italian football: Serie A resumes fixtures in peace

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The Independent Online
All yesterday's Serie A matches began with the teams coming on to the field wearing each others' shirts, before the team captains read out a prepared statement which started: "We have exchanged jerseys and entered the field like this to remind everyone that football should unite and not divide."

At most grounds, fans displayed banners renouncing hooliganism, while Genoa and Padova supporters stayed away from their teams' away fixtures in Florence and Parma respectively. There was no crowd violence reported, with the tension confined to the pitch.

In the San Nicola stadium, Bari's Amedeo Mangone and Robert Jarni, Juventus' Croatian defender, were both shown red cards. Juve maintained their lead with a 2-0 win, the first goal coming from an Alessandro Del Piero penalty, the second from Ciro Ferrara, his first this season.

Parma maintained their pressure on the leaders with a 1-0 defeat of Padova, while a hat-trick from Abel balbo gave Roma a 3-1 win over Internazionale.

Milan, midweek conquerors of Arsenal in the European Super Cup, could only scrape a 1-1 draw with cagliari, after falling behind to a goal by Roberto Muzzi in the 13th minute.

Gabriel Batistuta seems to have found his scoring form again, hitting the net twice in Fiorentina's 3-1 win over Genoa, his team's first victory in six matches. The argentinian striker leads the race for the title of capocannonieri with 17 goals.

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