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Juventus win at Lazio to extend Serie A lead

updated 6:00 PM EDT, Mon April 15, 2013
Juventus' players celebrate a decisive victory at Lazio that extends their lead at the top of Serie A to 11 points
Juventus' players celebrate a decisive victory at Lazio that extends their lead at the top of Serie A to 11 points
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Juventus win 2-0 at Lazio to extend Serie A lead to 11 points
  • Arturo Vidal returns to grab both goals at the Stadio Olimpico
  • In Spain, Real Mallorca climb off the bottom of the table with late win over Celta Vigo

(CNN) -- Juventus rebounded from last week's Champions League quarterfinal exit by winning 2-0 at Lazio to extend their lead at the top of Serie A to eleven points.

The defending champions ensured they profited from second-placed Napoli's 1-1 draw at Milan on Sunday to strengthen their grip on the championship with just six games remaining.

Arturo Vidal, who missed Wednesday's 2-0 home defeat by Bayern Munich (which gave the Germans a 4-0 aggregate win), was the Juventus hero as he scored his first league goals since November.

The Chilean opened the scoring after eight minutes from the penalty spot, after striker Mirko Vucinic was brought down in the area by Lazio's Lorik Cana.

Twenty minutes later, Vidal doubled the away side's lead as he rifled home following good approach play by midfielder Claudio Marchisio.

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"It was a strange kind of week, we had to get over a deserved Champions League exit, something that surprised us for the domineering way in which it came," captain Gianluigi Buffon told reporters after the match.

"If we're able to reach our target of the Scudetto, be it in three or four weeks time, it would represent a great achievement.

"It would give us a sense of continuity from last year and I think it would be a deserved victory. We have been out in front from the start and managed to overcome some difficult moments during the season."

Lazio fans appreciated the opportunity to watch their favorites in action again, after the club was forced to play last week's Europa League clash against Fenerbahce behind closed doors as punishment by UEFA for repeated racist chanting from the club's supporters.

Goalkeeper Buffon was grateful for the fans' presence, going over to applaud the Lazio faithful at the final whistle.

"We're not used to these things in Italy, but Lazio fans have always shown me respect over the years and I make a point of going over to applaud them whenever I'm here. I hold them in high regard and they deserve it."

Monday's victory takes Juventus to 74 points, with Napoli in second on 63 -- and Milan in third on 59 points.

Lazio's European hopes suffered yet another blow as their seventh defeat in their last 11 Serie A games ensured they stayed fifth in the table, level on points with city rivals Roma.

Elsewhere in Europe on Monday, Real Mallorca beat fellow relegation strugglers Celta Vigo 1-0 after Giovani dos Santos grabbed a goal three minutes into stoppage time.

The win lifted Real Mallorca off the bottom of the Spanish table, leapfrogging their opponents as they did so.

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