, 31, 32, and 43 of the Proposed Digital Security Act. It said the sections would greatly obstruct freedom of speech and independent journalism. However, responding to the concern the ...
Entertainment Report :Popular actress and model of present time Anny Khan for the first time paired up with National Film Award winner actor and director Zahid Hasan in a drama serial.Zahid Hasan is acting in the title role in the serial. Viewers will watch a new role Zara in the ...
AP, Seoul :North and South Korea installed the first-ever telephone hotline between their leaders Friday as they prepare for a rare summit next week aimed at resolving the nuclear standoff with Pyongyang.South Korea's presidential office said a successful test call was conducted on the hotline between Seoul's presidential Blue House ...
RAJIB Hossain, a third-year student of Titumir College, whom right hand was pulled out being stuck between two speeding buses in the city, drifted off to death on Tuesday after two weeks in coma. The life of the ill-fated youth ended quite tragically at 21 leaving his two teenage brothers ...
Entertainment Report :Hothat Dekha (sudden rendezvous) is not a title. It was a sudden rendezvous of two friends, two popular actors and directors - Afsana Mimi and Zahid Hasan. Recently they were taking part in shooting of two separate plays in the city’s Uttara area. Zahid Hasan was engaged with ...