Football: Crespo powers Parma

European round-up
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Parma moved closer towards winning a place in the European Cup for the first time yesterday, after dispatching Sampdoria 3-0.

Two goals by Hernan Crespo and a third from fellow Argentinian Nestor Sensini tightened Parma's grip on second place in Serie A and automatic entry into next season's revamped Champions' League.

Carlo Ancelotti's side have a four-point lead over third-placed Bologna, 3-2 winners at home to Reggiana, and Internazionale, held to a scoreless draw at Fiorentina on Saturday.

Cagliari gained vital points in their mission to escape the relegation zone thanks to a 2-1 win over Roma, the former side of their manager, Carlo Mazzone.

In Portugal, an early goal by the Benfica captain, Joao Pinto, secured his team a 1-0 home victory over Sporting to narrow the race for second place in the First Division.

Pinto scored in the 16th minute with a powerful left cross inside the box after a neat pass from the recent Brazilian signing Valdir Morais, who was making his league debut.

The Dutch league leaders, PSV Eindhoven, drew 2-2 away against NAC Breda but stayed top of the table as second-placed Feyenoord drew 0-0 with Vitesse Arnhem.

Both sides have 59 points but PSV have a superior goal difference. Third- placed Twente Enschede trail by four points after losing 3-2 to the bottom club, RKC Waalwijk, while Ajax stay fourth on 48 after beating Volendam 3-0.