Juventus FC climbed to within a point of the Serie A summit on Sunday as leaders AS Roma were held to a 2-2 draw at struggling AC Fiorentina.
The Bianconeri were comfortable 3-0 winners over US Lecce on an afternoon Roma had to fight back from two goals down to claim a point in Florence. Brazilian midfield player Emerson's 75th-minute goal secured a share of the spoils for the champions after Antonio Cassano had halved their two-goal deficit after 54 minutes.
Denied by woodwork
Fiorentina went 2-0 up early in the game as Domenico Morfeo and on-loan Brazilian striker Adriano - the latter with a superb long-range free-kick - struck in quick succession on 17 and 18 minutes. The Viola almost snatched victory when Morfeo struck the crossbar with the last kick of the game.
Juventus had no such problems, taking the lead just 14 minutes in against Lecce through an Antonio Conte spot-kick. David Trezeguet doubled their lead on 56 minutes before Alessandro del Piero converted a second penalty to complete the scoring four minutes later. The victory - Marcello Lippi's 150th as a coach in Serie A - lifts Juventus to second place with 43 points, ahead of Internazionale FC on goal difference. Inter were held 0-0 by Torino Calcio on Saturday.
Fourth-placed AC Chievo Verona had to settle for a point from their visit to Piacenza FC. After leading through Massimo Marazzina's 31st-minute goal, Chievo lost their way as first Dario Hubner levelled with a penalty on the stroke of half-time and then Eusebio di Francesco made it 2-1 shortly after the hour. However, Federico Cossato struck to restore parity seven minutes from time.
Parma on the up
At the other end of the table, Parma AC eased their worries by climbing two points above the relegation zone with a 4-1 win at Brescia Calcio. Parma were 3-0 up within 20 minutes thanks to goals from Johan Micoud, Hakan Sükür and Marco di Vaio. Brescia, who have slipped to 15th, pulled a goal back through Luca Toni on 67 minutes before Di Vaio restored Parma's three-goal lead with his second goal of the day in the final minute.
Away point for Venezia
AC Venezia are five points adrift at the foot of the table following a 1-1 draw at Bologna FC, Claudio Bellucci scoring on the hour to cancel out Filippo Maniero's 23rd-minute opener for the visitors.
Hellas-Verona FC are a point behind Bologna in seventh place after a 3-1 home success against Atalanta BC. Vincenzo Italiano's ninth-minute goal and Adrian Mutu's 43rd-minute penalty put the home side in control before Atalanta hinted at a comeback with an 80th-minute strike from Italian international Cristiano Doni. But Massimo Oddo made sure of Verona's victory with a last-minute penalty. In the afternoon's other game, it finished goalless between Udinese Calcio and AC Perugia.
Dejan Stankovic scored at both ends, including a last-minute own goal, as S.S. Lazio were held by Milan AC at the Olimpico stadium in Sunday's evening game. Lazio, Serie A champions two seasons ago, were reduced to ten men in the 77th minute when Fernando Couto was dismissed for arguing with the referee, and Milan laid siege to their goal for the closing stages.
The hosts took the lead after just 20 minutes when Yugoslavian midfield player Stankovic turned on the edge of the area and lashed in a shot after collecting a pass from Claudio López. However, in second-half injury-time, Stankovic undid his earlier good work by applying the final touch to Serginho's corner.
'All went wrong'
Stankovic said afterwards: "I was so happy until the last minute and then it all went wrong for me. This was maybe my best match in four years with Lazio."
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