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Milan blow chance to go top after Napoli draw

Frustrated AC Milan miss the chance to seize top spot in Serie A when they were held to a 1-1 draw by Napoli at San Siro.

Frustrated AC Milan missed the chance to seize top spot in Serie A when they were held to a 1-1 draw by Napoli at San Siro yesterday. Faltering leaders Inter Milan drew 1-1 at Palermo on Saturday to give second-placed Milan a glimpse of the summit for the first time this term, but instead they lie one point behind their bitter neighbours.

Massimo Oddo, the Milan right-back, collided with his own goalkeeper Christian Abbiati and allowed Hugo Campagnaro, the Napoli defender, to slot into an open goal on 13 minutes before the rossoneri's veteran striker, Filippo Inzaghi, levelled by heading in Ronaldinho's cross on 26 minutes from virtually underneath the crossbar. As the clock ticked down, Milan finally began to show the urgency of a side who scented the chance of moving to the top of the league.

The crowd tried to play their part too while Leonardo, the Milan coach, sent Klaas-Jan Huntelaar on as a fourth striker in place of fellow Dutchman Clarence Seedorf. But they were still unable to find a way through while Napoli regularly threatened to hit them on the counterattack, finding plenty of room as Milan committed men forward. In the end, though, a draw was the fair result, even if it means Milan remain second while Napoli join Genoa in seventh place.

Fourth-bottom Lazio opened up a four-point cushion above the drop zone after forwards Tommaso Rocchi and Sergio Floccari scored in a 2-0 win at Cagliari, whose fans will be given refunds for the defeat under a club initiative. Relegation-threatened clubs Atalanta and Siena enjoyed wins over Livorno and Bologna respectively, but the victories were nullified by Lazio's success, although Siena did move off the bottom of the table.

It took 13 minutes for Atalanta to get off the mark as Simone Padoin opened the scoring against Livorno. Javier Chevanton, the Uruguay striker, doubled the lead on 50 minutes before Ferreira Pinto completed the scoring four minutes later to condemn Livorno to the bottom of the standings. A 10th-minute strike by Marcelo Larrondo, the Argentine striker, against Bologna saw Siena move level on 25 points with Atalanta, although both remain in the bottom three.

Salvatore Masiello's goal five minutes from full-time spared Bari's blushes at home against Parma.Damiano Zenoni's goal nine minutes before the break looked to be enough to win the game before midfielder Masiello popped up with the equalising goal. Catania's point on the road at Chievo saw them move up one place to 15th in the league. Chievo's 30-year-old striker, Sergio Pellissier, scored his seventh goal of the season on 63 minutes to give the Flying Donkeys a deserved lead before Maxi Lopez, the former Barcelona striker, equalised from a penalty kick that he himself earned after drawing Mario Yepes into a foul in the area.

sports@thenational.ae

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