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Juventus back on form with 1-0 win over Fiorentina

Juventus back on form with 1-0 win over Fiorentina

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Juve now have 62 points, closing the gap with second-placed AC Milan to six

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TURIN, Italy (Reuters) - Juventus returned to winning ways after four league games without a victory thanks to a 1-0 success against Fiorentina with a first-half goal from Federico Gatti to consolidate their hold on third place in Serie A on Sunday.

Juve now have 62 points, closing the gap with second-placed AC Milan to six and extending their lead over Bologna in fourth to four points. Inter Milan are top with 79 points and visit Udinese on Monday. Fiorentina are 10th on 43 points.

The hosts had three goals ruled out for offside in the opening half but took the lead in the 21st minute through Gatti, which turned out to be the winner.

Juventus were pushed harder after the break but held on for a second victory in 10 league games after they won their Coppa Italia semi-final, first leg 2-0 against Lazio in midweek.

"A very important victory after two very difficult months, we have a lot to play for and we have to be ready," Gatti told DAZN.

Fiorentina enjoyed the lion's share of possession early on, while the hosts looked more dangerous, twice finding the net in the opening 12 minutes with both efforts ruled out for offside.

Dusan Vlahovic, searching for his first goal against his former club, was furious about the second one as his header took a touch of his team mate Bremer in an offside position.

It seemed only a matter of time before Juve broke the deadlock and after Bremer's looping header from a corner came off the far post, Gatti was there to tap home from close range.

Before the break, Cristiano Biraghi had Fiorentina's first shot in anger, but his long-range effort was wide of the post.

"Too much respect for Juventus and too timid in the first half," Fiorentina manager Vincenzo Italiano told DAZN.

Fiorentina improved after the break and were denied an equaliser when Nicolas Gonzalez curled a left-foot shot from outside the area which goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny managed to tip onto the crossbar with the ball headed for the top corner.

In the final minutes, the visitors had another chance but when substitute Lucas Beltran struck from close range his team mate M'Bala Nzola blocked the goal-bound effort and Juventus held on as Fiorentina's awful away record in Turin continues.

The Viola have now lost 12 of their last 13 games at Juve.

"In the end we risked conceding an equaliser, we made a few mistakes but I can't blame the lads for anything," Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri said to DAZN.

"We're having a good season, we're doing everything we can to try to improve. These three points are important."

Juventus also won in Florence when the teams met earlier this season and the sides could face each other again after Fiorentina also won the first leg of their Coppa Italia semi-final on Wednesday by 1-0 against Atalanta.