Serie A round-up: Juventus take step closer to Serie A title with win over Genoa
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 24/04/17 12:43am
Juventus took a giant leap towards securing an historic sixth consecutive Serie A title by thrashing hapless Genoa 4-0 in Turin on Sunday night.
The 16th-placed Grifone, boasting just one win since December, were never likely to offer much resistance at Juventus Stadium and so it proved as the Bianconeri ran riot against Ivan Juric's team, pulling 11 points clear at the top of the table in the process.
Ezequiel Munoz was unfortunate to open the floodgates with an own goal midway through the first half but Paulo Dybala's stunning second was all Juve and the Old Lady soon took complete control.
Mario Mandzukic put the outcome beyond doubt before the interval and the second half saw Leonardo Bonucci score the pick of the goals at the end of a surging run through the middle.
Roma will play basement boys Pescara on Monday, but victory on the east coast would only be good enough to restore an eight-point gap, with time and games quickly running out.
Napoli's title challenge looks like being over after they needed substitute Arkadiusz Milik to salvage a point from a 2-2 draw at lowly Sassuolo.
The free-scoring Azzurri knew that nothing but victory could realistically keep them in touch with Juve heading into the five-match run-in.
There was hope when Belgium forward Dries Mertens continued his hot streak in front of goal, reaching 22 strikes for 2016-17 with his 52nd-minute headed opener.
However, Sassuolo's Domenico Berardi pounced on a mistake to level seven minutes later.
Substitute Luca Mazzitelli looked to have sent Napoli home empty-handed with his 80th-minute strike, his first in Serie A, yet Milik would later notch for the first time since September to force the draw.
Lazio retain an outside chance of forcing their way into the last Champions League spot and they gave Napoli plenty of food for thought with a 6-2 humbling of relegation-haunted Palermo.
An 18-minute goal blitz in the first half at the Stadio Olimpico saw Lazio build an intimidating five-goal lead, with Ciro Immobile scoring twice in two minutes before Keita Balde Diao hit a hat-trick.
The Senegalese notched from open play either side of his 24th-minute penalty, but Palermo thought they would try fighting back anyway and Andrea Rispoli stepped up with two goals after the restart.
The Sicilians, who are now 13 points from safety and almost certain to go down next weekend, were put to bed when young Lazio substitute Luca Crecco sealed the outcome late on.
Palermo are so far adrift thanks to Empoli's surprise 2-1 triumph over AC Milan at San Siro.
The 17th-placed club had looked ready to drop into the bottom three in recent weeks but back-to-back away wins have given them breathing space.
Their shock victory was authored by goals either side of the break from Levan Mchedlidze and Mame Thiam, who struck after Milan winger Suso saw his penalty saved.
Gianluca Lapadula made it a tense finale with his 72nd-minute goal for the Rossoneri, but a European spot now looks even harder to secure for Vincenzo Montella's men.
If it had not been for Empoli's heroics, Crotone would have narrowed the gap to safety to two points with their 2-1 success at Sampdoria.
In-form Samp striker Patrik Schick hit an early opener but promoted club Crotone launched a comeback in the second half, with Diego Falcinelli and Simy stunning the hosts.
Elsewhere, Torino won 3-1 at Chievo despite division-leading goalscorer Andrea Belotti - who like Roma's Edin Dzeko has notched 25 in the league - failing to find the back of the net.
Adem Ljajic, Iago Falque and substitute Davide Zappacosta did the damage in Verona while Sergio Pellissier grabbed a consolation for the mid-table Flying Donkeys.
Elsewhere, Udinese recovered from a first-half spot-kick miss by Cyril Thereau to beat Cagliari 2-1 with strikes from Gabriele Angella and Stipe Perica. Marco Borriello notched for the visitors.