- POSTED: 16 Dec 2013 01:35
- UPDATED: 16 Dec 2013 06:26
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Carlos Tevez scored a hat-trick as Juventus bounced back from their Champions League exit with a comprehensive 4-0 victory over Sassuolo on Sunday which took their lead over Roma to six points.
MILAN: Carlos Tevez scored a hat-trick as Juventus bounced back from their Champions League exit with a comprehensive 4-0 victory over Sassuolo on Sunday which took their lead over Roma to six points.
Antonio Conte's side exited Europe's premier club competition on Wednesday after a 1-0 defeat to Galatasaray in snow-hit Istanbul dropped the Italian champions to third in Group B and into the Europa League.
Conte had since set the target of winning both pre-Christmas games, at home to Sassuolo and away to Atalanta, and Juve completed the first task with consummate ease ahead of Roma's trip to Milan on Monday.
It was Juve's eighth consecutive win without conceding a goal and goalkeeper and captain Gianluigi Buffon told Sky Sport Italia: "It was a good way to make amends for Wednesday.
"The elimination hurt us, but now there's another trophy we now have to try and win."
He added: "That's eight straight wins without conceding. Credit all round, also to our strikers, who are our first defenders."
Juve remain top on 43 points and Roma have even more incentive to win in Milan on Monday after Napoli closed the gap on the Giallorossi to two points after a thrilling 4-2 win over Inter, who were left in fifth place following Fiorentina's 3-0 defeat of Bologna earlier in the day.
Inter were reduced to 10 men in the 71st minute when Ricky Alvarez saw shown a second yellow card, for handball, but by then most of the damage had been done.
Inter coach Walter Mazzarri was mostly applauded on his return to the club he steered to a second place finish last season, but he departed feeling less buoyed with Inter now winless in their last four games.
Argentinian striker Gonzalo Higuain opened the scoring for Napoli after just nine minutes when he smashed a volley past Samir Hananovic from the edge of the area.
Inter levelled on 35 minutes when Napoli's defence failed to deal with a low ball across the area and when it reached Esteban Cambiasso the Argentinian had no problem beating Rafael in the Napoli net.
Napoli restored their lead four minutes later when Dries Mertens pounced on a loose ball at the feet of teammate Blerim Dzemaili to beat Handanovic with a curling strike at his near post.
Dzemaili stretched Napoli's lead two minutes later when he tapped home Lorenzo Insigne's perfectly-weighted ball across the face of goal.
Napoli were stunned on the stroke of half-time when Yuto Nagatomo reduced arrears for the visitors.
Inter created several chances in a dramatic second but ultimately failed to capitalise.
Napoli suffered a scare when Rafael was left dazed and requiring treatment after a clash with Fredy Guarin as the Colombian threatened following Rodrigo Palacio's cross.
Inter suffered their own blow when Alvarez was red carded and after Napoli coach Rafael Benitez replaced Higuain with Valon Behrami the hosts stretched their lead further.
Insigne was the provider, the Italy forward firing a perfectly-weighted ball for Jose Callejon at the back post to tap home past Handanovic in the 81st minute.
Napoli should have had a fifth, after Andrea Ranocchia was judged to have hauled down Goran Pandev, who had replaced Anthony Reveillere in the 91st minute, inside the box.
However Handanovic pulled off a superb diving save to beat Pandev's spot kick at his left hand post.
Earlier, a brace from Miroslav Klose in a 2-0 win over Livorno handed Lazio only their fifth win of the season to ease the pressure on under-fire coach Vladimir Petkovic.
Fiorentina capitalised on Bologna's poor form to score three unanswered goals at the Stadio Artemio Franchi, with Giuseppe Rossi notably taking his league-leading tally to 13 goals.
Italian Serie A results:
Chievo 0 Sampdoria 1
Fiorentina 3 Bologna 0
Genoa 1 Atalanta 1
Lazio 2 Livorno 0
Parma 0 Cagliari 0
Udinese 0 Torino 2
Juventus 4 Sassuolo 0
Napoli 4 Inter 2