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Last-place Parma stuns runaway Serie A leader Juventus

April 11, 2015

MILAN (AP) — Parma pulled off the biggest surprise of the season Saturday as the crisis-hit club beat runaway leader Juventus 1-0 in Serie A, inflicting what was only the second defeat of the campaign for Massimiliano Allegri's side.

Jose Mauri scored the only goal of the game on the hour mark, while a string of fine saves from Parma goalkeeper Antonio Mirante also helped Roberto Donadoni's side to a memorable win.

Parma was declared bankrupt last month and its players have not been paid all season, but it has now strung a series of positive results together, with a 1-0 victory over Udinese midweek and last weekend's 1-1 draw at Inter Milan.

It is still in last place, 10 points from safety, with nine matches remaining.

"We are still bottom of the table even if winning against Juventus is a reason to celebrate," Donadoni said. "We are happy for our fans and glad that we managed to give ourselves something good in this awful year.

"We are far from safety but I think it's right to give credit to the lads who have done something extraordinary. We want to finish this season with our heads held high."

Juventus, which hosts Monaco in the Champions League on Tuesday, has a 14-point lead over Roma, which visits Torino on Sunday.

"It was an important match which would have allowed us to almost seal the title and to remain with the same advantage over Roma and Lazio with eight matches remaining," Allegri said. "We didn't get that. We needed to be more mature, so that if we couldn't win at least we wouldn't have lost.

"The fact is that when you don't play well you don't win. We weren't in the match. We played OK in the first half and didn't do anything in the second, deserving to lose. It will be a different game against Monaco, but today the match against Parma was the most important."

Elsewhere, Genoa beat relegation-threatened Cagliari 2-0. Later, Inter visits Hellas Verona.

It was top against bottom at the Stadio Ennio Tardini, with 57 points separating the two teams.

Juventus rested several players such as the league's leading scorer Carlos Tevez and Andrea Barzagli ahead of the Champions League quarterfinal. Paul Pogba and Andrea Pirlo were still sidelined with long-term injuries along with Romulo and Kwadwo Asamoah.

Juventus laid siege to Parma's goal in the first half with Mirante pulling off several good stops to deny Roberto Pereyra, Arturo Vidal and Kingsley Coman.

Parma did not have a shot on target in the opening 45 minutes and its best chance was Ishak Belfodil's effort on the counter which flew inches past the far top corner.

However, it took a surprise lead when Belfodil raced down the right and crossed for the 18-year-old Mauri to sidefoot it into the roof of the net from just inside the area.

Juventus failed to create a decent scoring opportunity after going behind.

In Genoa, Cagliari should have taken an early lead but goalkeeper Eugenio Lamanna turned Luca Rossettini's header from a corner onto the upright and Luca Ceppitelli also hit the rebound onto the post from close range.

The Sardinian side hit the woodwork for a third time in the 21st minute when Paul-Jose M'Poku's effort crashed off the crossbar.

M'Baye Niang broke the deadlock seven minutes after the break when he turned in Facundo Roncaglia's low cross from close range and Iago Falque doubled Genoa's advantage minutes later after good work from Diego Perotti.

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