Juventus top after beating 10-man Catania 3-1

DANIELLA MATAR Associated Press Published:

MILAN (AP) -- Unbeaten Juventus moved back to provisional top of the Serie A after coming from behind to beat 10-man Catania 3-1 in an entertaining match on Saturday.

Catania got off to the perfect start when Pablo Barrientos gave it a surprise lead with less than four minutes on the clock. Andrea Pirlo leveled with a free kick in the 22nd minute.

Juventus was the only team still unbeaten in Serie A and visiting Catania's chances diminished when Marco Motta, who arrived on loan from Juventus in January, received a second yellow and was sent off.

Giorgio Chiellini put Juve in front in the 74th and Fabio Quagliarella sealed the result 10 minutes from time.

Juventus is two points clear of AC Milan, having now played the same amount of games as the defending champion. Milan visits struggling Cesena on Sunday.

Catania gave Juventus an early warning with a long-range effort from Sergio Almiron which Gianluigi Buffon did well to parry to safety.

Buffon could do nothing seconds later when Barrrientos turned his marker before curling a well-directed shot past the Juventus goalkeeper's outstretched hand.

Juventus came close to equalizing in the 16th. Paolo De Ceglie put a great cross into the area and Marco Borriello connected powerfully but his header was straight at Catania keeper Tomas Kosicky.

Borriello went closer two minutes later with another header which the Catania defense scrambled clear.

Juventus finally drew level when Pirlo drilled a 25-yard free kick into the bottom right corner past a static Kosicky.

It almost took the lead on the half-hour when Quagliarella sent an effort crashing off the crossbar. Moments later, Gonzalo Bergessio did the same at the other end.

Juve had another good opportunity shortly before halftime when Kosicky spilled Pirlo's shot into the path of Quagliarella, but his effort flew into the sidenetting from a tight angle.

Pirlo almost doubled his tally four minutes after the break with another free kick which skimmed the top of the crossbar.

Juventus was looking the more dangerous and Catania all but sealed its fate when Motta was sent off in the 65th. It did, however, have its best chance of the second half seconds later when Buffon was forced into a great save to deny Almiron.

The home side went in front when Kosicky flapped at a free kick, allowing Chiellini to head into an empty net.

Another Kosicky mistake handed Juventus its third goal. The Slovak goalkeeper's clearance fell straight to the ever-dangerous Pirlo and he picked out Quagliarella, who raced towards goal before unleashing a shot which bounced off Kosicky's leg and into the back of the net.