Football: Overseas Round-up - Atletico Madrid fire Sacchi

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ARRIGO SACCHI was sacked as coach of Atletico Madrid yesterday, a day after the Italian's team suffered its fourth success ive defeat. The decision will be confirmed by the club today.

The former Milan and Italy coach lasted just seven months of a contract that was to have run through June 2000 and leaves with Atletico languishing in ninth place in the Spanish League.

Sacchi became the sixth coach in Spain to be sacked so far this season, and the Dutchman Guus Hiddink, across the capital at Real, must be a little concerned that he could soon become number seven. His Real side lost 3- 0 away to their arch rivals, Barcelona, who made light of having their Brazilian wing-back, Roberto Carlos, sent off after 20 minutes for a wild tackle.

Victory, courtesy of two goals by Luis Enrique and another by by Rivaldo, put the champions and League leaders, Barcelona, on 43 points with Real trailing in a group of four clubs on 37.

Mallorca continue their strong challenge with a 1-0 home win over Real Sociedad on Saturday, while Celta Vigo continued to slip away with a 2- 1 defeat at Valladolid, where Lopez Moreno scored the winner 12 minutes from time.

Brazilian Denilson, the world's most expensive player, hit a rare goal for Real Betis to save a point for them a 1-1 draw at home to Santander.

There are new leaders in Italy, where Lazio took advantage of Fiorentina's loss of their prolific Argentina striker, Gabriel Batistuta, to injury and his Brazilian sidekick, Edmundo, who fancied 10 days at home to enjoy the carnival. Fiorentina went down 1-0 at Udinesee to a goal from another Argentinian, Roberto Sosa.

Lazio went to the top of Serie A for the first time in 24 seasons, but hardly with a flourish, ending their run of nine successive league wins with a 0-0 draw at Cagliari. The Rome side managed only one shot on target as the tension of equalling the Italian record of 10 straight wins seemed to get to them.

Carlo Ancelotti celebrated his first match in charge of Juventus with a 2-0 win at Piacenza, while another managerial debutant, Vujadin Boskov, saw his new club, Perugia, reduced to 10 men but remarkably they still beat Internazionale 2-1 at home. Inter struggled without Ronaldo and Roberto Baggio, who are both injured.