ROME: Juventus showed no hangover from their midweek UEFA Champions League exit as they closed the gap on leaders Inter Milan to four points with a 4-1 home win over Bologna on Saturday.
Claudio Ranieri's team were knocked out of Europe after drawing 2-2 at home to Chelsea on Tuesday, seeing them beaten 3-2 on aggregate. But goals from Hasan Salihamidzic,
Sebastian Giovinco and an Alessandro Del Piero brace saw them come back from a goal down to stun Bologna. Inter Milan can restablish a seven-point advantage on Sunday when they entertain Fiorentina.
Juventus took some time to get into their stride and it was Bologna who took the lead folllowing some clever play on 24 minutes. Marco Di Vaio cut in from the left and ran across the box, drawing two defenders before slipping the ball into the path of Massimo Mutarelli, whose angled run between two defenders saw him bare down on goal before sliding the ball under goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon.
Juventus took their time to react but on 37 minutes Giovinco cut in from the left and let fly, bringing a smart save out of Francesco Antonioli. Moments later Giovinco crossed for Del Piero but the veteran forward, who was unmarked at the near post, missed with his header and the ball bounced off his shoulder and wide.
However, it took the hosts little time after the break to restore parity as Salihamidzic levelled on 49 minutes, running across his man to glance home a header from Giovinco's corner. Both sides had good chances until Juventus ran away with the match towards the end of the game.
First Salihamidzic crossed deep for Vincenzo Iaquinta who teed up Giovinco to shank home a shot off the outside of his shin that left Antonioli rooted to the spot. With a quarter of an hour left Salihamidzic played a slide rule pass into Del Piero who turned his marker and beat Antonioli at his near post. He then wrapped things up three minutes from time, poking the ball home at the near post at the second attempt before missing out on a last minute hat-trick when crashing a shot against the bar.
In the day's other game, Ruben Olivera scored the only goal six minutes from time as Genoa won 1-0 at Cagliari, for whom Andrea Cossu was sent off in the first half. The win moved Genoa up to fourth place in the final Champions League qualifying position, although Fiorentina and AS Roma can both leapfrog them on Sunday.