In Italy Milan won 2-0 away to Bologna to stay on top of Serie A, if only by virtue of superior goal difference.
Ukrainian striker Andriy Shevchenko started for the leaders in place of Filippo Inzaghi. The switch proved successful as Shevchenko scored his fourth of the season after good approach work from Gennaro Gattuso.
Milan made victory all but certain in the 78th minute when the Brazilian Serginho, on at half timefor Rui Costa, doubled the lead.
Vice-president Adriano Galliani praised the tactical awareness of the Milan coach on the club’s website. He said’ “Milan clinched this success especially thanks to Carlo Ancelotti who played the right team.”
Two first half goals from Alvaro Recoba and Hernon Crespo against Modena meant Inter stay level on points with Milan. It was not all joy for the Nerazzurri though. Not long after firing home Inter’s second, Crespo tore a muscle in his right thigh and had to be replaced.
“Crespo picked up a bad injury, the doctor said that he will be out for more than a month and this is bad for us,” said Inter coach Cuper.
Currently threepoints below Inter and Milan, Lazio were held to a 0-0 draw away to Brescia, ending a run of seven consecutive away wins in the process.
Lazio showed much attacking flair, but were unable to break down Brescia’s stubborn defence. Indeed, Lazio almost lost the game when Jonathan Bachini was put through by Igli Tore inventive backheel. Peruzzi, the lazio stopper, managed to keep the resulting shot out.
Defending champions Juventus stay in touch four points off the leaders in fourth place after thrashing Reggina 5-0. Veteran midfielder Antonio Conte, David Trezeguet, Del Piero and Marco Di Vaio were all on target for the home side. If that was not bad enough for Reggina, they also conceded an own goal through Francesco Cozza.
Juve coach Marcelo Lippi remained typically downbeat: “There’s no need to treat this match as a great triumph.”
Meanwhile, Como’s 1-1 draw with Atalanta means they are still without a win this season. They stay bottom.