Milan still clear, Napoli in contention
AC Milan hung onto their four-point lead at the top of Serie A thanks to a 2-0 win over Cesena at the San Siro this evening.
Napoli had put the pressure on Milan with a 2-0 win at Bari earlier in the day, and I Rossoneri duly responded, Maximiliano Pellegrino's own goal on the stroke of half-time putting them ahead and Zlatan Ibrahimovic sealing the win in the last minute.
Milan's win was overshadowed by a serious shoulder injury suffered by veteran defender Alessandro Nesta who was hurt in a collision with Igor Budin and was substituted in the 20th minute. He could be ruled out for up to three weeks after it was originally thought he'd miss three months.
"It was a deserved win," said Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri. "We had lots of chances, so I am satisfied. But we have worries over Gennaro Gattuso who has a thigh injury and Alessandro Nesta also with his shoulder."
Napoli also struck late in each half in their victory over the basement boys, who finished the game with ten men following the 67th-minute dismissal of Alessandro Parisi. Ezequiel Lavezzi struck in the 38th minute before Edinson Cavani put the game beyond Bari's reach with three minutes to go. Victory moved Napoli two points above Roma into second.
Fourth-placed Lazio lost ground on the leaders as they went down 3-1 at Bologna. Marco Di Vaio scored twice for Bologna as I Rossoblu came from behind to win. Sergio Floccari put the Romans in front in the fifth minute only for Gaston Ramirez to bring Bologna level in the 36th minute.
Di Vaio gave the hosts the lead three minutes later before sealing the win with his second in the closing stages. Lazio also ended the game with ten men after defender Andre Dias was sent off
Champions run ended
Inter Milan slipped nine points off the pace following a 3-1 defeat at Udinese. Dejan Stankovic put Inter ahead in the 16th minute, but the rest of the game belonged to the home side.
Cristian Zapata levelled five minutes later before Antonio Di Natale put them in front in the 25th minute. Maurizio Domizzi sealed the win in the 69th minute as Udinese became the first side to take any points off Leonardo's team in 2011.
Giving his reaction to his first loss in charge Leonardo told Inter's official website that the team would get over the loss to Udinese. "In football you lose games; it's no big deal. It won't change the way we see things and it won't change the way I see the team. We got off to a great start," he added.
"Taking the lead at a stadium like this and against a team like Udinese was no mean feat, so I don't think it was a case of us making mistakes or losing our concentration. Perhaps we were a bit tense because of how a few things went. The first half was an evenly balanced affair but Udinese had the upper hand in the second half.
"However, I must say that hardly any of the goals we've conceded from set pieces have been because we were caught out by the opposition; most have been because of a lucky deflection or rebound. So I don't think we have a problem with man-marking at set pieces."
Fiorentina battled back to claim a 1-1 draw against relegation-threatened Lecce. David Di Michele put the hosts ahead shortly before the half-hour mark and missed the chance to double the lead from the penalty spot before the interval.
But La Viola had the better of the second period and Alberto Gilardino's header ensured a share of the spoils. The games between Chievo and Genoa and Sampdoria and Juventus ended goalless.