Juventus almost certain to win title after Napoli held

Sports Sunday 06/May/2018 20:18 PM
By: Times News Service
Juventus almost certain to win title after Napoli held

Milan: Napoli's Serie A title challenge petered out on Sunday when they twice squandered the lead in a 2-2 draw at home to Torino, leaving Juventus almost certain to collect the trophy for the seventh season in a row.
The title is a mere formality for Juventus after they were left with a six-point lead over Napoli -- the only side who can catch them -- with two matches to play and a goal difference which is better by 16.
The two sides are level on their head-to-head record.
Coach Maurizio Sarri buried his head in his hands when Lorenzo De Silvestri was allowed a free header to equalise for Torino in the 83rd minute. Torino defender Nicolas Burdisso gifted Napoli the lead after 25 minutes when he tried to play his way out of the penalty area and Dries Mertens stole in from behind to poke the ball into the net.
The Bulls stunned the San Paolo stadium by equalising 10 minutes after halftime with a Daniele Baselli shot which deflected off Vlad Chiriches and wrong-footed Napoli keeper Pepe Reina.
Napoli captain Marek Hamsik, who surprisingly started on the bench, was brought on after 69 minutes and made an immediate impact as he rifled home a 25-metre shot with his first touch two minutes later.
But Torino hit back again as Mario Rui allowed De Silvestri to get behind him and head in Adem Ljajic's floated free kick.
Inter Milan boosted their chances of a top-four finish, which would earn them a place in the Champions League group stage, with a 4-0 win at faltering Udinese.
Andrea Ranocchia, Rafinha and Mauro Icardi put Inter 3-0 up at halftime and Borja Valero added a fourth after Udinese had Seko Fofana sent off for stamping on Ivan Perisic.
Inter are fifth, one point behind AS Roma who play Cagliari later on Sunday, and two behind Lazio, who were held 1-1 by Atalanta. Musa Barrow gave Atalanta a second-minute lead and Felipe Caicedo levelled midway through the first half.
At the bottom, Cheivo beat Crotone 2-1 to leave both teams level with Udinese on 34 points, one above Cagliari who are in the bottom three. Verona and Benevento have already been relegated.