Advantage AC Milan after Napoli lose to Udinese

Rome: AC Milan moved ever closer to their
first Serie A title since 2004 at the weekend after their
closest rivals both suffered surprise losses.

After Milan had steamrolled relegation-haunted Sampdoria
3-0 on Saturday, second-placed Napoli proceeded to go down 2-1
at home to Udinese yesterday.

Coupled with defending champions Inter Milan`s shock 2-0
reverse at struggling Parma on Saturday, Milan now have a
six-point cushion over Napoli with only five matches

Inter are two points further back and hanging on for dear
life to the third automatic Champions League qualifying spot,
with Lazio in line for the qualifying round slot three points
adrift of the nerazzurri after an emphatic 4-1 win at Catania.

Even better for Lazio fans, their city rivals Roma lost
3-2 at home to Palermo to leave the losers seven points off
fourth place with little hope of seeing Champions Leageu
football next season.

Udinese are a solitary point behind Lazio after their
fine win in Napoli, achieved in the absence of injured stars
Antonio Di Natale and Alexis Sanchez.

Gokhan Inler gave Udinese the lead with a superb strike
in the 55th minute, with former Napoli forward German Denis
doubling their lead on the counter-attack minutes later.

Walter Mazzarri`s Neapolitans aided their own downfall
with Edinson Cavani`s missed penalty on 88 minutes before
Giuseppe Mascara notched a late consolation deep into

Lazio stayed in touch with Inter after Hernanes put them
ahead on 40 minutes for his second goal in two games.

Ezequiel Schelotto levelled straight after the break but
further goals from Stefano Mauri, Sergio Floccari and Mauro
Zarate -- who also provided two assists -- underlined the
visitors` superiority.

Juventus are a point behind Roma in seventh after the Old
Lady could only draw 0-0 at mid-table Fiorentina, ending a run
of three straight victories.

In the race to beat the drop, 17th-placed Cesena
leapfrogged Sampdoria after a 1-0 win over Bari courtesy of a
goal from Albanian Erjon Bogdani.

Brescia, 19th, are on the brink after a 3-0 loss at Genoa
left them four points off safety.

Lecce are fifth-bottom, one point ahead of Cesena, after
recovering from 3-1 down to draw 3-3 with Cagliari, with a
Daniele Corvia goal deep into stoppage time saving their

Angry Sampdoria supporters, whose team have now slid into
the bottom three, attacked the team coach on its return from
their loss at Milan, which deepened their very real relegation

The masked supporters hurled stones and struck the bus
with sticks on its return to the team hotel in Genoa early on
Sunday morning, according to press reports, breaking the

The supporters have issued death threats to the squad
should they be relegated.

"No result, even a really bad one, can justify such
behaviour," the club said in a statement.

Clarence Seedorf, former Sampdoria star Antonio Cassano
and Robinho were the men on target for the rossoneri, who were
not unduly troubled by the absence through suspension of
Sweden striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Inter, already smarting from their Champions League exit
at the hands of Schalke, saw Sebastian Giovinco and Amauri bag
Parma`s goals in their loss, which Inter coach Leonardo blamed
on fatigue.

"We need points -- eight behind, that`s a lot," said

"Five behind, you can still believe, but the problem is
getting over the tiredness."

Bureau Report

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