Milan :Champions Juventus kept pace with Serie A leaders Napoli on Saturday after a hard-fought 1-0 win over title-rivals AS Roma with Inter Milan suffering a second consecutive defeat. Moroccan Medhi Benatia scored the only goal against his former club after 18 minutes in Turin as Juventus remain one point behind leaders Napoli — who have 45 from 18 games — with Inter Milan five points adrift in third after losing 1-0 at Sassuolo, and Roma in fourth. It was the first time that Roma have trailed this season away but Eusebio Di Francesco’s side could not find a way back, despite almost equalising in injury time when Patrik Schick hit the crossbar. Juventus also had chances to increase their advantage with Gonzalo Higuain wasteful and Miralem Pjanic’s stoppage time effort cleared by Alisson by the tips of his fingers. “Roma and Napoli are candidates for the Scudetto. Inter are still up there and so are Lazio,” said Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri. Di Francesco, whose Roma side sit seven points behind Napoli and six off Juventus, said: “The team could have done a lot better, maybe we were a bit inhibited, against a team like Juventus you can’t afford to make mistakes.” Earlier Marek Hamsik scored his 116th goal to overtake Diego Maradona as Napoli’s all-time record scorer, at the same time sealing a come-from-behind 3-2 win over Sampdoria. “I’m proud to have overtaken a myth like Maradona. My friends gave me shin-pads with 116 on them, but my first thought was that we were winning the game after going behind twice,” said the 30-year-old Slovak international.
Orignally published by APP