Football: European Round-Up - Lucescu abandons Inter quest

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The Independent Online
FOR THE second time this season, Internazionale are looking for a new coach, after Mircea Lucescu resigned following his side's humiliating Italian League 4-0 defeat at Sampdoria yesterday. Vincenzo Montella's hat-trick and a fourth from the Argentine playmaker Ariel Ortega proved too much for Lucescu, just four days after Inter's elimination from the European Cup against Manchester United.

Lucescu arrived at Inter in December as a short-term replacement for the sacked Gigi Simoni. The Romanian coach agreed a seven-month contract and had already announced he was leaving at the end of the season. The former Juventus coach Marcello Lippi, who left the champions last month, has been linked to Inter - but a deal has not yet been confirmed by the club or the coach.

The Serie A leaders Lazio made short work of Venezia yesterday, with two goals in the opening 15 minutes from Sergio Conceicao and the free- kick specialist Sinisa Mihajlovic sealing their eighth successive victory at the Olympic stadium in Rome.

Lazio's early nerves were settled by Conceicao, who netted with a volley from Giuseppe Favalli's eighth-minute cross. Mihajlovic, who has now scored seven of his eight goals this season direct from free-kicks, added a superb second from a dead-ball situation in the 14th minute to ensure that Lazio equalled last season's club record of 16 league matches without defeat.

Fiorentina recovered from the second-half dismissal of their Czech defender, Thomas Repka, to beat Piacenza 2-1 with a last-minute goal from Carmine Esposito.

Milan's title hopes looked doomed when Yksel Osmanovski's second goal of the match put Bari 2-1 up with 11 minutes left at San Siro but Maurizio Ganz's injury-time penalty salvaged a fortuitous 2-2 draw for the home side.

The European Cup semi- finalists, Juventus, looked destined for their first defeat in eight matches under their new coach, Carlo Ancelotti, when Marco Delvecchio headed Roma in front in the second half. But the defender Mark Iuliano equalised from close range and it took a superb double save from the visitor's Austrian goalkeeper, Michael Konsel, to deny Juve's Nicola Amoruso a late winner.

Bordeaux clung to their one-point lead over Marseilles in the two-horse race for the French title with a tight 1-0 home win over Strasbourg on Saturday.

After taking an 11th-minute lead through their captain Michel Pavon, Bordeaux were indebted to some fine saves from their goalkeeper Ulrich Rame as they struggled to shake off the hangover from their 6-0 midweek Uefa Cup thrashing at Parma.

Marseilles, inspired by two goals from Fabrizio Ravanelli, enjoyed a 4-1 home victory over 10-man Lorient, whose goalkeeper Angelo Hugues was sent off in the first half for handling a shot by Florian Maurice outside the area.

The goalkeeper Oliver Kahn set a German Bundesliga record on Saturday as Bayern Munich profited from a late goal from Carsten Jancker to beat Werder Bremen 1-0 to record their eighth successive league victory. Kahn has now gone 723 minutes without conceding a goal - 82 minutes longer than Oliver Reck, who held the previous league record with 641 minutes for Werder Bremen in the 1987-88 season.

The Spanish League leaders, Barcelona, were grateful to their Dutch World Cup midfielder, Philip Cocu, whose two goals secured a 2-0 win at Real Sociedad yesterday.

Celta Vigo enjoyed a 3-0 win at home to Santander but Real Mallorca were beaten 2-1 at home by Deportivo La Coruna. John Toshack's Real Madrid side ground out their third successive league win, 2-0 against Extremadura, thanks to Raul's 18th league goal of the season and an own goal.