Football: EUROPEAN ROUND-UP: Conceicao sustains Lazio's title challenge

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The Independent Online
LAZIO ADDED further weight to their Italian Serie A title credentials with a 1-0 victory over Internazionale yesterday.

The Rome side's Portuguese midfielder Sergio Conceicao scored the only goal in the 38th minute, snapping up a rebound after the Inter goalkeeper, Gianluca Pagliuca, could only parry an effort from the forward Christian Vieri.

Milan remain three points behind Lazio at the top following their 1- 0 win over Cagliari. Milan had to wait until the 50th minute to take the lead, Oliver Bierhoff producing a header which the Cagliari defender Matteo Villa could only turn into his own net.

Fourth-placed Parma kept their title challenge on course with a 2-1 win at Salernitana. Parma's defender Fabio Cannavaro opened a scoring, connecting with Diego Fuser's corner to head home. The Croatian Mario Stanic added Parma's second in the 56th minute while Marco Di Vaio notched a consolation goal for Salernitana at the end.

Carlo Ancelotti made it two wins out of two since becoming coach of Juventus with a 2-0 victory over Vicenza. The champions started well when Nicola Amoruso opened the scoring after 10 minutes. Antonio Conte made it two on the half-hour.

Sampdoria earned a morale-boosting victory in their fight against relegation by beating Piacenza 3-2.

In Spain, Barcelona had their lead at the top of the Primera Division cut to three points after being held to a 0-0 draw at third-placed Celta Vigo. The Catalan side endured the last 19 minutes with only 10 men after their captain, Luis Figo, received his second yellow card for a handball.

Mallorca narrowed the gap behind Barcelona by winning 3-1 at Oviedo, helped by a goal in each half from Dani Garcia.

The Real Madrid president, Lorenzo Sanz, had few words of comfort for his coach, Guus Hiddink, after the European champions' 1-0 home defeat by Athletic Bilbao. "We cannot carry on like this for much longer," Sanz said. "The supporters want solutions... we are going to see what we can do."

The runaway leaders of the Bundesliga in Germany, Bayern Munich, resumed their title hunt in impressive fashion with a 3-0 win at MSV Duisburg on Saturday. It was a return to action for all Bundesliga teams after a 60-day mid-season break and Bayern increased their lead to 10 points over second-placed Bayer Leverkusen, who could draw at home to Freiburg.

Bayern's striker Carsten Jancker put his side ahead from close range in the 26th minute. Steffen Effenberg scored the second four minutes before half-time, and the substitute Thomas Helmer put the issue beyond doubt by heading home in the 71st minute.

Leverkusen trailed Freiburg for most of their match thanks to Marco Weisshaupt's penalty. The home side wasted numerous opportunities before snatching a draw with a goal from their Brazilian-born German international striker, Paulo Rink, six minutes from time.