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Milan kept in check by late Lecce equaliser

AC Milan were denied victory at US Lecce by Rubén Olivera's late strike, allowing a FC Internazionale Milano side resurgent under Leonardo to chip away at their lead atop Serie A.

Milan's Antonio Cassano watches on as Lecce celebrate
Milan's Antonio Cassano watches on as Lecce celebrate ©Getty Images

Rubén Olivera gave the chasing pack cause for optimism after his late equaliser earned struggling US Lecce a deserved 1-1 draw with AC Milan which prevented the visitors from extending their lead in Serie A.

Milan were heading for a six-point cushion over SSC Napoli and S.S. Lazio when Zlatan Ibrahimović (49) audaciously struck a left-foot half-volley into the far corner. With eight minutes remaining, though, Olivera swept a low corner past Marco Amelia.

Napoli dropped points of their own earlier in the day when they were held 0-0 at home by ACF Fiorentina. Lazio took full advantage, joining the Partenopei on 37 points in third place courtesy of a 1-0 home win against UC Sampdoria secured by substitute Libor Kozák's header (84).

AS Roma also profited from late drama as Maximiliano Pellegrino's own goal (89) gave the Giallorossi a 1-0 triumph at lowly AC Cesena. Juventus, 2-1 victors against bottom-of-the-table AS Bari, are fifth, two points and one place ahead of ever-improving FC Internazionale Milano.

Samuel Eto'o scored twice as the champions recorded their sixth successive victory in all competitions, and fourth under Leonardo, in defeating Bologna FC 4-1 at San Siro. Significantly, Inter have two games in hand on all of the teams above them but Leonardo is not entertaining thoughts of the Scudetto.

"There are lots of games to go; now is not the time to start working out all the permutations," said the Inter coach, whose side are nine points shy of Milan. "We just have to keep it up."

Last season's top scorer in Serie A, Antonio Di Natale, took his tally to a league-leading 14 goals with Udinese Calcio's second in a 4-2 triumph at Genoa CFC. Elsewhere, Calcio Catania drew 1-1 with AC Chievo Verona, Brescia Calcio moved within a point of safety by overcoming ten-man Parma FC 2-0, and Cagliari Calcio defeated US Città di Palermo 3-1.

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