AS Roma kept their lead at the head of Serie A despite only drawing with Juventus FC at the Olimpico stadium. The Turin side were pleased to gain a point after being reduced to ten men before half-time when Mark Iuliano was sent off.
The defending champions were on top for much of the first half and after the break they exacted almost total control as Juve packed their defence. So desperate was away coach Marcello Lippi to take something from the game, he threw on defensive midfielder Antonio Conte for Alessandro del Piero.
Roma began the day top, a point clear of Internazionale FC and Juve, and were first to show. Gabriel Batistuta, partnering Francesco Totti, produced a powerful header which Gianluigi Buffon saved well. Roma coach Fabio Capello ditched his usual tactic of using three strikers, but had plenty of firepower on the bench with Marco Delvecchio, Antonio Cassano and Vincenzo Montella all itching to be involved. Iuliano was dismissed for two bookable offences within five minutes but the visitors hung on for a hard-fought point.
Blow for Inter
Internazionale FC suffered a major blow to their Serie A title hopes with a shock defeat against Bologna FC.
First away defeat
Inter had the chance to gain ground on their title rivals but fell to their first away defeat of the season, slipping up by the odd goal in three.
Dogged defending and sharp finishing enabled Bologna to take the lead from a corner ten minutes after half-time when Fabio Pecchia stooped at the near post to glance in a header. The impressive Lamberto Zauli then doubled Bologna's lead with a well-struck left-foot drive.
Pagliuca thwarts old pals
Bologna keeper Gianluca Pagliuca then denied his former team with a wonderful diving save to keep out a curling free-kick from Alvaro Recoba and although substitute Clarence Seedorf pulled a goal back with a fine solo effort, it was too little too late for the visitors.
Bad day for Milan
Inter’s city rivals Milan AC extended their run of games without a win to five after being held to a 1-1 draw by nine-man AC Perugia. Brazilian winger Serginho put the home side ahead from the penalty spot midway through the first half but two minutes after half-time Perugia drew level through Fabio Bazzani. Despite having Davide Baiocco sent off on the hour and defender Sean Sogliano dismissed two minutes from the end, Perugia held on for a share of the spoils.
Di Vaio on the Marco
Elsewhere, Parma AC's Marco di Vaio grabbed his 15th goal of the season in his side's 1-0 victory over struggling S.S. Lazio, who had midfield player Giuliano Giannichedda sent off 15 minutes from time.
Federico and Filippo fell Fiorentina
Bottom club AC Venezia chalked up their third victory of the season, defeating fellow strugglers AC Fiorentina 2-0 thanks to goals from Federico Magallanes and Filippo Maniero.
In the day’s other matches, Piacenza FC striker Dario Hubner claimed his 15th goal of the season with the equaliser in a 1-1 draw at Torino Calcio. Torino had earlier led through Marco Ferrante. Mario Frick was on target for Hellas-Verona FC, who came back to secure a 1-1 draw at lowly US Lecce. Brescia Calcio coach Carlo Mazzone received an angry reception from Atalanta BC fans after his criticism of them earlier in the season, but the Lombardy derby ended goalless.