European Football: Ferrara injury casts shadow

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The Independent Online
The Italian League leaders, Juventus, and second-placed Internazionale both won yesterday - but the results were overshadowed by a bad injury to Juve's Ciro Ferrara.

The Juventus coach, Marcello Lippi, refused to talk about his side's 2-0 win at lowly Lecce after doctors confirmed that Ferrara, the veteran international defender, had sustained a double fracture to his left leg which seems likely to cost him his place in the World Cup finals.

"Any talk of points or goals seems banal after you lose a player as important as Ferrara," Lippi said. Mark Iuliano and Alessandro Del Piero were on target for his side.

Ronaldo's first Serie A goal since 7 December earned Inter a 1-0 win at Brescia and kept his side one point behind Juventus.

In Spain, Barcelona returned to the the top of the Primera Division yesterday - but they were jeered off the pitch after a scrappy 2-1 home win over the bottom club, Sporting Gijon. Rivaldo scored both goals to give Barca their first victory in four games. Real Madrid will reclaim the top spot if they beat Valencia tonight.

The German Bundesliga, which resumed after its winter break, saw the fastest goal in its 35-year history. Giovane Elber scored after 11 seconds for Bayern Munich against Hamburg.

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