Table-leading Juventus look to extend their lead over Serie A in Week 17, as they are beginning to distance themselves from the rest of the pack.
The two-time defending champions of the top Italian league have seen their once-tight lead swell over the last three weeks, thanks to AS Roma's recent shortcomings. Roma has drawn in two of the past three matchdays.
Francesco Totti and company have a favorable shot at keeping pace with Juventus this week, as last-place Catania are coming to town. Juventus will go on the road to face Atalanta.
Matchday 17 in Serie A action began with a duo of fixtures that went down to the wire and set the tone for the rest of the weekend's affairs.
Here's a look at the updated table for Matchday 17 and a breakdown of results.
|Dec. 22||AS Roma||4-0||Catania|
|Dec. 22||Hellas Verona||4-1||Lazio|
|Dec. 22||Torino||4-1||Chievo Verona|
|Dec. 22||Inter Milan||1-0||AC Milan|
Update: Sunday, Dec. 22 at 7:45 p.m. ET by Richard Langford
Travelling to take on 15th-place Atalanta, Juventus netted four goals from four different players to pull out an easy 4-1 win and to ensure they would leave the week with at least the same five-point table lead that they entered it with.
And five points it shall be after second-place AS Roma cruised to a 4-0 victory over bottom-feeders Catania. Mehdi Benatia picked up a brace to lead his side in goals.
With his double against Catania, Mehdi Benatia is now Roma's joint top scorer alongside Gervinho, Florenzi + Strootman with 4 goals #asroma— Anthony Wright (@asroma_uk) December 22, 2013
Four and one were definitely the magic numbers in Sunday's action. Genoa, AC Milan and Sassuolo were both shut out, by Bologna, Inter and Fiorentina respectively, but ever other team in action on Sunday netted four or one goal(s).
Torino and Hellas Veronas joined the day's scoring party by both netting four goals, against Chievo Verona and Lazio respectively, in their Sunday victories.
---End of update---
Livorno 1-2 Udinese
Udinese will head into the holiday break satisfied after posting an impressive 2-1 road win over Livorno to start off Matchday 17.
It was an evenly matched affair as far as possession, as Udinese only held 51 percent. Both squads also had four shots on goal each.
But it was Udinese who were able to take advantage of those chances, scoring in the 11th minute off a Nicolas Lopez goal. They were able to shake off a 32nd-minute goal from Livorno's Luca Siligardi that equalized things and go ahead for good in the 65th minute off a goal from Thomas Heurtaux.
Livorno is still stuck in the relegation zone after failing to secure a point over the weekend. Meanwhile, Udinese bolted up the table into a four-way tie for eighth place.
Cagliari 1-1 Napoli
Napoli failed to take advantage of a chance to move into a tie for second in the table, drawing 1-1 to Cagliari on the road.
The scoring came quickly in this one. In the ninth minute, Nene put Cagliari ahead after nearly scoring minutes prior before being called for offside. The ninth-minute goal, though, was undoubtable and put the home team up, 1-0.
It took little time for a Napoli attack that can be so dangerous to get its legs. Gonzalo Higuain converted a penalty kick in the 19th minute to equalize.
That was all of the scoring in this one, as defenses took over and offside calls (there were 10 in total) thwarted the best chances from either side.
Napoli sit two points back of Roma and seven back of leading Juventus as they await results from their peers.