Serie A review

Napoli close gap as leaders Milan falter

February 6, 2011
By ESPNsoccernet staff

League leaders AC Milan saw their advantage at the top of the Serie A reduced to three points after being held 1-1 at Genoa.

Alexandre Pato AC Milan
GettyImagesAlexandre Pato gave Milan the lead against Genoa, but the Rossoneri were pegged back

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Alexandre Pato put Milan ahead in the 29th minute but Antonio Floro Flores levelled on the stroke of half-time for the home side, earning them the point they needed to move above their city rivals Sampdoria in the standings.

Napoli took advantage of the Rossoneri's failure to win, Walter Mazzarri's men scoring a goal in each half to put second-bottom Cesena to the sword with a 2-0 win.

The in-form Edinson Cavani put them in front with his 17th goal of the season, with Jose Ernesto Sosa confirming the win in injury time to move the Naples side to within three points of the leaders.

Inter Milan threw their hat into the ring for the Scudetto with a dramatic 5-3 win over 10-man Roma. Wesley Sneijder started the scoring in the third minute, but Fabio Simplicio responded for the Giallorossi in the 13th minute.

Samuel Eto'o put the home side back in front 10 minutes before the break and the game seemed to be done and dusted for Inter when Nicolas Burdisso was sent off for giving away a penalty, which Eto'o converted in the 63rd minute.

Thiago Motta added a fourth, but goals from Mirko Vucinic and Simone Loria provided another twist, throwing the game wide open again until Esteban Cambiasso completed the scoring in the last minute to take the Nerazzurri above Lazio and into third.

Lazio dropped to fourth after drawing 1-1 withChievo in Rome, the Gialloblu claiming a draw for the ninth time in their last 10 games at the Stadio Olimpico.

Hernanes put Lazio ahead with a free-kick on the stroke of half-time but Chievo found the equaliser through defender Bostjan Cesar in the 64th minute.

Bologna gave themselves breathing space above the Serie A relegation zone with a 1-0 victory over struggling Catania at the Stadio Renato Dall' Ara.

Daniele Portanova got the only goal four minutes before the break with a close-range effort. By then, Catania had already played almost 20 minutes a man down after the 22nd-dismissal of Pablo Alvarez for two quick bookings.

Palermo claimed their first away Serie A win since November as they twice came from behind to beat Lecce 4-2 at the Via del Mare.The hosts led first through Guillermo Giacomazzi and then Jeda, but Palermo levelled when Fabrizio Miccoli struck in first half stoppage time and Javier Pastore netted in the 57th-minute.

That was the first of three in five minutes for Palermo, who pulled away with strikes from substitutes Abel Hernandez and Josip Ilicic. It was just a fourth away win of the season for Palermo as they put themselves firmly in the battle for a Champions League place.

Alessandro Diamanti's penalty and a late Andrea Caracciolo strike earned Brescia a vital 2-0 win over relegation rivals Bari.

The hosts were the better side throughout and the win lifts them above Cesena into 18th place, just a point behind Catania and safety. Jose Ignacio Castillo missed the visitors' best chance and defeat leaves them nine points adrift of safety at the foot of the table.

Fiorentina yet again came up short in their bid to register an away win as they settled for a 1-1 draw at Parma.

Amauri scored his first goal for Parma since joining the club on loan from Juventus in the 15th minute, but Gaetano D'Agostino equalised early in the second half from the penalty spot after Massimo Gobbi held Fiorentina's Michele Camporese inside the area.