Juventus' record winning streak at home was ended by 10-man Torino 1-1 in an enthralling Derby della Mole on Saturday.
MILAN (AP) Juventus' record winning streak at home was ended by 10-man Torino 1-1 in an enthralling Derby della Mole on Saturday.
Adem Ljajic's sublime 52nd-minute free kick looked to have given Torino a rare derby victory but Juventus escaped thanks to substitute Gonzalo Higuain's stoppage-time strike.
Four minutes after Torino scored, midfielder Afriyie Acquah was sent off for a second booking. Torino coach Sinisa Mihajlovic was so incensed that he aggressively approached the referee and was dismissed as well.
Despite a man advantage, Juventus missed extending its league record to 34 successive home wins. But it was still on the brink of an unprecedented sixth successive Serie A title.
Juventus moved 10 points clear of Roma, which needs to avoid defeat at AC Milan on Sunday to avoid handing the Bianconeri the title. There are three rounds remaining and Roma hosts Juventus next weekend.
Torino had not won at Juventus since 1995, and it had to withstand a lot of pressure.
Medhi Benatia headed a corner off the underside of the bar in the 15th minute while Torino goalkeeper Joe Hart was forced into several fine stops, notably to deny Paulo Dybala from close range just before halftime.
Torino took a surprise lead seven minutes after the break when Ljajic curled a free kick into the top left corner.
Juventus almost equalized immediately but Mario Mandzukic fired wide of the left post from a good position.
Torino went down to 10 men when Acquah was shown a second yellow card for a sliding tackle on Mandzukic, despite getting the ball. Acquah's first booking was considered harsh, too, as video replays showed he did not elbow Dybala.
Juventus continued to waste chances, forcing coach Massimiliano Allegri to send on Higuain, whom he was resting for the Champions League semifinal against Monaco on Tuesday. Higuain rescured Juve by controlling Miralem Pjanic's pass with one touch on the edge of the box and drilling into the bottom left corner.
NAPOLI 3, CAGLIARI 1
Dries Mertens marked his 30th birthday with two goals and an assist to help Napoli move into second in Serie A, two points above Roma.
Mertens took less than two minutes to open the scoring, getting in front of his marker to fire home Faouzi Ghoulam's cross for Napoli's 100th goal in all competitions.
Napoli dominated and had chances to take the lead, with delightful interplay between Mertens, Lorenzo Insigne, and Jose Callejon.
Marek Hamsik almost scored an astonishing goal from near the halfway line as he spotted Cagliari goalkeeper Rafael off his line, but his cheeky lob landed on the roof of the net as the whole stadium applauded.
Mertens doubled his tally four minutes after the break, with a precise shot into the bottom left corner. It was the Belgium international's 30th goal of the season.
Mertens turned provider in the 67th with a through ball to Insigne, who controlled it as he turned and then lifted it into the far side of the net.
Mertens and Insigne were given standing ovations when they were replaced in the final 15 minutes.
Substitute Diego Farias netted a consolation for Cagliari in stoppage time.