Juventus remains 3 points clear of AC Milan
MILAN (AP) -Unbeaten Juventus remained three points clear of AC Milan in the Serie A title race after both scraped 1-0 wins on Wednesday.
Former Milan striker Marco Borriello scored his first goal for Juventus 11 minutes from time against Cesena - confirming the northern club's relegation.
Kevin-Prince Boateng kept Milan in the race with the winner against Genoa five minutes from time. Genoa, which is only a point off the bottom three, played the last 20 minutes with 10 men after Bosko Jankovic was sent off for a second booking.
Andrea Pirlo missed his second penalty in a row for Juventus in the eighth minute.
"Today we proved our maturity,'' Juventus coach Antonio Conte said. "It was a gritty match but a great win with all our efforts against a very tight team. Borriello deserved his goal, he wasn't in a great physical condition when he came to us and he had to work a lot to get up to the same level as the others.''
The 33rd round of fixtures was postponed following the death of Piermario Morosini on April 14. Morosini - on loan from Udinese - collapsed and died after suffering cardiac arrest during Livorno's match at Pescara in Serie B.
Juventus was given a glorious chance to take an early lead when a penalty was awarded against Vangelis Moras for handball. Replays showed the infringement happened outside the area and justice was perhaps done when Pirlo saw his spotkick crash off the left post. Conte said Arturo Vidal would take Juve's next penalty.
Mirko Vucinic should have given Juve the lead in the 27th when a corner found him completely unmarked in the area but he headed over from close range.
Juve looked certain to go in front five minutes after the break as Alessandro Matri beat the offside trap and unleashed a fierce effort. Antonioli did well to block the shot and, with the ball rolling toward goal, did even better to recover and sweep the ball off the line in the nick of time.
Juve finally broke the deadlock when Vucinic nodded down a cross to Borriello, who rifled a shot into the bottom left corner.
In Milan, the defending champions almost got off to a dreadful start when Alessandro Nesta handled in the area but the referee decided it wasn't intentional and waved play on.
Milan was given a boost when Jankovic was shown a second yellow in the 73rd minute, after bringing down Ignazio Abate on the edge of the area.
However, the match still looked set to end goalless before Zlatan Ibrahimovic deflected Urby Emanuelson's cross for Boateng to send a shot under Genoa goalkeeper Sebastien Frey.
"The games at the end of the season are always difficult because you often play against teams fighting against relegation,'' Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri said.
"We're not as brilliant as we were a month ago. I don't want to think about it but this year (Alessandro) Pato hardly played, (Antonio) Cassano was out for six months, Boateng only played about 15 games and Robinho scored just five times. But I can't reproach the lads for anything.''
The race for third place and the remaining Champions League spot was blown open when Novara claimed its first win in six games with a 2-1 victory over Lazio.
Lazio defender Modibo Diakite gave Novara the lead shortly after the half hour when he turned Andrea Mazzarani's shot into his own goal. But Antonio Candreva leveled moments later.
However, Giuseppe Mascara sealed the victory with a free kick 11 minutes from time.
Lazio remains third on 55 points, but Napoli is now just a point behind after a 2-0 win over in-form Lecce. Inter Milan is two further back following a 3-1 win at Udinese, which saw it draw level with the Friulian team on 52 points.
Marek Hamsik put Napoli in front inside five minutes, swiveling on the edge of the area to volley home Gokhan Inler's free kick. Edinson Cavani sealed the victory with his 100th goal in Italy. It is Lecce's second loss in 13 games.
Inter is still hopeful of sneaking into third after Wesley Sneijder's double and a third from Ricardo Alvarez saw them come from behind after Danilo had given Udinese the lead.
Roma's chances of finishing third have all but disappeared and the team was loudly booed during its 2-1 loss at home to Fiorentina, while around 200 fans protested outside the stadium after the match.
Francesco Totti leveled for Roma but Andrea Lazzari scored the winner in stoppage time. Pablo Osvaldo was sent off for dissent to add to Roma's misery.
Elsewhere, Parma won 2-1 at Palermo, while Bologna drew 1-1 at Siena.