Football: Del Piero strikes for depleted Juve

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The Independent Online
ALESSANDRO DEL PIERO scored four minutes from time to give nine- man Juventus an unlikely 1-0 win over Internazionale in last night's Italian Serie A action.

The Juventus captain slotted home from close range after Gianluca Pagliuca had blocked his 86th minute penalty, awarded for a clumsy tackle by Fabio Galante on Filippo Inzaghi.

The champions, who dominated the match, looked to have lost all hope of victory when their French World Cup playmaker, Zinedine Zidane, was dismissed for a two-footed challenge on Portugal's Paulo Sousa in the 49th minute. Zidane's team-mate, the Dutchman Edgar Davids, was also dismissed in the dying seconds, but by then Juve had done enough to win.

Brazil's Edmundo and Argentina's Gabriel Batistuta each scored twice as Fiorentina thrashed Salernitana 4-0 to stay two points clear of Juventus.

Fiorentina scored their goals in the second half after Salernitana had the defender Salvatore Monaco sent off for a violent tackle on Edmundo. Batistuta, with eight goals, is the league's leading goalscorer.

Milan came from behind with goals from Oliver Bierhoff, Leonardo and George Weah to beat an unlucky Roma side 3-2 and stay third. Elsewhere, newly promoted Perugia upset title hopefuls Parma 2-1 while the big spenders of Lazio were held 1-1 at home by Vicenza.

Fabrizio Ravanelli and Titi Camara both scored twice against bottom-of-the-table Sochaux as Marseilles hit top form in the French League on Saturday.

A brilliant header by Ravanelli two minutes before the break set his side on course for a 4-0 win. Camara was prominent in the second half. He hit a superb first goal, a fine volley from a cross by the captain, Laurent Blanc, and struck his second from close range. Ravanelli wrapped it up with a last-minute strike.

Metz, title contenders last season, finally gained their first victory of the new campaign with a 1-0 success at home to Monaco. The team from eastern France had to wait for a penalty on the half-hour for Bruno Rodriguez to score the only goal.

In Germany, an inspired performance by the Brazil striker Elber helped the Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich crush the champions, Kaiserslautern, 4-0.

Bayern, twice beaten by Kaiserslautern last season, were in a class of their own this time. Elber delighted the 63,000 crowd packing the Olympic stadium by scoring two goals and setting up the other two, for Mario Basler and the Iranian striker, Ali Daei. The win extended Bayern's unbeaten run to nine matches.

It was another disappointing day for Borussia Monchengladbach, who were beaten 2-1 at VfL Bochum and are now bottom. They took the lead through playmaker Karlheinz Pflipsen, but Thomas Reis equalised four minutes later before Sebastian Schindzielorz scored the winner for Bochum.

Spartak Moscow, the most successful club in Russian football history, secured their sixth Russian Premier Division title in seven years with a 3-1 home win over Shinnik Yaroslavl.

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