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Italy round-up: Milan match abandoned after crowd trouble

Published: Saturday 22 February 2003, 23.43CET
AC Milan's match at Torino Calcio was abandoned after an hour with the visitors three goals ahead.

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Published: Saturday 22 February 2003, 23.43CET

Italy round-up: Milan match abandoned after crowd trouble

AC Milan's match at Torino Calcio was abandoned after an hour with the visitors three goals ahead.

AC Milan looked set to close the gap on Serie A leaders Juventus FC to just two points before their match at Torino Calcio was abandoned after 64 minutes due to crowd trouble.

Crowd trouble
Milan were leading 3-0 at the interval, through goals from Filippo Inzaghi and two from Clarence Seedorf, before the fans attempted to invade the pitch at the start of the second half. The game was briefly halted, bur restarted. However, there were further incidents between fans and police, who used tear gas to try to disperse the crowds, but which affected several players, and the match was finally abandoned four minutes past the hour.

Increased powers
Milan are expected to be awarded the points, and Torino are likley to face heavy censure. The incident comes just a day after the Italian police were given increased powers to deal with suspected hooligans, as a number of crowd problems this season have blighted Italian football.

Juventus win again
Earlier, champions Juventus moved three points clear at the top of the table after a convincing 3-1 win against bottom club Como Calcio in Saturday's early game. Juventus’s seventh win in eight matches gave them 48 points, three more than Internazionale FC, who are at home to Piacenza FC on Sunday.

Notable absentees
Marcello Lippi’s side had to manage without several key players as the club continued to struggle against the flu epidemic that severely disrupted their preparations for the midweek UEFA Champions League game at Manchester United FC and that ruled out goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, defender Lilian Thuram and midfield player Edgar Davids from the Como game while Alessandro Del Piero was still injured.

Early drama
However, Juventus were in control throughout in a match played at Piacenza’s home ground, the Galleana stadium, after Como were banned from their home ground, the Giuseppe Sinigaglia stadium, following crowd trouble. Uruguayan striker Marcelo Zalayeta missed a penalty for Juventus after seven minutes, but the away side were in front four minutes later as Pavel Nedved’s cross was turned into his own net by Brazilian defender Juarez.

Nedved influential
Nedved was also at the heart of Juventus’s second goal eleven minutes later, playing a clever through-ball for Marco Di Vaio to supply a confident finish, and the result was put beyond doubt two minutes before half-time as Mauro Camoranesi headed Juventus’s third from a Gianluca Pessotto cross.

Consolation goal
Como scored a consolation goal eleven minutes from time through former Juventus midfield player Fabio Pecchia, but the Turin team could also have added further goals, with Nedved sending a free-kick just wide before Como goalkeeper Alex Brunner saved a last-minute effort from Alessio Tacchinardi.

Last updated: 23/02/03 19.23CET

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