Trapattoni resignation rejected by Fiorentina

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Fiorentina were plunged into chaos last night just three days before their vital Champions League clash with Arsenal. Their Boss, Giovanni Trapattoni, offered his resignation after an embarrassing 2-0 defeat at rock-bottom Piacenza in Serie A - but it was refused.

Fiorentina were plunged into chaos last night just three days before their vital Champions League clash with Arsenal. Their Boss, Giovanni Trapattoni, offered his resignation after an embarrassing 2-0 defeat at rock-bottom Piacenza in Serie A - but it was refused.

Fiorentina continue to keep faith in the most successful manager in Italian football history, despite losing three of their last four matches. They looked good for at least a point before Paolo Cristallini headed home after 83 minutes and Arturo Di Napoli converted an 89th minute penalty.

Lazio moved three points clear at the top of the table with a 4-2 victory over Lecce. Giuseppe Pancaro's 26th minute header cancelled out Cristiano Lucarelli's surprise opener for lowly Lecce.

Yugoslav international Dejan Stankovic then scored two for the home side and despite Lucarelli's second, Simone Inzaghe made the game safe in stoppage time.

Juventus were denied all three points at Bari by Gionatha Spinesi's free-kick equaliser four minutes from time. Juve had gone ahead through defender Gianluca Pessotto in the 26th minute and dominated the game, missing a host of chances before their late blow.

But the point was enough to shunt them up to second place, ahead of both Milan clubs. AC beat Inter 2-1 on Saturday night.

Barcelona moved a point clear of surprise packets Rayo Vallecano in Spain after a 4-0 crushing of Athletic Bilbao at the Nou Camp.

Bilbao, playing with 10 men after the 36th minute sending-off of Aitor Larrazabal, were swamped by goals from Phillip Cocu, Rivaldo, Luis Figo and Dani.

Rayo suffered a costly 3-1 home reverse to Real Betis, who were inspired by two goals from Alfonso.

Third placed Celta Vigo maintained their title challenge with a 2-1 home win over Espanol, but Real Madrid lost more ground with a 1-1 draw at Seville.

The result extended Real's winless league run to seven matches.

In Russia, Lokomotiv Moscow recovered from Thursday's 4-1 UEFA Cup mauling at Leeds to win their Moscow derby against CSKA 1-0 and secure second place in the league behind Spartak.

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