MILAN - AC Milan won 2-1 at Fiorentina
to stay top of Serie A on Sunday despite striker Zlatan
Ibrahimovic being sent off for his second match in a row.
First-half goals from Clarence Seedorf and Alexandre Pato
put AC Milan in command before Juan Vargas pulled one back and
Ibrahimovic, returning from a two-match ban following his red
card at Bari, was dismissed.
Napoli won 2-0 at Bologna to keep up the pressure on Milan
and there was more drama at Palermo, who conceded two stoppage-time goals against 10-man Cesena and drew 2-2 in coach Delio
Rossi's comeback barely a month after he was sacked.
Lazio's 2-0 win over Parma moved them into the Champions
League qualifying round spot and Luca Toni struck a late winner
to give Juventus a 3-2 win over Genoa to keep alive their hopes
of at least making the Europa League next season.
Milan have 68 points from 32 games, three more than Napoli
with defending champions Inter Milan, 2-0 winners over Chievo
Verona on Saturday, a further two behind in third place.
With only six matches left, Inter look increasingly unlikely
to win a sixth successive title.
Napoli, missing top-scorer Edinson Cavani, made the most of
some slack defending as Giuseppe Mascara and Marek Hamsik, from
a penalty, scored in the first half at Bologna.
That win briefly pulled them level with Milan as they
attempt to win their first title since 1990, when Diego Maradona
was still at the club.
Milan quickly went about restoring their lead at the top in
the evening game when they scored in the eighth minute at
Fiorentina, Dutchman Seedorf volleying in from Pato's headed
Brazilian Pato added the second four minutes before the
break, finishing off a slick break involving Ibrahimovic and
Ibrahimovic could have sewn it up but twice sidefooted wide
from good positions after the re-start before Vargas scored with
a deflected shot in the 80th minute.
The Peruvian scraped the crossbar two minutes later, then
Ibrahimivic was given a straight red card for remarks made to a
linesman, but Milan held on.
Lazio moved into fourth place with 57 points, overtaking
Udinese who lost 2-1 at home to AS Roma on Saturday, thanks to
goals in either half from Brazilian midfielder Hernanes and
Palermo's rollercoaster season continued against Cesena as
Rossi returned to the hot seat, replacing Serse Cosmi who was
sacked just a month and five games into the job following last
Sunday's 4-0 hammering by Catania in the Sicily derby.
Rossi was given another chance despite club president
Maurizio Zamparini saying he had ruined the team following a 7-0
home defeat by Udinese which led to his sacking.
Palermo raced to a 2-0 lead in only 36 minutes thanks to
goals from Jasmin Kurtic and Mauricio Pinilla.
Cesena's troubles deepened when Steve von Bergen was shown a
straight red card for a foul on Pinilla in the 74th minute and
Paolo Sammarco was ordered from the substitutes bench as Cesena
Marco Parolo pulled one back in the second minute of
stoppage-time and, incredibly, Emanuele Giaccherini slotted home
a loose ball to equalise with virtually the last kick of the
It was still not over as the celebrations led to a brawl on
the touchline which earned a red card for unused Cesena
substitute Alex Calderoni.
Juventus twice came from behind to beat Genoa, staying six
points behind Lazio and two adrift of sixth-placed AS Roma in
the second Europa League spot.
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