Roma missed the chance to close the gap on Internazionale on Saturday night.
Inter could only manage a 1-1 draw away at Roma’s city rivals Lazio, with Tomasso Rocchi cancelling out Hernan Crespo’s early strike. The Giallorossi were held to a 1-1 draw away at relegation-threatened Cagliari. Roma captain Francesco Totti equalised after his team-mate Matteo Ferrari had put the ball into his own net to give Cagliari the lead, but Roma were unable to find a winner, and Inter’s four-point lead at the top of Serie A remains intact. To compound a disappointing weekend for Roma, a thigh injury picked up by Totti makes him a major doubt for Tuesday’s Champions League encounter with Manchester United.
On Sunday, Carlo Ancelotti’s ageing Milan side succumbed to a 2-1 home defeat at the hands of Atalanta, who have defied pre-season expectations to secure a healthy mid-table position. Milan’s defeat means that Fiorentina retain the initiative in the lucrative battle for fourth place and Champions’ League qualification, despite their 3-1 defeat at the hands of Udinese at the Friuli Stadium. Udinese’s win keeps them very much in contention for a European place.
At the bottom, a mere three points separate 15th and 20th positions, with Torino and Siena in 14th and 13th place also very much in the mire. Torino achieved an important win away at Catania, while Siena won a precious point away at fellow strugglers Livorno.
Sampdoria won 2-0 away at Empoli, who currently prop up the table. It looks as though this particular relegation battle will go right down to the final day of the season.
By Houman Barekat