Football: Crespo and Chiesa help Parma step up pressure on Juventus

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The Independent Online
Parma injected some life into the Italian title race yesterday when they came from behind to win 2-1 away to Atalanta to move within four points of the leaders, Juventus, who were held 0-0 at home by Sampdoria.

Even if Parma do not overhaul the Turin club, the victory boosted their chances of finishing second and thus earning a place in the qualifying round for next season's Champions' League. They now have a four-point advantage over Internazionale, who lost 1-0 at home to Vicenza on Saturday.

Parma, weakened by injuries, had to battle back in Bergamo after Atalanta dominated the first half and took the lead with a controversial goal by Gigi Lentini in the 36th minute that was allowed to stand despite the linesman having his flag raised.

Parma pulled level when Argentina's Hernan Crespo headed home in first- half injury time. Italy's Enrico Chiesa hammered home an angle drive from six yards in the 66th minute.

In Turin, Sampdoria, lying fourth, put pressure on Juventus and could have won but for Angelo Peruzzi making several fine saves.

The Rome derby ended dramatically with Lazio's Igor Protti equalising in the final seconds of injury time after Argentina's Abel Balbo had given Roma the lead after 35 minutes.

Crespo's fellow Argentinian international striker Pablo Sanchez scored both goals as Feyenoord beat NAC Breda 2-0 to move to the top of the Dutch League.

Feyenoord are a point ahead of PSV Eindhoven, who did not play this weekend but could regain top place on Wednesday when they play Sparta Rotterdam.

Sanchez opened the scoring in the 13th minute when he took advantage of a defensive error by the NAC midfielder Barry van Galen. His second, and 13th of the season, came five minutes into the second half when he followed up to score after his own shot had hit the post.

Real Madrid shook off news that coach Fabio Capello intended to leave at the end of the season and the loss of an early goal by Sporting Gijon to win 3-1 in the Spanish league.

Davor Suker ended his goal drought by scoring twice, and the set-piece specialist, Roberto Carlos, thundered home another. Real took a provisional 11-point lead over Barcelona, whose game at Extremadura is today.