Toni keeps Fiorentina on course for Europe

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The Independent Football

Fiorentina still have a slight edge over Roma in the race for Italy's fourth Champions' League place. The Florence club remain a point ahead after a 1-1 draw between the clubs yesterday, with Leandro Cufre equalising for the visitors after Luca Toni had equalled Fiorentina's club record of 26 goals for the season - a mark also reached by Gabriel Batistuta and Kurt Hamrin.

With the leading trio, Juventus, Milan and Internazionale, having played on Saturday to give them time to prepare for the Champions' League, yesterday's interest was on the match in Florence.

Toni scored the opening goal with a right-footed volley following good work by the Chilean midfielder Luis Antonio Jimenez shortly after kick-off. The Argentinian defender Cufre celebrated his 100th Serie A match by equalising in the second half when he tucked the ball home after a save by Bogdan Lobont.

Internazionale tuned up for their Champions' League quarter-final second leg with Villarreal by brushing aside a struggling Messina 3-0. The Sicilians, playing under their new coach Giampiero Ventura, were swept away by two goals from Santiago Solari and one from Obafemi Martins - all of which were scored in the first half hour.

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