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Juventus takes control of Serie A after ending Roma's unbeaten streak

January 5, 2014 -- Updated 2213 GMT (0613 HKT)
Arturo Vidal, middle, leaps in the air after scoring Juventus' first goal Sunday against Roma.
Arturo Vidal, middle, leaps in the air after scoring Juventus' first goal Sunday against Roma.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Juventus ends Roma's unbeaten run in Serie A by winning 3-0 in Turin
  • Juventus takes an eight-point lead over Roma atop the Italian divison
  • Barcelona reclaims top position in Spain's La Liga by easing past Elche 4-0
  • Alexis Sanchez nets a hat-trick for Barcelona, which was still without Lionel Messi

(CNN) -- So much for Roma's sizzling start to the season.

Roma set a record by becoming the first Serie A team to win its opening 10 games of a season but after Sunday's 3-0 loss to Juventus when it finished with nine men, it slipped well behind the Old Lady.

Even though Roma hadn't been beaten in the division until Sunday, a run of five draws in seven games allowed in-form Juventus to grab the lead and now Juve -- with an eight-point cushion -- is in pole position to make it three league titles in a row.

For all its possession, Roma was always playing catch up, since Juventus struck early through free-scoring midfielder Arturo Vidal -- he beat Morgan de Sanctis from close range following Carlos Tevez's good work in the 17th minute.

Juventus all but put the game away in the 48th minute when defender Leonardo Bonucci connected with Andrea Pirlo's teasing free kick at the back post.

Roma was out of sorts and Daniele de Rossi received a straight red in the 75th minute for his two-footed tackle on Italian international teammate Giorgio Chiellini.

Pirlo, back from a knee injury, took the ensuing free kick and seconds later Leandro Castan saw red for his hand ball on the line.

Mirko Vucinic sent de Sanctis the wrong way from the penalty spot to end Roma's miserable evening.

Elsewhere in Italy, Fiorentina beat Livorno 1-0 but Giuseppe Rossi -- the league's leading scorer -- limped off with a knee injury after a challenge from defender Leandro Rinaudo. It was the same knee that has troubled the Italian international in recent years and forced him to miss Euro 2012.

"We are all worried," Fiorentina manager Vincenzo Montella told reporters.

AC Milan plays Monday but manager Max Allegri confirmed Sunday that he would be leaving when his contract expires at the end of the season.

Allegri led Milan to the Scudetto in his first season of 2010-11 but the Rossoneri has struggled since off-loading an array of world-class internationals two years ago.

Milan currently sits 13th in Serie A, much closer to relegation than Juventus, and was paired with Spanish high-flyer Atletico Madrid in the next round of the Champions League.

"We still have objectives to reach and we have to do everything we can to get back up the table," Allegri told Milan's website. "We have the Italian Cup and the Champions League to play in and I have faith that we'll do well.

"I want to finish my time here in the best way possible."

Showdown set in Spain

Carlos Tevez: Man City pressure too much
Juventus president: 'Proud' of ourselves

Barcelona and Atletico Madrid will face off next week tied on points atop Spain's La Liga after Barca thrashed Elche 4-0.

Alexis Sanchez netted a hat-trick for the home team, which was still without multiple world player of the year Lionel Messi -- although he has looked sharp in his return to training -- and didn't start Brazilian ace Neymar.

Barcelona's website said Sanchez was chosen ahead of Neymar because he was "better prepared to play."

"Alexis was in better condition and we have to pick one of the two," Barcelona manager Gerardo Martino told the club website.

Barcelona overtook Atletico on goal difference ahead of the showdown in Madrid. Atletico edged Malaga 1-0 on Saturday.

"Atletico Madrid can win it all," said Martino. "They are built to do great things, it doesn't matter who plays."

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