Juventus beats Palermo 1-0 on coach Conte's return
MILAN (AP) -Defending champion Juventus celebrated coach Antonio Conte's return with a win, beating Palermo 1-0 in Serie A on Sunday.
Stephan Lichtsteiner scored five minutes into the second half for Juventus, which also hit the goal-frame twice through Mirko Vucinic.
Palermo had a first-half strike from Fabrizio Miccoli ruled out for offside and also had Michel Morganella sent off 15 minutes from time after picking up his second yellow card.
It was Conte's first match back on the bench after serving a four-month ban for failing to report match-fixing when he coached Siena two seasons ago.
Juventus is now five points ahead of Napoli, which faces third-place Inter Milan later Sunday
Elsewhere, AC Milan continued its recent resurgence with its third consecutive league victory, winning 4-2 at Torino.
In Sicily, Miccoli thought he had given Palermo the lead in the 17th minute with a lovely shot from a tight angle on the right side of the area but he was marginally offside.
Juventus should have taken the lead in the 36th when Claudio Marchisio's shot was deflected straight to Vucinic, who sidefooted the ball onto the right post from six yards with the goal gaping.
The Serie A leaders started to get into the game and again almost went in front two minutes from halftime when Arturo Vidal stole the ball off Jasmin Kurtic and put in a delightful through ball, which Alessandro Matri fired straight at goalkeeper Samir Ujkani.
Vucinic hit the post again 30 seconds after the restart before helping Juventus finally broke the deadlock five minutes later. Vucinic beat Steve Von Bergen to chest down a long pass from Andrea Pirlo and backheel it for the onrushing Lichtsteiner to fire home.
Milan was hit by an early blow when Nigel De Jong had to come off in the 21st minute with a damaged Achilles tendon. The defensive midfielder is likely to be out for the rest of the season.
Torino took the lead seven minutes later following a dreaful howler from Milan midfielder Antonio Nocerino, who passed the ball back to no-one from the halfway line.
Mario Alberto Santana raced onto the ball before rounding goalkeeper Marco Amelia and slotting home.
Milan leveled five minutes before the break when Robinho collected the ball in the area, feinted past Valerio Di Cesare and fired in under the crossbar.
Nocerino atoned for his earlier mistake when he headed home after Jean-Francois Gillet had palmed away Stephan El Shaarawy's cross.
Giampaolo Pazzini extended Milan's advantage in controversial circumstances, with Torino fuming after he clattered into Salvatore Masiello to win the ball in the area.
El Shaarawy sealed the result 15 minutes from time with his 13th league goal of the season after Milan had hit the woodwork twice
Torino got one back when Rolando Bianchi headed in Valter Birsa's cross.
Cristiano Bergodi recorded his first win as Pescara coach as it beat fellow strugglers Genoa 2-0 to snap a four-game losing streak.
It is Genoa coach Luigi Del Neri's seventh loss in eight games in charge.
Elvis Abbruscato and Ante Vukusic scored in the second half. Genoa hit the woodwork twice in the first period.
Genoa is now penultimate in the table, a point above Siena which lost 3-1 at home to Catania.
Alessandro Rosina put Siena in front in the 10th minute but Lucas Castro leveled five minutes into the second half and Gonzalo Bergessio added a brace.
Chievo Verona won 2-0 at Cagliari thanks to goals from Alberto Paloschi and Cyril Thereau.