Italian Football: Three sent off as Juve widen gap

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The Independent Online
Three goals and three red cards made sure that the Stadio Delle Alpi was no place for the faint-hearted yesterday. Roma, who lost two men, were beaten 3-0 by Juventus as the Turin team increased their lead at the top of Serie A to four points.

For the second week running, Fabrizio Ravanelli scored twice, and both strikes brought storms of protest from the away side. For his bizarre first goal, he intercepted a throw aimed at the Roma goalkeeper, Giovanni Cervone, by the defender, Aldair, and lobbed into an empty net. Roma protested that Aldair had been impeded by an accidental collision with a linesman.

Things went from bad to worse for Cervone, who was sent off in the 71st minute after a petulant altercation with Moreno Torricelli, who was also dismissed. Nine minutes later Roma's Fabio Petruzzi was the third to go for conceding a penalty with a foul on Gianluca Vialli that the visiting players protested was outside the area. Ravanelli converted the spot-kick, and Vialli added the final goal with a well-placed low shot past the substitute goalkeeper.

There was trouble off the field at Juve, too: three police officers were injured by a firecracker launched in the stands, and two fans were arrested.

Second-placed Parma were held 1-1 at Fiorentina, where a 15th goal of the season from Gabriel Batistuta, back from a week off playing for Argentina in the Inter-Continental Cup, gave the home side an early lead. Dino Baggio had a header blocked on the line in the last minute of the first half but, in the first minute of the second, Gabriele Pin pounced for Parma's equaliser.

Lazio climbed to third place thanks to a 7-1 home win over Foggia, who had their defender, Giordano Caini, sent off in the first half. The Croatian striker, Alen Boksic, back after a six-week injury break, hit a hat-trick, while Giuseppe Signori scored twice in a match which was scoreless at half-time and saw four Lazio goals in the last five minutes.

The individual scoring honours of the day, however, went to Milan's Montenegrin striker, Dejan Savicevic, who found the net four times in his side's 5-3 win at Bari last night. Milan, the defending champions, now lie sixth in Serie A.