Milan go marching on through the mud

Overseas football
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The Independent Online
Overseas football

If Fabio Capello does, as he suggested in midweek, move on from Milan next season, he could well be carrying his share of the Italian title with him, to judge from his side's comfortable 3-0 victory over Piacenza yesterday.

Goals from Dejan Savicevic, their Yugoslav midfield player, Christian Panucci and Paolo Maldini, left Milan clear at the top of Serie A.

Capello, who has been widely linked with a move to Roma opted for the aerial approach to good effect. The tactic, designed to combat the boggy conditions at San Siro, resulted in three headed goals. Roberto Baggio set up the first two, firing the ball in from the left for Savicevic to head in the rebound and then hitting a corner for Panucci to knock home. Maldini added the third from a Savicevic corner.

Parma, Lazio and Fiorentina all faltered. Parma's fiery Colombian striker, Faustino Asprilla, scored on his long-awaited return, but his club's 1- 1 draw with the champions, Juventus, allowed Milan to pull two points clear.

Lazio lost 1-0 at Vicenza, where Giampiero Maini made up for missing a penalty at Napoli last week by scoring just before half-time. Fiorentina struggled at home against a confident Internazionale side, who went ahead through Maurizio Ganz after 17 minutes and could have had another goal, from Marco Branca. However, Argentina's Gabriel Batistuta levelled it in the 67th minute. Inter look like winning until their Brazilian Roberto Carlos was carried off on a stretcher in the 52nd minute.

In the Netherlands, PSV Eindhoven took advantage of Ajax's absence in Tokyo, where they are preparing for tomorrow's World Club Championship against Brazil's Gremio. They thrashed NEC 5-0, the Brazilian striker Ronaldo scoring twice.

Two goals from Rui Jorge helped Porto, Portugal's defending champions, to stay five points clear at the top of the league with a 6-0 victory over Maritimo. It was a welcome win for their coach, Bobby Robson, after Porto's recent poor form in the Champions' League.