Pirlo: Vital goal in Scudetto race

The playmaker was over the moon with his goal as he helped the Old Lady to victory and a 17-point lead over second-placed Roma
Andrea Pirlo hopes his match-winning free-kick in Juventus' 1-0 win over Genoa on Sunday evening proves to be pivotal in the Serie A title race.

The experienced midfielder scored the only goal of the game when he fired home a wonderful effort in the dying minutes - after Gianluigi Buffon had earlier saved a penalty to keep the scores level.

"Let’s hope that the goal proves important in the Scudetto race," Pirlo was quoted as saying on the official Juventus website.

"We knew it was a difficult game. It was crucial to claim the three points.

"In spite of all the difficulties we came up against, our spirit was always good."

The midfielder then looked ahead to the return of Juventus' Europa League tie with Fiorentina on Thursday.

"Motivation comes naturally for such a match. It’s a fundamental game for us to continue our European journey."

Juve were held to a 1-1 draw in the first leg of the round of 16 encounter.