By Paolo Corradini
Juventus FC returned to the Serie A summit level on points with AC Milan following a 2-1 win against Bologna FC on Sunday, while Udinese Calcio sidled into fourth and a UEFA Champions League qualification spot.
After title rivals AC Milan won at ACF Fiorentina on Saturday, Fabio Capello's side knew victory against Bologna was essential to keep pace at the top ahead of the potentially decisive match against the Rossoneri at the San Siro next weekend. But with Zlatan Ibrahimovic banned and Emerson, Jonathan Zebina, Alessio Tacchinardi, Alessandro Birindelli and Paolo Montero all injured, the win was never going to be a formality.
Juventus appeared to be cruising after 24 minutes, however, as headers from Fabio Cannavaro and Marcelo Zalayeta gave the home side a 2-0 lead. But Federico Giunti reduced the deficit with his second goal of the campaign three minutes later to ensure a tight finish.
Third-placed FC Internazionale Milano were also on target early against AC Siena at the Giuseppe Meazza as Julio Cruz broke the deadlock from the penalty spot after only a minute. Cruz soon limped off injured but his replacement, Christian Vieri, added a second goal on 31 minutes to seal victory.
Udinese are now fourth on goal difference after Stefano Mauri and Vincenzo Iaquinta helped them to a 2-1 victory against bottom-side Atalanta BC, while fifth-placed UC Sampdoria were held to a 2-2 draw at FC Messina Peloro. Two goals from Riccardo Zampagna had looked to have secured Messina a 2-1 win before Sampdoria captain Sergio Volpi levelled with 15 minutes remaining.
In a remarkable match at the Stadio Tardini, Cristiano Lucarelli scored four times but still ended up on the losing side as Parma FC defeated AS Livorno Calcio 6-4. Parma striker Alberto Gilardino also struck four, to move level with AS Roma's Vincenzo Montella in the race to be crowned capocannonieri, and Andrea Pisanu and Fabio Henrique Simplicio were also on target as the home side moved two points clear of the relegation zone
US Lecce almost assured their safety with a 5-3 win against S.S. Lazio that saw Mirko Vucinic and Tommaso Rocchi score hat-tricks for either side, while Lecce's Samuele Dalla Bona and Lazio's Cesar were both sent off. Elsewhere, Montella missed a late penalty as AS Roma were held to a 2-2 draw against Brescia Calcio.
In Sunday's late game, AC Chievo Verona came from 2-1 behind to draw 2-2 away against sixth-placed US Città di Palermo and move a point clear of the relegation zone with four games remaining.
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