ROME (Reuters) - An own goal by Palermo's Edoardo Goldaniga was enough to give Serie A leaders Juventus a 1-0 victory in Sicily on Saturday and remain one point clear of rivals Napoli, 2-0 winners over Chievo Verona.
Brazilian defender Dani Alves, who joined from Barcelona in the close season, fired in from 25 metres with the ball taking a wicked deflection off Goldaniga's leg to hand champions Juve their fifth win in six league matches in a scrappy encounter.
Juventus, who had crushed Cagliari 4-0 in midweek with Alves on target, struggled with a tight Palermo defence in the first half, with both Gonzalo Higuain and Mario Mandzukic failing to put them ahead with several good scoring chances.
Alves finally broke the deadlock four minutes after the restart with his deflected strike beating Palermo keeper Josip Posavec to put the visitors ahead and the effort awarded as an own goal by Goldaniga.
Mandzukic should have doubled their lead on two occasions late in the game but both times Croatian Posavec denied his fellow countryman.
The result marked the first time Palermo have lost their first three home games as Juve notched their ninth successive win over the Sicilians.
Juventus, who never hit top form, move up to 15 points.
Second-placed Napoli are on 14 after easing past Chievo with first half goals from Manolo Gabbiadini and captain Marek Hamsik.
Napoli bounced back from their goalless midweek draw at Genoa but the visitors should have pulled a goal back in the 73rd when substitute Floro Flores only had keeper Pepe Reina to beat but stumbled and had the ball snatched away.
AS Roma, on 10 points, are in action in Torino on Sunday.
(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by Rex Gowar/Alan Baldwin)Published 25 Sep 2016, 10:16 IST