Parma narrow the gap

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Goals from Gianfranco Zola and Dino Baggio earned Parma a crucial 2- 0 win at Torino yesterday, closing the gap on the Serie A leaders, Juventus, to four points. Juventus were held to a goalless draw at Internazionale.

It was Zola's 11th goal of the season, coming at the end of a breathtaking end-to-end move, and Baggio rounded off Parma's third away win of the season two minutes from time. At the San Siro, though, Juventus's Roberto Baggio, out for more than three months with a leg injury, watched a dismal, ill-tempered match from the bench.

Pierluigi Casiraghi made up for the absence of Giuseppe Signori by scoring four goals in Lazio's 8-2 thrashing of Fiorentina. Paolo Negro, Alen Boksic, Marco Di Vaio and Roberto Cravero got the others as Lazio moved into joint third place with Roma, who stumbled to a 3-0 defeat at Sampdoria, for whom Ruud Gullit bagged a brace.

Marco Simone, on target twice in Milan's midweek European Cup victory over Benfica, ploughed the same fertile furrow, with four more in his side's 5-0 win at bottom-of-the-table Brescia. Paolo Maldini added the fifth as the champions moved into fifth place.

In Spain, the league leaders Real Madrid thumped Sporting Gijon 4- 0 in a match that will be remembered for a brilliant individual goal by the Danish midfielder, Michael Laudrup.

The champions, Barcelona, beat Real Zaragoza 3-0 to stay four points behind, while third-placed Deportivo la Corua beat their fellow Galicians, Santiago de Compostela, 1-0, remaining a point behind.

The performance of the day in Spain was by Real Sociedad's Meho Kodro, an object for Kevin Keegan's attention recently. The Bosnian striker struck four goals in a 5-2 victory over Tenerife.

Nantes made history when their unbeaten run in the French League reached 28 matches with a 2-1 win over Nice on Saturday, though they needed two penalties to beat Paris St-Germain's record. Beaten 5-1 by Bayer Leverkusen in the Uefa Cup on Tuesday, they struggled again, and only snatched victory when Japhet N'Doram scored from the spot in the dying seconds.