Serie A: Juventus beats Roma to close on leader Inter; Pulisic helps Milan win


Juventus ended a troubled year on a positive note after beating Roma 1-0 to close in on Serie A leader Inter Milan on Saturday.

Adrien Rabiot scored and Juventus moved within two points of Inter, which drew on Friday.

Juventus started the year mired in scandal after former president Andrea Agnelli and the entire board resigned in November 2022 following an investigation by Turin prosecutors into false accounting, which led to the team being deducted 10 points.

The false accounting case also led to Juventus being excluded by UEFA from the third-tier Europa Conference League for this season.

Without the distraction of Europe, Juventus has been fighting hard at the top of the Serie A table and knew it had the chance to close the gap on Saturday.

Former Juventus striker Paulo Dybala recovered from injury to surprisingly start and his team almost took an early lead but Bryan Cristante’s shot came off the right post.

Dybala went close to scoring against his former team but instead it was Juventus which broke the deadlock right at the start of the second half. Rabiot beat the offside trap to latch onto a cheeky Dušan Vlahović backheeled flick and slot into the bottom near corner.

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AC Milan also ended the year with a victory — after a difficult month — in edging Sassuolo 1-0.

Pulisic netted in the 59th minute after Ismaël Bennacer’s through-ball was deflected to the United States international.

It was Pulisic’s sixth league goal of the season.

Milan, which won only one of its previous three Serie A matches and was eliminated from the Champions League, was nine points behind Inter.


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Bologna fell to a surprise 3-0 loss at relegation-threatened Udinese and missed the chance to move back into the Champions League spots.

Bologna’s third loss left it two points behind fourth-placed Fiorentina after the Tuscan team’s 1-0 victory over Torino on Friday.

Udinese moved three points above the drop zone and Claudio Ranieri’s Cagliari, which drew against Empoli 0-0.

Empoli goalkeeper Elia Caprile saved a late penalty to help his side remain within a point of safety and 17th-placed Hellas Verona, which lost at home to bottom club Salernitana 1-0.

Salernitana earned its second win of the season. It was two points behind Verona.

Ademola Lookman fired Atalanta to a 1-0 win over Lecce in his last match before going to the Africa Cup of Nations with Nigeria.

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