AC Milan only chasers of Inter Milan after win at Juventus
AC Milan remained the only plausible chasers of runaway Serie A leaders Inter Milan after a 3-0 win secured late Sunday at Juventus through an opener from Alessandro Nesta and a Ronaldinho brace, dpa reported.
Milan have a game in hand and lag eight points behind Inter, who clinched a last-gasp 4-3 win over bottom side Siena late Saturday, while Roma had Brazilian goalkeeper Alexander Doni sent off in a 1-0 defeat of Chievo.
After a 19th round marking the half-season point, Napoli edged Sampdoria 1-0 earlier Sunday through a German Denis goal to extend their unbeaten run to 12 games and leapfrog Roma to move joint third next to Juventus.
In Turin, both sides produced a brisk but often chaotic start and Juve's Brazilian play maker Diego tried a first telling effort on 13 minutes with a swerving shot that flew wide to the left of compatriot goalkeeper Nelson Dida.
A phase of dominance from Milan was rewarded on 29 minutes as Nesta, a defender now with three goals to his name, nodded home from close range after Christian Poulsen and Felipe Melo failed to clear a Ronaldinho corner kick.
Juve tried a furious but sterile comeback with defender Giorgio Chiellini seeing his close-range drive saved, while the Devils had two more chances before the break through Brazilian defender Thiago Silva and his countryman Ronaldinho.
The hosts' expected pressing caused little troubles to Milan as Amauri, a Brazilian playing as Juve's single striker, was highly ineffective. Things did not improve when veteran striker Alessandro Del Piero came on on the hour for midfielder Hasan Salihamidzic.
A corner-kick header from Ronaldinho on 72 minutes and a late flick off David Beckham's feed, confirmed Juve's defence troubles and sealed their third defeat from the last four outings.
Also Sunday, Fiorentina came from behind with goals from Romanian Adrian Mutu and Argentine Jose Castillo to reverse an opener from Brazilian Paulo Barreto.
With Bari without the dismissed Uruguayan Sergio Almiron, Castillo flicked home on 74 minutes after a smashing drive from Riccardo Montolivo came off the bar, but the same Castillo was red carded for a from-behind foul with 10 minutes left.
Both Fiorentina and Bari are well positioned with a game in hand and, together with champions Inter, boast the league's best defence with just 17 goals conceded.
Livorno also won 2-1 over promoted Parma and are now six points clear of the drop zone, Genoa prevailed 2-0 against troubled 10-man Catania and Palermo enjoyed a 1-0 over Atalanta, who remain in the lower reaches after the firing of coach Antonio Conte.
Bologna are also in trouble after losing 1-0 at home to Cagliari, while Udinese and Lazio played out a 1-1 draw that held them dangerously close to the relegation zone.