Overseas Football Round-up: A tale of two cities as Milanese face Romans

Click to follow
The Independent Online
(First Edition)

THE ITALIAN champions, Milan, travel south to face Roma in dire need of a boost to their morale after their third successive cup final loss on Wednesday. They were beaten 2-1 on aggregate by Parma in the final of the European Super Cup.

But they continue to dominate the Italian league and lead Juventus and Sampdoria, in joint second place, by four points after last Sunday's 1-0 away win against Atalanta.

Their coach, Fabio Capello, is forced to make changes for the Roma game, as Cristian Panucci, the right back, is suspended and Daniele Massaro, the striker, appeared to pull a muscle against Parma.

The Roma coach, Carlo Mazzone, has even bigger problems as he has three suspended players: Giovanni Piacentini, Daniele Beretta and Amedeo Carboni - all midfielders. Moreover, Ruggiero Rizzitelli, the forward, is injured.

In compensation, Mazzone welcomes back Giuseppe Giannini, his captain, and Thomas Hassler, the German midfielder. And Aldair, the Brazilian defender, made an impressive return in last week's 1-1 draw away to Napoli.

The cities of Rome and Milan clash again in the other major fixture of the day between Lazio and Internazionale, in joint fifth place, at the San Siro stadium in Milan.

Lazio will be penalised by the absence of Paul Gascoigne through suspension. He picked up his fourth booking of the season in the 4-2 win over Cremonese last Sunday. His intended substitute, Thomas Doll, could be ruled out by a knee injury.

Johan Cruyff stepped up threats to sell star players after Barcelona were dumped out of the Spanish Cup by Second Division Betis Seville.

A 29th-minute goal by Juanita, who seized on a defensive mixup by Ronald Koeman, the Dutch international, sent out the listless Spanish champions.

Cruyff, who has already warned that the former European champions are on a downward slope, said: 'If I am forced to motivate my players it would be better if they left. Betis were rewarded with a semi-final against last year's finalists, Real Zaragoza, who beat Sevilla 3-2 on aggregate after drawing 1-1 midweek.

Tenerife play Celta Vigo, having reached the semi-finals for the first time in their history by knocking out Real Madrid during the week.

Diego Maradona has been summoned to appear before an Argentine court on Tuesday on charges that he fired an air rifle at journalists. Maradona, 33, is due to appear in Mercedes, 25 miles north-west of Buenos Aires.

Maradona lost his temper and started firing at journalists besieging him this week after he was sacked by his club, Newell's Old Boys, for repeatedly missing practice sessions. A spokesman for Maradona claimed he had since been driven out of Argentina hidden in a pickup truck.

But Francisco Lilo, the judge in charge of the case, said: 'He cannot leave the country. He must first settle his judicial situation.'

Comments