sport

Serie A leading duo both held

Hellas Verona and Lazio applied the brakes to the Serie A title race by holding leaders Juventus and nearest challengers Roma to frustrating draws on Sunday afternoon.

The Bianconeri travelled to Verona eager to extend their nine-point lead over Roma, who were concerning themselves with tackling city rivals Lazio in the Rome derby, but a last-gasp equaliser from substitute Juanito saw Hellas force a 2-2 draw to deny the reigning champions their 14th win from 15 games.

A first-half brace from Carlos Tevez had put Juve on the right track but, after veteran striker Luca Toni hit back after the break, Argentinian striker Juanito scored on the stroke of full-time to earn a valuable point for fifth-placed Verona.

Roma therefore had a rare opportunity to cut the gap between first and second to seven points, but Lazio thwarted their ambitions by standing firm throughout the first goalless Rome derby since April 2007.

It was certainly not a classic encounter at the Stadio Olimpico, although Roma did dominate and might have snatched victory had Gervinho's goal not been ruled out for offside before the break.

The match also saw Lazio captain Stefano Mauri - banned in October for six months for failing to report match-fixing - return to action as a second-half substitute.

Inter Milan climbed into fifth spot with a 1-0 home win over struggling Sassuolo on Sunday evening.

Veteran defender Walter Samuel (48) headed home into the roof of the net early in the second half from a Hernanes corner to end a run of five Serie A matches without a win.

Genoa moved into the top half of the table as Luca Antonelli's early goal secured a 1-0 victory at relegation-threatened Livorno and, back at the Marassi, Sampdoria beat Cagliari by the same scoreline thanks to Daniele Gastaldello.

Bologna pulled away from the drop zone as Jonathan Cristaldo scored twice to mastermind a come-from-behind 2-1 victory at Torino.

Ciro Immobile opened the scoring in the north west but Cristaldo had turned the game on its head by the 24th minute. Bologna are now in 16th and four points clear of the bottom three.

Elsewhere, basement boys Catania were held to a goalless draw by eighth-placed Parma at the Stadio Ennio Tardini.