Ronaldinho strikes twice for Milan victory

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The Independent Football

Ronaldinho struck twice and Filippo Inzaghi was also on target as Milan beat 10-man Sampdoria 3-0 at San Siro yesterday. The Brazilian stepped up to convert a 55th-minute penalty conceded for handball by the Sampdoria defender Stefano Lucchini, who was sent off, and he doubled the lead 11 minutes later after some nice interplay with his compatriot Kaka down the left.

Inzaghi dodged past the goalkeeper Luca Castellazzi to slip the ball home in stoppage time and make sure Samp stayed without a league win.

Catania beat Sicilian rivals Palermo, who played the second half with 10 men after Moris Carrozzieri was sent off for a second yellow, 2-0 to earn themselves a share of the Serie A top spot.

They have 14 points from seven games and are level with Udinese, who came from 2-0 down to salvage a 2-2 draw at Lecce, and Napoli, who beat Juventus 2-1 on Saturday after a late Ezequiel Lavezzi goal secured a 2-1 win.

Juve's second consecutive league defeat extends their winless run to five games in all competitions and increases the pressure on the coach Claudio Ranieri before tomorrow's Champions League match against Real Madrid in Turin.

The Brazilian striker Amauri volleyed Juventus in front just after the hour mark, but the Slovakia midfielder Marek Hamsik equalised for the hosts three minutes later when he glided in unmarked to head home a Lavezzi cross. The Argentine striker then pounced on a loose clearance and sprinted into the area to fire Napoli to victory in the 80th minute. The loss leaves Juve five points off the pace in Serie A.

"We played a good match. We made some silly mistakes but we also did some good moves," Ranieri said. "It's not a crisis. We're going through a tough spell but it's not a crisis."

In Florence, Giampaolo Pazzini drilled home a penalty five minutes before halftime to set the home side on their way after Reggina goalkeeper Andrea Campagnolo was given a red card for felling Mario Alberto Santana as he raced towards goal.

The in-form Italy forward Gilardino, resting on the bench for most of the game ahead of tomorrow's Champions League trip to Bayern Munich, steered a diagonal shot into the far corner in the 75th minute. He then headed past substitute keeper Christian Puggioni, who had rushed out of his goal, to slot the ball into an empty net nine minutes from time for his sixth league goal this season. Winless Reggina stay second from bottom with two points.

The Juventus match was the last of three homes games Napoli had to play with the end stands of their stadium closed as punishment for the trouble that marred their opening day fixture at Roma.