AC Milan moved to within a point of
Juventus at the top of Serie A on Wednesday after the defending
champions beat Atalanta 2-0 and a Gianluigi Buffon error gifted
lowly Lecce a 1-1 draw in Turin.
Fiorentina coach Delio Rossi was fired after attacking
central midfielder Adem Ljajic during his side's 2-2 draw with
The confrontation took place after Rossi substituted Ljajic
with 32 minutes gone and Fiorentina were 2-0 down.
Milan beat in-form Atalanta thanks to a ninth-minute goal
from Sulley Muntari and Robinho's injury-time strike to close
the gap with two matches remaining.
Juve could have wrapped up the title if results had gone
their way and were looking good for three points almost from the
start of their match with third-bottom Lecce.
They took the lead after eight minutes through Claudio
Marchisio and dominated the play, creating several chances that
It looked like the win would be theirs until Buffon
miscontrolled the ball under no pressure, giving it straight to
Andrea Bertolacci who slotted into an open goal five minutes
"Five minutes from the end, the championship appeared to be
over... then Lecce scored and in the final minutes it felt like
being at the theatre awaiting the end of an opera,' said Milan
coach Massimiliano Allegri, with a huge grin.
"I'm enjoying myself lots, and now we go into the derby
fired up. The title is still in Juve's hands, but having it all
to play for on the final day wouldn't be bad."
Milan next face Inter Milan on Sunday in what promises to be
a huge derby with the Nerazzurri fighting for a place in the
Champions League. Juve take on Cagliari in a game being played
in Trieste because of problems at the Sardinians' stadium.
Lecce, who had Juan Guillermo Cuadrado sent off on 54
minutes, are three behind Genoa in safety after their relegation
rivals beat Cagliari 2-1 in a match held behind closed doors in
Brescia because of previous fan trouble.
Fiorentina's Rossi lost his job after landing two blows on
midfielder Ljajic when the Serb made it clear he was not happy
with the decision to remove him from play.
Ljajic gave ironic applause as he walked towards the dugout
and an outraged Rossi flew at the player as others tried to keep
them apart, before getting up and carrying on as though nothing
"Unfortunately it was a serious incident and it's all the
more amazing considering he is such a calm person, but we had to
fire the coach," Fiorentina president Andrea Della Valle said on
Sky Sport Italia.
"In recent years this club has done great things with
certain values and unfortunately we had to take this decision to
sack the tactician. Tomorrow morning we will take more decisions
and there will be time to find a replacement.
"It's the last decision we wanted to take, but we feel it is
also for his own good. I hadn't realised what happened at the
time, as I was in the stands and you cannot see it from there."
Fiorentina took a big step towards safety coming from 2-0
down to draw 2-2 at home with Novara, who were relegated to
Serie B as a result after just a season in the top flight.
Inter slumped to a 3-1 defeat at Parma, missing the chance
to go level on points with third-placed Napoli and Udinese, who
beat relegated bottom side Cesena 1-0.
Third spot is worth a place in the Champions League play-offs
while fourth this term is only good enough for the Europa
Lazio, two behind Napoli and Udinese but a point above
Inter, only managed a 1-1 draw at home to Siena who secured
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