Italy round-up: Parma push for UEFA spot

Parma AC continued their challenge for a UEFA Cup place with a 2-0 home win against Empoli FC.

Goals at the start and the end of the game gave Parma AC a 2-0 home win against Empoli FC.

Goalscoring start
Parma started strongly and coach Cesare Prandelli's decision to start with striker Alberto Gilardino in place of Brazilian Adriano paid off almost immediately when the 20-year-old firmly headed into the net after 13 minutes from a superb cross by French midfield player Sabri Lamouchi.

Attacking changes
Empoli tried to rally as the half wore on, but had only a near miss from striker Tommaso Rocchi to show for their efforts. Strikers Antonio Di Natale and Massimiliano Capellini were introduced at half-time as Empoli coach Silvio Baldini sought to bolster his side’s attack, but it was the home side who created more chances as thick fog descended on the Ennio Tardini stadium.

Parma push forward
Hidetoshi Nakata had a volleyed strike ruled out in the 65th minute, before substitute Adriano saw his free-kick go just wide. Empoli tried to press forward, but seven minutes from time Romanian international Adrian Mutu exploited the extra space to seal the three points with his eighth goal of the season.

Late action
Parma stay eighth after the win, while Empoli remain in tenth position. Meanwhile in the evening's late game, a 15th-minute goal from Gianluca Savoldi gave struggling Reggina Calcio a morale-boosting 1-0 win against Bologna FC.