Batistuta widens gap at top


Fiorentina opened up a three-point lead at the top of the Serie A on Sunday after trouncing title rivals Inter Milan 3-1 as champions Juventus drew 0-0 with Empoli.

Roberto Baggio won a penalty against his old club in the third minute when he was tripped by Fiorentina goalkeeper Francesco Toldo. Youri Djorkaeff scored from the spot.

But after that it was all Fiorentina. First Pasquale Padalino sored after a goalmouth melee, then, 10 minutes later Gabriel Batistuta made it 2-1 from a free-kick and German defender Jorg Heinrich put the result beyond doubt in the 75th minute.

The victory over Inter leaves Fiorentina on 21 points - three ahead of AS Roma and Juventus, who were both held to disappointing draws.

Roma drew 1-1 at home to Bari at the Olympic stadium on Saturday while Juventus finished 0-0 with lowly Empoli.

AC Milan stood to join them on 18 points by beating Lazio last night in a re-run of last season's Italian Cup final.

Elsewhere, Sampdoria's Ariel Ortega missed a spot-kick in their 0-0 draw against Vicenza while Marcelo Amoroso missed another for Udinese against Piacenza, before Paolo Poggi earned Udinese the points with a 41st minute goal.

Salernitana missed a penalty and had defender Salvatore Fresi sent off in the 55th minute, but still held on for a 1-0 win over Venezia thanks to an own goal by Venezia's Brazilian defender Bilica.