AC Milan retain Serie A lead after second-placed Juventus draw 0-0 at Udinese
Third-placed Udinese two points clear of Lazio, who also drop points
German Cup holders Schalke beaten in last 16 by Borussia Monchengladbach
Spanish club Villarreal sack coach Juan Carlos Garrido after exiting Copa del Rey
Juventus will go into Italian football’s winter break level on points with leaders AC Milan after being held 0-0 by third-placed Udinese on Wednesday.
Antonio Conte’s team extended their unbeaten run to 16 Serie A matches to keep pace with the defending champions, who beat Cagliari 2-0 on Tuesday.
Claudio Marchisio came closest to scoring in the eighth minute when he scraped the post with a low shot, while the home side rarely tested Juve keeper Gianluigi Buffon and had coach Francesco Guidolin sent to the stands late in the match.
“If someone had told me in July that we would finish the year without losing I would have thought he was mad,” Conte told reporters.
Fourth-placed Lazio could have joined Udinese on 32 points – two behind the leaders – but only drew 0-0 at home to Chievo.
Inter Milan moved up to fifth with a 4-1 victory over bottom club Lecce, while Napoli took sixth on goal difference after crushing Genoa 6-1 with two early goals from striker Edinson Cavani.
Roma also have 24 points after a 2-0 win at Bologna, while ninth-placed Palermo blew a two-goal lead in the 2-2 draw at Novara in new coach Bortolo Mutti’s first match.
Atalanta striker German Denis took his season tally to a league-leading 12 with a penalty in the 4-1 victory over Cesena that lifted his club up to 11th, while Parma and Catania drew 3-3.
German Cup holders Schalke failed to reach this season’s quarterfinals after losing 3-1 at Bundesliga high-flyers Borussia Monchengladbach.
Young Gladbach striker Marco Reus netted two goals on 57 and 88, while Schalke had Dutch forward Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and U.S. midfielder Jermaine Jones sent off at the start and end of the second half respectively.
Top-flight club Mainz also crashed out, losing 2-0 to fourth division Holstein Kiel, but Hertha Berlin went through with a 3-1 win over Bundesliga rivals Kaiserslautern.
Struggling Spanish club Villarreal sacked coach Juan Carlos Garrido after exiting the Copa del Rey at the hands of third division Mirandes, losing 2-0 on Wednesday for a 3-1 aggregate defeat.
Atletico Madrid also went out to third division Albacete by the same overall result after losing 1-0 at home.
Second division Alcorcon ousted La Liga strugglers Zaragoza with a 2-0 away win, also progressing 3-1 on aggregate.