Roma, AC Milan close in on leaders Inter Milan
Volleys from Marco Borriello and Alexandre Pato helped AC Milan snatch a 2-0 win late Sunday at Bari to move within seven points of Serie A leaders Inter Milan, dpa reported.
Milan can further reduce the gap and possible leapfrog Roma when they play a game in hand Wednesday at Fiorentina.
Earlier Sunday, second-place Roma defeated Catania 1-0 thanks to a goal from Mirko Vucinic to register a seventh straight win and move within five points of champions Inter.
The front-runners were held Saturday to a scoreless home draw against Sampdoria in a game they played with nine men from late in the first half.
At Bari's San Nicola, Milan took the upper hand early in the game against the unusually tame hosts, but came close only on 20 minutes through a fast but central free kick from Pato.
Borriello was far more dangerous on 40 minutes as he hooked a feed into the area but saw his shot cleared on the line by Leonardo Bonucci.
No defender managed to rescue Belgian goalkeeper Jean Francois Gillet three minutes later, when Borriello fired home a great volley off a fine pass from Ronaldinho.
A wide drive from Pato opened a second half that saw Milan run few risks and secure the win when the Brazilian volleyed home a loose ball on 69 minutes.
Christian Abbiati held the score on 2-0 when he saved a spot kick from Paulo Barreto with one minute left.
At Rome's Stadio Olimpico, Montenegro striker Vucinic elegantly volleyed home amid a napping defence to secure Roma's crucial win over the lacklustre Sicily guests, who are now close to the three- team drop zone.
Roma's win reopened the race for the title as Inter have slowed their pace with three draws in their latest outings.
Giants Juventus continued on their path to recovery from a deep crisis and leapfrogged Napoli into fourth place through a hard-fought 2-1 win at Bologna.
Napoli lie one point from the four-team Champions League zone, along with Palermo and Sampdoria, after a 0-0 draw at tail-enders Siena. Palermo hammered Lazio 3-1, and Cagliari beat Parma 2-0.
Fiorentina won a Tuscany derby 2-1, coming from behind against 10- man strugglers Livorno, and Chievo won 1-0 at troubled Atalanta.
On Saturday, Robert Acquafresca scored a brace to pave the way for Genoa's 3-0 win over 10-man guests Udinese.