Football: Bierhoff drives Milan to the top

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The Independent Online
ON A day when goals were hard to come by in Italy, even from the penalty spot, three leading strikers hit the target to keep their clubs tied for first place in Serie A.

Filippo Inzaghi scored after eight minutes to give the defending champions, Juventus, a 1-0 victory over Cagliari. Oliver Bierhoff's second-half header helped Milan beat Salernitana 2-1, while Gabriel Batistuta was one of Fiorentina's scorers in their 2-1 win at Vicenza. Juventus, Fiorentina and Milan are the only teams who have won their first two games.

Milan went top of Serie A for the first time in two years thanks to their victory over newly-promoted Salernitana. Bierhoff's 67th minute header gave Milan the lead and the German set up the second goal with a cross converted by Leonardo in the 86th minute. Roberto Breda scored a late consolation goal for Salernitana.

Roma could only draw 0-0 at Empoli. Luigi Di Biagio, whose missed penalty against France sent Italy out of the World Cup, missed from the spot with five minutes left.

Vicenzo Montella's late missed penalty also meant that Sampdoria had to settle for a draw against Perugia. The French midfielder, Pierre Laigle, had given Sampdoria the lead before Renato Olive's first goal in Serie A earned Perugia a draw.

Parma continued to struggle, drawing 0-0 at promoted Venezia. It was their third game in a row without a goal. Lazio are also finding goals hard to come by, Christian Vieri and Marcelo Salas missing out again in a scoreless draw against Bari.

In the big match of the weekend in Spain Real Madrid drew drew 2-2 with Barcelona. Raul scored both of Real's goals, taking his season's tally to four in three games.

Barcelona, who last year inflicted a humiliating 3-2 defeat in Madrid on the European Cup holders, salvaged a point when Sonny Anderson scored an equaliser seven minutes from time. Patrick Kluivert was Barcelona's other scorer with his first goal for the club since his move from Milan. The goal maintained the Dutchman's record of having scored on each of the three occasions he has visited the Bernabeu, his previous two appearances having been as an Ajax player.

Ten yellow cards were shown and several Barcelona players were lucky not to have been sent off as the visitors committed three times as many fouls as their hosts. Spanish federation officials, already concerned about the impact of foreign players, will have seen little to ease their fears. Barcelona had just two Spaniards among the 14 players they used

Kaba Diawara scored twice, including an injury-time equaliser, to give the French league leaders, Bordeaux, a 2-2 draw at Marseilles yesterday. Fabrizio Ravanelli and Eric Roy scored for Marseille. It was the second home match in succession that Marseille had let slip three points in injury time. They are now five points behind the leaders. Bordeaux's lead was cut to two points as Lyon beat Lens, the defending champions, 3-1 at home.

Ajax wasted countless chances yesterday and could do no more than draw 1-1 with De Graafschap Doetinchem. They now lie joint second with FC Utrecht, who drew 1-1 with Fortuna Sittard, and a point behind Feyenoord, who have won all four of their games. Feyenoord can extend their lead if they win at PSV Eindhoven tomorrow. The match was postponed from yesterday because of fears of clashes between rival fans.

The Ajax game was the first at home for the De Boer twins, returning from a two-month lay-off during which both refused to play for the club because they were denied transfers. The 45,000 crowd greeted the brothers' first touches with a chorus of whistles, but gradually warmed to the pair, who have been the mainstay of the successful Ajax teams of recent years.

Stefan Effenberg deepened the German football crisis when he announced that he may quit the troubled national team. The midfielder wants to concentrate on playing for his club Bayern Munich and spend time with his family.

In Hungary, six people were arrested after fans of Ferencvaros went on the rampage on Saturday night following their side's 2-1 defeat to Ujpest in the Budapest derby. Two policemen, an Ujpest supporter and a security guard were hurt.