Juventus labored to a 2-0 win over 10-man Brescia in Serie A on Sunday on what could prove to be a key day for the title race.
Paulo Dybala and Juan Cuadrado scored to help Juventus move three points above Inter Milan, which visits third-place Lazio later with just a point separating them.
There was more good news for Juventus as Giorgio Chiellini returned six months after tearing his cruciate ligament. The 35-year-old defender came on 12 minutes from time to huge cheers at the Allianz Stadium.
Juventus rested star forward Cristiano Ronaldo but Brescia's day still got off to a poor start. It was already without first-choice goalkeeper Jesse Joronen through injury and his replacement Enrico Alfonso had to come off in the ninth minute after an accidental knee to the head from Gonzalo Higuain.
Joronen was replaced by Lorenzo Andrenacci, who was making his Serie A debut. Andrenacci had made just seven appearances in nearly three seasons at Brescia _ all in the second division.
It got worse for the visitors in the 37th when Brescia forward Florian Aye was sent off following two bookings in quick succession.
Dybala curled the resulting free kick into the left side of the net from just outside the area.
Juventus took until the 75th to double its lead when Cuadrado played a delightful one-two with Blaise Matuidi before firing into the bottom left corner.
Matuidi had only just replaced Miralem Pjanic, who limped off with an apparent muscular injury eight minutes after being introduced as a substitute.
Higuain had a late header disallowed for offside, while Rodrigo Bentancur and Dybala hit the woodwork late on.
Brescia remained second from bottom, seven points from safety.
Sampdoria is just a point above the drop zone after being routed 5-1 at home to Fiorentina.
Federico Chiesa scored twice, including a penalty, and both teams had a player sent off in the first half.
Parma won 1-0 at Sassuolo to move up to seventh, level on points with Hellas Verona, which drew 0-0 at Udinese.
Napoli was playing at Cagliari later.
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