- Juventus and Napoli two points behind Serie A leader Roma after victories on Sunday
- Andrea Pirlo scores in Juve’s 3-2 win against his former club AC Milan
- Diego Costa top of Spanish scoring charts after double in Atletico Madrid victory
- French champion PSG overcomes red card to win crunch match at Marseille
(CNN) — Andrea Pirlo played a starring role against his former club AC Milan to keep Italian champion Juventus in touch with the Serie A leaders Sunday.
The veteran midfielder scored a free-kick and hit the bar with another, allowing Giorgio Chiellini to volley what would be the decisive goal for a 3-1 lead.
AC Milan, down to 10 men by that stage after defender Philippe Mexes was sent off for protesting his initial booking, reduced the deficit through Sulley Muntari’s second of the match at the end.
It left Juve in third place on goal difference behind Napoli, which also remained unbeaten following a 4-0 win at home to Livorno.
Both clubs trail Roma by two points, following the capital club’s Saturday win at Inter Milan.
Former Inter midfielder Muntari gave Milan the lead inside 30 seconds, but Pirlo — who spent a decade at the San Siro — equalized after 15 minutes with a set-piece that goalkeeper Christian Abbiati could only deflect into the net.
Substitute Sebastian Giovinco put Juve ahead in the 69th minute from Arturo Vidal’s pass, soon after his arrival on the pitch, and then Mexes’ moment of madness was to prove vital for Milan as Chiellini immediately capitalized.
The defeat left the seven-time European champion languishing in 12th place, some 13 points adrift of Roma.
Napoli, like Juve, has six wins and a draw from seven matches, continuing new coach Rafael Benitez’s fine start.
Former Real Madrid striker Gonzalo Higuain was again missing due to injury, but the Neapolitans had too much firepower for Livorno.
Striker Goran Pandez followed up last weekend’s double against Genoa with another goal, while midfielder Gokhan Inler’s speculative long-range shot went through keeper Francesco Bardi before Jose Callejon and Marek Hamsik netted in the second half.
Verona moved up to fifth with a 4-1 win at Bologna, climbing above Fiorentina and Lazio — who drew 0-0 in Rome.
Udinese claimed eighth with a 2-0 win at home to Cagliari, while Alessio Cerci went top of the Serie A scoring charts with a penalty in ninth-placed Torino’s 2-2 draw at Sampdoria.
The Italy winger now has six goals, putting him one ahead of Hamsik and Fiorentina’s Giuseppe Rossi.
In Spain, Diego Costa moved to the top of the La Liga scoring charts with both goals in Atletico Madrid’s 2-1 win over Celta Vigo on Sunday.
The Brazil-born striker, who is hoping to qualify to play for his adopted country, moved two clear of Barcelona’s Lionel Messi on 10 goals but could have had more after missing a first-half penalty.
Atletico kept pace with Barca, as both clubs have eight wins from eight this season.
Getafe moved up to fifth place with a 3-1 win at home to Real Betis, as winger Pedro Leon scored twice in the first 22 minutes before striker Adrian Colunga added another soon after.
Athletic Bilbao and Valencia also have 13 points following a 1-1 draw in the Basque capital, but trail Getafe on goal difference.
Sevilla moved away from the relegation with a 2-1 win over bottom club Almeria.
In France, defending champion Paris Saint-Germain kept level on points with this season’s leader Monaco after battling to a 2-1 win at third-placed Marseille.
PSG had Thiago Motta sent off for a foul that allowed Andre Ayew to net a 34th-minute penalty, but equalized on halftime through Maxwell’s header.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic then scored a second-half spotkick after Ayew fouled Marquinhos, extending his team’s unbeaten run to 20 league matches.
In Germany, Hamburg moved out of the Bundesliga’s bottom three with a 5-0 win at Nuremberg to give former Netherlands coach Bert van Marwijk his first win since taking charge.
Germany under-21 striker Pierre-Michel Lasogga netted a hat-trick in eight second-half minutes.
Bottom club Freiburg came from behind to draw 1-1 at home to Eintracht Frankfurt.
via Arne Ruhnau News http://arneruhnau.com/football-juventus-stays-unbeaten/