Juventus returned to winning ways and reinstated their eight-point distance at the top of the table as they defeated Livorno 2-0 at the Juventus Stadium.
Fernando Llorente scored twice in the space of 120 seconds to hand the defending champions a crucial win as he lifted his goal tally to 13 goals for the season.
The pressure was on the Bianconeri to ensure they bounced back from their loss to Napoli last Sunday, as well as reinstating their eight point gap over their nearest Scudetto contenders Roma.
Livorno meanwhile were fighting for their lives and they forced an immediate save from Gianluigi Buffon through the powerful right foot of Innocent Emeghara.
Giorgio Chiellini should have hit the target on 19 minutes, but his effort was ballooned over the bar from just inside the box. A great chanced wasted by the defender.
The hosts then won a series of corners but failed to do anything of a threatening nature with them as Federico Ceccherini made a crucial sliding tackle to stop Asamoah in the box on the half hour.
The deadlock was deservingly broken two minutes later, however, when Carlos Tevez fed through Fernando Llorente, who then turned on the ball and fired in a left-footed ball into the back of the net.
Llorente struck again with his second goal just 60 seconds later when his header from an Andrea Pirlo corner wasn’t dealt with by Francesco Bardi in goal, seeing it fall into the back of the net for 2-0.
It was so nearly 2-1 heading into the interval when Emeghara burst into the box, only to see his hesitated shot at the near post pushed out for a corner kick by Leonardo Bonucci.
Buffon ensured his team’s advantage remained in tact with a one-handed flying save on Alfred Duncan’s blockbuster from distance on the hour mark.
Juventus did just enough to hold onto their result, even though the scoreline could have been even higher, as Livorno posed no real threat at goal.
Other result: Genoa 1-2 Milan
Adel Taarabt and Keisuke Honda got on the scoresheet as Milan claimed their third successive win with a 2-1 scoreline over Genoa at the Luigi Ferraris Stadium on Monday evening.
The Rossoneri broke the deadlock around the 20 minute mark when Adel Taarabt made a great solo run to fire an unstoppable angled drive past Mattia Perin.
Genoa could have turned the score around in the closing stages of the opening 45 when Bertolacci’s strike flashed across Christian Abbiati at the far post, before seeing Philippe Mexes nearly turn the ball into the back of his own net.
Milan made it 2-0 ten minutes after the restart when Keisuke Honda sent a ball rolling across the line as Giuseppe Sculli couldn’t get his body to block it in time.
With a quarter of an hour remaining, Marco Motta halved the deficit for the Grifoni with his header at the back post that struck Abbiati’s brack before heading over the line.