Juventus march halted with a goalless draw at SPAL

Rome: Juventus’ march towards a seventh consecutive Serie A title was stalled on Saturday by a goalless draw at struggling SPAL that kept the suspense alive in Italy.

Massimiliano Allegri’s side had been bidding to open a seven-point cushion on Napoli, who can now close the gap to two points on Sunday when they host Genoa, who are 13th.

Juventus’s 12-match league winning streak came to a halt as the champions lacked inspiration against the promoted side from Ferrara with normally reliable goal machines Paulo Dybala and Gonzalo Higuain failing to feature.

Faced with a solid and well-organised SPAL unit, Juventus’ only chances came through Alex Sandro after 11 and 87 minutes and a late Mario Mandzukic header.

And there was also a worry three weeks before their Champions League quarter-final first leg against Real Madrid with Giorgio Chiellini leaving the pitch 10 minutes before the end with a thigh injury.

“It’s an important point that allows us to continue our fight for Serie A safety,” said SPAL striker Mirco Antenucci.

“This is result is something to be proud of and we’re really happy with it.”

In La Liga, Valencia moved into third place in the La Liga, thanks to a 3-1 win at home to Alaves. Rodrigo Moreno celebrated his call up into the Spain squad on Friday with the first goal of the game after 19 minutes, before Simone Zaza also got onto the scoresheet 14 minutes later on Saturday, reports Xinhua news agency.

Ruben Soriano gave Alaves hope of a fightback early in the second half. But an own goal from Victor Laguardia after 54 minutes made the result safe for Valencia, who moved above Real Madrid who will play on Sunday.

Betis gave their chances of qualifying for Europe a major boost with a 3-0 win through Junior Firpo, Ryad Boudebouz and Francis with goals in the 36th, 56th and 69th minutes.

Getafe also retain their European options with a 2-1 victory away to Real Sociedad. 


(Saturday’s matches)

Serie A

Udinese 1 Sassuolo 2

Spal 0 Juventus 0

La Liga

Deportivo 1 Las Palmas 1

Valencia 3 Alaves 1

Sociedad 1 Getafe 2

Betis 3 Espanyol 0

Ligue 1

Bordeaux 0 Rennes 2

Montpellier 2 Dijon 2

Toulouse 2 Strasbourg 2

Angers 3 Caen 0

Amiens 1 Troyes 1


Hamburger SV 1 Hertha Berlin 2

Augsburg 1 Bremen 3

M’gladbach 3 Hoffenheim 3

Eintracht 3 Mainz 0

Wolfsburg 0 Schalke 1

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