Serie A review

Ronaldinho saves Milan from defeat

October 5, 2009

Substitute Ronaldinho struck six minutes from time to snatch a 1-1 draw for Serie A strugglers AC Milan at ten-man Atalanta on Sunday.

Ronaldinho
GettyImagesRonaldinho is congratulated after scoring against Atalanta.

The Brazilian, who came on at half-time in Bergamo, chested down Alessandro Nesta's ball and poked it in at the near post to score Milan's first goal in four games in all competitions.

Milan coach Leonardo will hope Ronaldinho's first of the campaign helps him cling to his job ahead of the two-week international break.

The rookie boss was given a vote of confidence by chief executive Adriano Galliani after the 1-0 defeat at home to FC Zurich in the Champions League in midweek.

His side showed the same nerves against joint-bottom Atalanta, who took the lead midway through the first half when Simone Tiribocchi swept the ball home inside the box.

The hosts then had Ivan Radovanovic harshly sent off on 39 minutes for two bookings but Milan still laboured to find a goal.

Striker Alexandre Pato missed a glorious chance and later hit the bar before the inconsistent Ronaldinho netted.

In the late kick-off, Juventus lost their first Serie A game of the season when a pumped-up Palermo sealed a comfortable 2-0 home win on Sunday.

Palermo coach Walter Zenga was under pressure before kickoff but the Sicilians were rewarded for a good start when a mistake by Felipe Melo led to Uruguayan striker Edinson Cavani scoring at the near post with a fierce effort.

Third-placed Juve's hopes of going top were effectively ended when Brazilian Fabio Simplicio slipped through the offside trap and turned in a free kick three minutes before halftime.

Napoli boss Roberto Donadoni is under increased pressure after a 2-1 defeat at injury-hit AS Roma.

Argentine forward Ezequiel Lavezzi opened the scoring for Napoli on 26 minutes after Roma had already made two substitutions including goalkeeper Julio Sergio.

Francesco Totti hit back with one lucky strike and one expert finish before being injured himself but having to stay on the pitch with Roma having used their three changes.

Sampdoria drew 1-1 at home with promoted Parma to move level on points with leaders and champions Inter Milan, who beat Udinese 2-1 on Saturday thanks to Wesley Sneijder's injury-time strike.

Samp went in front through Giampaolo Pazzini's excellent header in the 23rd minute but Daniele Galloppa equalised with a well-worked goal on the half hour.

Genoa are fifth after ruining Bologna's 100th anniversary party with a 3-1 away victory. In-form Chievo won 2-1 at Cagliari and bottom side Livorno drew 0-0 at Siena.