Juventus ended the year on a positive note by beating Cagliari 2-0 on Tuesday, threatened with relegation to close the gap with the top four in Serie A.
Moise Kean and Federico Bernardeschi scored as Juventus moved within four points of Atalanta, who were surprisingly held to a 0-0 draw in trouble Genoa.
Atalanta were in fourth place and last place in the Champions League. Juventus had struggled at the beginning of the season, but things are starting to snap under the return of coach Massimiliano Allegri and entered the field after winning five of the last six games, drawing the other.
They nearly took the lead in the early stages, but Kean headed Juan Cuadrado’s cross at the far post.
He did better five minutes from half-time when he headed from Bernardeschi’s cross after a splendid run from the winger.
Bernardeschi scored himself seven minutes from time when he converted a Dejan Kulusevski pass, for his first goal since July 2020.
Atalanta tried everything but failed to find a way to overcome a resilient Genoa and missed the opportunity to move up to second place in Serie A.
The traffic is one-way, but when Atalanta manages to break through in defense they are denied by a nice save by Genoa goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu.
Atalanta could have beaten Napoli and Milan by one point before Wednesday’s matches.
Genoa remained in the lowered area but came within two points of salvation.
Salernitana’s match a Udinese was not officially postponed, but could not take place due to a coronavirus outbreak in the host club.
Salernitana was prevented by local health authorities from traveling to Udine after at least two team members tested positive for COVID-19.
La Liga: Barcelona held by Sevilla
Barcelona failed to make up much ground in the top four of La Liga as they were held back for a 1-1 to 10 man draw Seville.
Sevilla, second in La Liga behind Real Madrid, took the lead with Papu Gomez in the 32nd minute from an Ivan Rakitic corner, but Barcelona equalized at the stroke of half-time thanks to Ronald Araujo’s header from Ousmane Dembele’s corner.
Sevilla then had to finish the match in the 64th minute with 10 men after Jules Kounde saw red for violent behavior after throwing the ball in Jordi Alba’s face.
But Barcelona failed to capitalize, as they are in seventh place, three points off the top four.
Elsewhere, Villarreal’s 5-2 win against Deportivo Alaves. Gerard Moreno and Boulaye Dia each scored two goals for the home team, Yeremi Pino added another.