Football: Llorente breaks duck as Juve go clear of Roma

Fernando Llorente broke his league duck as Juventus pulled three points clear of Roma at the top of Italy's Serie A following a 2-0 win over Palermo on Sunday.

Chilean international Arturo Vidal broke the deadlock on 32 minutes when he lashed Carlos Tevez's smart layoff past Stefano Sorrentino and inside the 'keeper's far post.

A spell of Palermo pressure before then had Gianluigi Buffon on tenterhooks when Paulo Dybala's mazy run created space for Franco Vazquez to force the Juve 'keeper to tip the forward's drive over the crossbar.

However Vidal's opener had eased the pressure and on 64 minutes Llorente, who had seen Sorrentino collect an earlier header from further out, got his head to a corner from the right to secure Juve's seventh win of the campaign following their only slip-up in last week's 1-1 draw at Sassuolo.

"Given the characteristics of the opposition, today was the best kind of match for Fernando," Allegri told Sky Sport Italia.

"He's repaid the faith we've all shown in him. We're happy he's back scoring again."

Allegri had replaced Andrea Pirlo with Paul Pogba midway through the second half, the second week in succession the Italy international has failed to finish 90 minutes.

But Allegri said there was no cause for alarm.

"He played at the World Cup and after that was sidelined for 40 days (with injury). He needs to play but he's still finding his feet and today he played well."

Juve are now three points ahead of Roma following the Giallorossi's scoreless draw on Saturday at Sampdoria, who dropped to fourth after Antonio Di Natale inspired Udinese to a 2-0 win over Atalanta which sent the northerners the other way.

- looping shot -

Former Inter coach Andrea Stramaccioni is working wonders at Udinese and Di Natale opened the scoring in spectacular fashion, the veteran picking up the rebound from an intended pass into the area to smash the ball into Marco Sportiello's top right-hand corner.

Udinese grabbed their second on 36 minutes with Cyril Thereau scoring a brilliant individual effort.

The Frenchman dispossessed Giuseppe Biava in midfield and held off the centre-back before beating Sportiello with a looping shot that came just as he tumbled to ther ground.

Di Natale missed two further chances as Atalanta failed to muster a threat. The Bergamo side remain just a point above the drop zone.

"It was a great performance. We hardly gave anything away to them," Stramaccioni told Radio Rai.

"It was probably our best match of the season so far, but we have to remain humble and keep on working. You can't ever be satisfied."

Resurgent Genoa, meanwhile, moved up to seventh place thanks to a 2-1 win over 10-man Chievo.

Chievo took a 36th minute lead through defender Ervan Zukanovic, but the match turned in Genoa's favour in the final 20 minutes.

Juventus and AC Milan reject Alessandro Matri had replaced Maxime Lestienne shortly after the restart and pulled the visitors level with a close-range header on 72 minutes.

A minute later, Ivan Radovanovic saw red for a foul in the area but Francesco Bardi did well to save Mauricio Pinilla's spot kick.

Genoa finally made their advantage pay six minutes from time, Pinilla nodding home an easy winner at the back post after Diego Perotti's cross from the right had been nodded into his path.

Milan can move up to third place with a win at home to Fiorentina in Sunday's late match. Elsewhere, Napoli host Verona, Torino are away to resurgent Lazio and Inter Milan are away to Cesena.