Italian Football: Papin's potent reminder

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The Independent Online
JEAN-PIERRE PAPIN made out a good case for a permanent place in the Milan starting line-up with both goals in the champions' 2-0 home win over Ancona yesterday. With their main rivals, Internazionale, losing 3-1 to a Gascoigne-less Lazio, Milan now lead Serie A by a formidable six points.

The French international striker, unhappy at being left out of the Milan side which beat PSV Eindhoven in the European Champions' League last week, had been linked with a move back to Marseille or to Real Madrid. With a point to prove, he took just 14 minutes to open the scoring with a spectacular scissors-kick from a cross by the defender, Mauro Tassotti. His second goal, from a free-kick, arrived five minutes into the second half.

All players in Serie A and B began their afternoon by parading banners saying 'No to Racism', in a protest organised by Ruud Gullit, Milan's Dutch international, against the recent increase in racist and anti-Semitic abuse around the country. After home-made bombs were thrown at Fiorentina last week, there were no reports of any serious incidents yesterday.

Fiorentina, who drew 1-1 at Parma, took advantage of Inter's loss to slip in to second place. Francesco Baiano put the team from Florence ahead in the 53rd minute, but Georges Grun soon equalised. Lazio made light of the absence of Paul Gascoigne, with a thigh injury, to romp to a 3-1 home win over Inter. Diego Fuser, the Dutchman Aron Winter and Giuseppe Signori scored their goals.

Signori is now the leading scorer in the league with 13 goals, one more than Marco van Basten of Milan and Udinese's Argentine striker, Abel Balbo, who scored both goals in a 2-1 home win over Cagliari. Torino, after a 0-0 home draw with Roma, are fourth, level on points with Fiorentina and Inter. Juventus let in two goals in four minutes and fell 2-1 at Foggia.

ITALIAN LEAGUE: Atalanta 1 (Rodriguez 78) Brescia 1 (Sabau 66); Foggia 2 (Bresciani 50, Mandelli 54) Juventus 1 (Ravanelli pen 79); Genoa 2 (Skuhravy 30, 79) Napoli 1 (Fonseca 45); Lazio 3 (Fuser 60, Winter 73, Signori 84) Internazionale 1 (Fontolan 76); Milan 2 (Papin 14, 50) Ancona 0; Parma 1 (Grun 58) Fiorentina 1 (Baiano 53); Pescara 2 (Massara 9, Allegri pen 43) Sampdoria 2 (Jugovic 2, Mancini pen 40); Torino 0 Roma 0; Udinese 2 (Balbo 62, pen 72) Cagliari 1 (Pusceddu 89).

----------------------------------------------------------------- P W D L F A Pts ----------------------------------------------------------------- Milan 12 9 3 0 32 13 21 Fiorentina 13 5 5 3 29 22 15 Internazionale 13 6 3 4 21 20 15 Torino 13 4 7 2 17 11 15 Sampdoria 12 5 4 3 23 12 14 Juventus 13 5 4 4 24 17 14 Lazio 13 4 6 3 27 22 14 Cagliari 13 6 2 5 14 14 14 Atalanta 13 6 2 5 16 20 14 Genoa 13 3 7 3 23 27 13 Parma 13 6 1 6 15 16 13 Roma 13 4 4 5 16 14 12 Brescia 13 3 6 4 14 18 12 Udinese 13 5 2 6 18 19 12 Foggia 13 5 2 6 15 22 12 Napoli 13 3 2 8 19 26 8 Ancona 13 3 2 8 22 33 8 Pescara 13 2 2 9 18 29 5 -----------------------------------------------------------------

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