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Roma keep hope of Juventus slip

03 April 2014, 21:18

Rome - After lying dormant for weeks, the Serie A title race was brought flickering back to life after Roma's impressive 4-2 win over high-flying Parma on Wednesday saw them cut Juventus' lead to eight points with seven games remaining.

Rudi Garcia's side travel to struggling Cagliari on Sunday (1300GMT) on the back of five straight league wins, while on Monday night a tiring Juventus host third-from-bottom Livorno(1700).

Juve had built up a 14-point lead and their third consecutive league title looked a formality, but after they lost 2-0 at Napoli following Roma's easy win at lowly Sassuolo on Sunday the capital side pounced with a thrilling display against Parma in the early evening sunshine.

The win came in a game that had been suspended after nine minutes in February because of a powerful storm that battered the Italian capital, and hopes are high in Rome that they can give leaders Juve a run for their money in the closing weeks of the season.

"We will play to win all of our following games and as long as there is still a mathematical possibility we will give our all. We'll see what happens," Garcia said.

"Things like that (a team coming from behind to win the league) have happened before in the history of football. We're eight points behind Juve and they have to come and play at the Olympic stadium.

"They will be feeling under pressure given that two weeks ago they had a huge lead."

Juventus are on 81 points and are still clear favourites for the title as they have an easier-looking run-in, but they have to travel to Rome in their penultimate game of the season, and there is a feeling that their European exploits are starting to have an effect on their form.

Juventus are at Lyon in the quarter-finals of the Europa League on Thursday night before what should be a simple home match against third-from-bottom Livorno.

Juve's performances have started to dip in recent weeks, and a series of unsure displays for Antonio Conte's side culminated in a comprehensive beating at Napoli, their first league defeat since October.

"We need to remember the Napoli match in order to improve, but I'm baffled by articles talking about a crisis at Juventus, or the end of a tyranny in Italy," said Conti in Wednesday's media conference ahead of their clash with Lyon.

"For three years the team has been growing and it will continue to do so."

Walter Mazzarri's future as Inter Milan coach is in the balance as they take on Bologna on Saturday (1845).

Italian media reports have suggested Mazzari could be sacked if his side do not qualify for the Europa League.

Inter are three points behind Fiorentina in fourth but have Parma, Atalanta and Lazio breathing down their necks and their recent form has been extremely patchy.

They have only won four of the 13 league games they have played in 2014, and throwing away a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 at lowly Livorno on Monday was just the latest of a series of disappointing results.

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- Reuters

Tags roma football

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