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May 28, 2017

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Juventus defeat Roma 4-1 with early onslaught of goals

ROME -- An early onslaught of goals gave Juventus a comfortable 4-1 win over Roma and old nemesis Zdenek Zeman on Saturday, extending the Turin club's unbeaten streak in Serie A to 45 matches.

Midfield maestro Andrea Pirlo gave Juve the lead with an expertly placed free kick in the 11th minute at Juventus Stadium, Arturo Vidal converted a penalty in the 16th and Alessandro Matri added another in the 19th for his first goal since February.

Pablo Osvaldo pulled one back for Roma with a penalty in the 69th and Sebastian Giovinco restored Juve's three-goal lead in the 90th.

"We tried to play our match from the start but Juventus was far better," said Zeman, whose accusations 14 years ago led to a doping investigation into Juventus.

Also, budget-strained AC Milan gave up the lead in a 1-1 draw at Parma, reviving the possibility that club president Silvio Berlusconi could remove manager Massimiliano Allegri.

Teenage striker Stephen El Shaarawy put Milan ahead in the 50th with his fourth goal in three matches but Daniele Galloppa equalized in the 66th with a free kick that passed through a porous Milan wall on a rainy night at the Ennio Tardini stadium.

At the top of the table, Juventus moved three points ahead of Napoli, which visits Sampdoria on Sunday. Roma is eight points back. Milan, which has just two wins in six matches, fell nine points behind.

Zeman's accusations 14 years ago during his first stint as Roma coach led to a disturbing doping investigation into Juventus.

In 2004, Juventus physician Riccardo Agricola was convicted of administering banned substances, including the hormone EPO, to Juventus players from 1994-98, and was handed a suspended sentence of 22 months. He was cleared on appeal a year later.

Former Juve players continue to exchange verbal jabs with Zeman, but the jabs on the pitch this time were almost all in one direction, as Juventus controlled from the start.

"I saw little today of what we've been training and trying to do," said Zeman, who was escorted off the pitch by several security guards. "Matches like these should teach us a lot."

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