Sport Soccer

Monday 23 April 2018

Pogba strike puts Juve on brink of title hat-trick

European Round-Up

Juventus' Paul Pogba (L) fights for the ball with Bologna's Michele Pazienza
Juventus' Paul Pogba (L) fights for the ball with Bologna's Michele Pazienza

Jamie Holland

Juventus moved closer to a third consecutive Serie A title when a long-range Paul Pogba goal beat a dogged Bologna side 1-0, while Roma secured second spot and a Champions League place by winning 1-0 at Fiorentina.

Antonio Conte's Juve are still eight points clear of Roma after Pogba's powerful low drive on 64 minutes secured their 17th home win in a row in a nervy display against a well-organised Bologna.

Roma's eighth win in succession was secured with a goal from Radja Nainngolan, who slid in to poke home Adem Ljajic's neat through ball in the 26th minute of a tight game.

Inter moved a step closer to qualifying for the Europa League with a 2-0 win over 10-man Parma. AC Milan boosted their chances of European football next season with a 3-0 win over lowly Livorno in a fifth straight victory that saw Mario Balotelli score his 14th league goal of the season – a personal record.

Meanwhile in Germany, a lacklustre Bayern Munich managed their first win in four league games, beating Eintracht Braunschweig 2-0, but coach Pep Guardiola sounded the alarm bells ahead of next week's Champions League semi-final with Real Madrid.

Late goals from 35-year-old veteran Claudio Pizarro and substitute Mario Mandzukic saved Bayern's blushes against their bottom-of-the-table hosts but their overall performance was again far from convincing.

Peruvian Pizarro, who has now scored against every Bundesliga club, was picked to start ahead of Bayern top scorer Mandzukic.

The selection proved critical as the Bavarians' slump in form showed for much of the game and needed the goal prowess of the league's top foreign scorer of all time.

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