Goals from Paulo Dybala and Juan Cuadrado earned Juventus a 2-0 win over 10-man Brescia on Sunday. Brescia striker Florian Aye picked up two yellow cards in three minutes near the end of the first half and Juventus immediately capitalised as Dybala whipped in the opener from a free kick.
Cuadrado doubled their advantage with a neat finish after 75 minutes, and the home crowd were given more reason to cheer when captain Giorgio Chiellini came off the bench to make his first appearance since rupturing his cruciate ligament in August.
Maurizio Sarri rested forward Cristiano Ronaldo, who has scored in 10 consecutive Serie A matches, and his gamble paid off as Juve eased to a win that moved them up to 57 points.
A stunning finish from Dries Mertens earned Napoli a 1-0 win at Cagliari that moved them above the Sardinian side and into eighth place in Serie A on Sunday. Gennaro Gattuso was looking for a reaction from his side after they fell to a shock 3-2 defeat at home by Lecce last weekend, and Mertens’ curling shot on the 65th minute was enough to edge them to victory.
The Belgian’s goal was a rare moment of quality in a keenly contested encounter, and moved him to within one goal of Marek Hamsik’s club record tally of 121 strikes for the club.
In the Bundesliga, Bayern Munich scored three goals in a devastating opening 12 minutes as they thumped Cologne 4-1 away on Sunday to go back to the top.
Robert Lewandowski maintained his average of over a goal a game this season as he put the Bavarians ahead in the third minute and goals from Kingsley Coman and Serge Gnabry left Cologne reeling.
After Cologne had two goals disallowed for offside, Gnabry added a fourth in the 65th minute before Mark Uth scored a consolation for the Billy Goats, who deserved more for their second-half effort.
Sixth-placed Schalke 04 lost ground on the Champions League places with a 0-0 draw at Mainz 05 in Sunday’s other game.
Rennes is in danger of ceding third place in Ligue 1 after losing 1-0 at Reims, while Lyon drew 1-1 at home to Strasbourg.
Lyon’s fourth league match without a win leaves it mired in 11th place and seven points behind Rennes, with the team finishing third reaching the qualifying rounds of the Champions League.
Eighteen-year old forward El Bilal Touré scored a second-half penalty for eighth-place Reims, which moved one point behind Strasbourg in seventh.
Winger Bertrand Traoré ended a run of 29 league games without scoring to put Lyon ahead in the 21st minute, turning in Maxwel Cornet’s cross for his first goal since last March. Striker Majeed Waris played in Kévin Zohi behind Lyon’s defence for the equalizer in the 43rd. Zohi checked his run, thinking he was offside, before scoring off the post. The goal was ruled out for offside.
Saint-Étienne is now only two points above the relegation zone after a 3-2 defeat at Brest.