Juventus close in on Inter Milan


Juventus Shrugged off their Champions League loss to Manchester United by beating Fiorentina 2-1 in Turin on Sunday while leaders Inter Milan needed a Ronaldo penalty to secure a mediocre 1-1 home draw with Lazio.

Inter's draw left them two points clear in the Serie A ahead of a trio of clubs on 11 points from five games - Roma, Parma and Juventus themselves.

Troubled AC Milan finally got their first win this season when they won 1-0 at newly-promoted Empoli. Swedish substitute Andreas Andersson, a sub for Dutchman Patrick Kluivert, headed Milan's 68th-minute winner after a defensive error.

Fiorentina had the temerity to take the lead against world champions Juve when Brazilian-turnedBelgian Luis Oliveira opened the scoring in the 24th minute.

But goals from Filippo Inzaghi and Alessandro Del Piero in the space of three minutes gave Marcello Lippi's side their winning lead before the break.

Argentine Abel Balbo meanwhile blasted a second-half hattrick as in-form Roma romped home 6-2 against Napoli.

French defender Vincent Candela and Carmine Gautieri scored in the first half, Balbo bagged his hat-trick and Eusebio Di Francesco celebrated his surprise call-up for Italy next week by also getting onto the scoresheet.

Udinese finished up 3-2 winners over Sampdoria even after their German striker Oliver Bierhoff, who guided the side into the UEFA Cup second round last week, missed a penalty in the 21st minute.

Bierhoff made amends in the 35th minute when he headed Udinese into a 2-1 lead, but it needed Alessandro Pierini's match-winner after Frenchman Alain Boghossian made it 2-2 for Sampdoria just before the break.

Roberto Baggio completed a miserable weekend when he was sent off for retaliation at the end of Bologna's 0-0 draw with Piacenza, a day after being axed from the national squad.

In Spain, two first half goals from Oscar helped Barcelona to a 3-2 victory over Tenerife at the Nou Camp to maintain the Catalan club's perfect start to the league season after five matches.

Barca now stand four-points clear ahead of surprise package Mallorca, who drew 2-2 at Compostela.

But champions Real Madrid lost ground when they could only draw 0-0 at the Bernabeu with Deportivo La Coruna, a result which leaves the Madrilenos fourth behind Celta Vigo, who thrashed Salamanca 4-1, on goal difference.

After Oscar's opener on seven minutes, Barcelona suddenly found themselves 2-1 behind when Juanele and Pablo Paz netted within four minutes midway through the first period. But Oscar then struck home his second to equalise and Luis Enrique bagged the winner five minutes after the restart.

Elsewhere, 1996 champions Atletico Madrid won 2-0 at Oviedo with goals from Jose Luis Caminero and Christian Vieri, while Valencia got their first points on the board with a 3-0 win at Valladolid.

In France, Strasbourg followed up their UEFA Cup triumph over Glasgow Rangers handing leaders Metz their first defeat to pull themselves away from the foot of the table thanks to second-half goals from Pascal Nouma and Olivier Dacourt.

Metz still hold a two-point lead over Paris St Germain, who were lacklustre in a 0-0 draw away to Nantes later Sunday.

In the German Bundesliga, Bayern Munich kept within two points of leaders Kaiserslautern, 3-1 winners at 1860 Munich on Friday, when they beat 10-man VfL Bochum 3-2 on Saturday with a brace from Mario Basler.

However, the champions lost Brazilian striker Giovane Elber for at least a fortnight with a torn thigh muscle.

European champions Borussia Dortmund, who had international midfielder Andreas Moller sent off for foul play, succumbed 3-1 at Arminia Bielefeld to plunge to third-from-bottom.

Dortmund will be without two key players for their next league match after defender Jurgen Kohler picked up his fifth yellow card this season and Moller was sent off.

On Sunday, German international striker Freddi Bobic celebrated his 100th Bundesliga match with a pair of goals as VfB Stuttgart rallied from 2-1 down to beat Hamburg 5-2.