Football: Bierhoff wins duel as Italian season ends in riots

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The Independent Online
THE last day of the Italian season yesterday was marred by hooliganism which saw the game between Juventus, the champions, and Atalanta seriously disrupted.

Pitch invasions in Florence and Vicenza caused Fiorentina's 2-0 victory over Milan and Vicenza's 3-1 defeat to Udinese to be suspended for 25 and 10 minutes, respectively. But the worst trouble came at Bergamo, where riot police and dogs took to the pitch after the referee halted the game when missiles were thrown by the home fans. It followed Juventus' equaliser from Uruguayan Daniel Fonseca which condemned Atalanta to relegation.

Police fired tear-gas canisters into the crowd and eventually managed to bring the situation under control, allowing the match to re-start after a delay of some 13 minutes. However, fans smashed plexiglass near the players' tunnel and at the final whistle, the two teams left the pitch via the main stand.

Germany's Oliver Bierhoff won his duel with the Brazilian Ronaldo to finish as top scorer in Serie A, and there was joy for the supposed has- been Roberto Baggio as he scored twice to end the season with a personal best of 22 goals.

Bierhoff came off the substitutes' bench to take a penalty in the 21st minute and sent the spot-kick wide. But he made amends in the 32nd minute and then notched another seven minutes later to put Udinese's and his own victory beyond doubt. His 27-goal total is a record for the 18-team Serie A.

Ronaldo scored twice to bring his total for the season to 25 as Internazionale crushed Empoli 4-1.

The Fiorentina president, Vittorio Cecchi Gori, had to threaten to quit to bring order to his team's victory over Milan. After the game, he also said that he expected Gabriel Batistuta, linked recently with Manchester United, to see out the remaining two years of his contract.

Roma's 2-0 victory over Sampdoria meant that they finish the season ahead of city rivals Lazio, having lost all four of their derby games in league and cup.

Ajax won the Dutch Cup final and their sixth league and cup double, with a 5-0 win against PSV Eindhoven, Old Trafford-bound Jaap Stam et al. The Finn Jari Litmanen scored a hat-trick.

An 89th minute Mario Basler goal gave Bayern Munich coach, Giovanni Trapattoni, who is off to Fiorentina, the German Cup. League runners-up Bayern beat MSV Duisburg 2-1 to rescue an otherwise frustrating season.