Brilliant Baggio seals an emphatic victory for Milan

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The Independent Online
Overseas football

Milan, who have started the year in dynamic form, brushed aside Sampdoria 3-0 to go three points clear in Italy's Serie A yesterday as their main rivals, Fiorentina, drew at Roma.

First-half goals by Christian Panucci and Dejan Savicevic and a brilliant 56th-minute strike by Roberto Baggio handed Milan their first home win in three matches at a wet San Siro.

Sampdoria played the final five minutes with 10 men after Roberto Mancini was carried off on a stretcher following a heavy collision with Milan's George Weah. The win left Milan on 33 points, three ahead of Fiorentina, who fell 2-0 behind at Roma when Abel Balbo struck in the fifth and 50th minutes. Fiorentina rose to the challenge, though, with Anselmo Robbiati pulling one back in the 61st and then Gabriel Batistuta hitting the equaliser in the 70th minute.

Parma stayed third on 28 points after being held to a 2-2 draw at Torino, while Lazio's challenge faltered - they went down 1-0 to Napoli after Alen Boksic was sent off for a foul in the 40th minute.

Juan Carlos Gomez celebrated his debut for Atletico Madrid with a goal in the Spanish league leaders' 3-1 home win over Tenerife on Saturday. Barcelona had defender Albert Ferrer sent off as they lost 1-0 at Celta Vigo and slipped from second to fourth.