AC Milan bounced back from their UEFA Champions League defeat at the hands of RC Deportivo La Coruña as an 86th-minute Andrea Pirlo penalty against Empoli FC gave them a 1-0 victory that keeps their lead over AS Roma at nine points.
With Roma also holding a game in hand, Milan knew they could not allow the side from the capital to close the gap if they were to maintain their stranglehold on the domestic table. However, they found themselves frustrated by their relegation-threatened visitors, and with Roma leading against AC Chievo Verona, Milan were desperate to break the deadlock. That was finally achieved when Jon Dahl Tomasson was brought down by Empoli goalkeeper Daniele Balli, a foul for which the custodian was dismissed, and Pirlo converted the spot-kick. Empoli stay in the bottom three.
Roma themselves completed a 3-1 victory against Chievo, in a match moved from the capital to Palermo due to crowd trouble at the recent Rome derby. John Carew gave Roma a 30th-minute lead but Federico Cossato quickly equalised. However, Antonio Cassano restored the advantage on the hour mark and an Andrea Barzagli own goal 12 minutes from time sealed the game.
Juventus FC are still third, ten points off the summit, after a narrow 1-0 win against S.S. Lazio at the Delle Alpi. Simone Inzaghi wasted a good chance in the first half for Roberto Mancini's side and Gianluca Zambrotta went close for Juve. The game looked like ending in a draw but two minutes from the end the Lazio defence left Trezeguet unmarked and the French striker rose to head a winner. The defeat means Lazio drop down to sixth place.
Parma AC boosted their hopes of a Champions League berth thanks to a 3-1 triumph against US Lecce. Benito Carbone scored the first goal in the opening minute and Alberto Gilardino doubled the advantage just before half-time. Ernesto Chevanton pulled one back after the hour, but Gilardino struck again eight minutes from the end.
Lecce remain in relegation trouble, but are still outside the bottom four after Modena FC could only draw 0-0 with Brescia Calcio. The scoreless game gives Modena a one-point advantage over third-bottom Empoli.
Reggina Calcio also remain level on points with Lecce, after Vicenzo Iaquinta's late goal gave Udinese Calcio a 1-0 win in a match where both sides were reduced to ten men. Udinese are within a point of sixth-placed FC Internazionale, who visit lowly AC Perugia on Sunday.
AC Siena also remain in danger but picked up a vital point by holding UC Sampdoria 0-0, while Ancona Calcio may already be relegated, but came from behind to secure their first league win of the season against Bologna FC. Two Milan Rapaic goals and an Christian Bucchi effort earned a 3-2 victory.
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