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Pogba brilliance lifts Juventus

Published:Monday | January 26, 2015 | 12:01 AM
AP Juventus' Paul Pogba celebrates after scoring during a Serie A soccer match between Juventus and Chievo Verona at the Juventus stadium, in Turin, Italy, Sunday, Jan. 25, 2015. (AP Photo/Massimo Pinca)


Paul Pogba showed why the top European teams are interested in him as he orchestrated a 2-0 win for Juventus against Chievo Verona, sending the defending champions seven points clear atop the Serie A table yesterday, as Roma drew 1-1 at Fiorentina.

Pogba scored a stunning opener on the hour mark and was instrumental in his team's second, netted by Stephan Lichtsteiner.

"Paul scored an extraordinary goal and pulled the ball down brilliantly for the second," Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri said. "He is an intelligent, calm and level-headed lad who always wants to improve. The club has to decide (whether to sell him) but it's not a problem to consider right now. It is difficult to replace world-class players, but football goes on."

Former Fiorentina forward Adem Ljajic cancelled out Mario Gomez's strike as Roma drew their third successive league match.

Meanwhile, there will be further debate about goal-line technology after Palermo had a goal ruled out in a 1-1 draw at Sampdoria, with the home side's new signing Samuel Eto'o in attendance.

A stoppage-time goal gave Torino a 1-0 win at Inter Milan, their first since 1988, while a late strike also saw Cesena beat Parma 2-1 in a relegation battle.

Hellas Verona beat Atalanta 1-0, with Javier Saviola scoring his first Serie A goal.

Juventus struggled to break down Chievo although Giorgio Chiellini nodded just over from a couple of corners and had another header from a corner deflected over the bar by goalkeeper Albano Bizzarri.

moment of magic

It took a moment of magic to break the deadlock as Pogba skipped past two Chievo players before unleashing a powerful 20-yard strike into the bottom corner for his fourth goal in as many games.

Pogba almost claimed the second too as he brought down a cross with his foot before hitting it on the volley, forcing a great save from Bizzarri, only for Lichsteiner to slot in the rebound.

Roma knew they couldn't afford another slip after draws against Lazio and Palermo, but Gomez redirected David Pizarro's long-range strike for his third goal in two matches after scoring twice in the Italian Cup midweek.

Roma looked a different side after the break and levelled after four minutes. Juan Iturbe did well to bring down Francesco Totti's long ball and hold off the defenders before squaring for Ljajic, who did not celebrate his goal.

In Genoa, all eyes were on the stands, where club president Massimo Ferrero sat with a smiling Eto'o and fellow new signing Luis Muriel, with all three wearing Sampdoria scarves.

No official comment has been made by either Sampdoria or Everton, but Eto'o underwent a successful medical last weekend and will reportedly be presented to the media today after the deal has been finalised.

Palermo were denied a winner when Michel Morganella's effort crashed off the underside of the crossbar before bouncing off the ground and out. Replays showed the ball had crossed the line but the referee ignored Palermo's protests.

Sampdoria moved level on points with third-placed Lazio, a point clear of Napoli, which host Genoa today.