Paulo Dybala unlocked a tense encounter with Roma in Turin to fire Juventus within two points of Serie A leaders Napoli.
Massimiliano Allegri’s reigning champions raced into Scudetto contention after registering a 10th straight victory last time out but they found win number 11 – a rare 1-0 triumph – harder to come by.
Resilient Roma, who are harder to beat under returning coach Luciano Spalletti, only let their guard down once, with Dybala scoring past Wojciech Szczesny in the 77th minute at Juventus Stadium.
The Bianconeri now have free-scoring Napoli, who were 4-2 winners at Sampdoria earlier on Sunday, in their sights with a showdown between the title rivals scheduled for February 13.
Gonzalo Higuain had earlier scored his 21st goal of the season as the Azzurri emerged triumphant from a festival of goals at the Marassi.
19 - Paulo Dybala has been directly involved in 19 (12 goals and 7 assist) of the 38 Serie A Juventus goals this term (50%). Star.— OptaPaolo (@OptaPaolo) January 24, 2016
Higuain resumed his bid for the ‘Capocannoniere’ award with the first goal of six, with Lorenzo Insigne, Marek Hamsik and substitute Dries Mertens also notching for Napoli.
Samp, who lost Mattia Cassani to a red card after the break, provided plenty of solace for the home fans as Joaquin Correa and Eder kept the southerners on their toes with deficit-slashing strikes.
Substitute Kevin Lasagna grabbed a late leveller as 10-man Carpi held Inter Milan to a 1-1 draw.
The striker, who was playing amateur football for Este less than two years ago, emerged from a San Siro bench to cover the expulsion of Lorenzo Pasciuti with a stoppage-time equaliser.
Rodrigo Palacio had earlier scored his first league goal of the season but it was not enough for previous leaders Inter, who are now fourth after being leapfrogged by Fiorentina in the early game.
The Tuscans returned to third by responding to back-to-back defeats with a 2-0 win over Torino.
Josip Ilicic’s free-kick and Gonzalo Rodriguez’s late header at the Stadio Artemio Franchi boosted Paulo Sousa’s men back into the title race.
Lazio recovered from an early setback to beat Chievo 4-1 in the capital.
Bostjan Cesar, who was later sent off, whipped home an early free-kick and Lazio took over an hour to respond, with Antonio Candreva converting a penalty midway through the second half.
Danilo Cataldi then fired the Biancocelesti into the lead and Candreva doubled up before Chievo’s Alberto Paloschi managed to miss the penalty that followed Stefan Radu’s dismissal.
Keita Balde secured all three points for Lazio with a stoppage-time strike.
Guillermo Barros Schelotto registered his first win as Palermo boss in the shape of a 4-1 thrashing of Udinese at the Stadio Renzo Barbera.
The Argentinian watched Robin Quaison open the scoring and Oscar Hiljemark doubled Palermo’s lead. Achraf Lazaar made it 3-0 but Cyril Thereau soon dragged Udinese back into the game.
Macedonian substitute Aleksandar Trajkovski made Palermo’s points safe at the death.
Bologna condemned their local rivals Sassuolo to a first home defeat of the season.
Emanuele Giaccherini’s opener meant the Neroverde risked a rare loss at the Mapei Stadium and their former striker Sergio Floccari later confirmed their fears – and a 2-0 win for Bologna.
Hellas Verona are still looking for a first win after being held to a 1-1 draw by Genoa.
Suso’s free-kick bounced off Ferdinando Coppola and went in for an own goal, with Giampaolo Pazzini levelling for Verona before half-time.
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