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October 6, 2009

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Palermo stuns Juventus, Milan grabs a draw

JUVENTUS lost its first Serie A game of the season when a pumped-up Palermo sealed a comfortable 2-0 home win on Sunday.

Palermo coach Walter Zenga was under pressure before kickoff but the Sicilians were rewarded for a good start when a mistake by Felipe Melo led to Uruguayan striker Edinson Cavani scoring at the near post with a fierce effort.

Third-placed Juventus' hopes of going top were effectively ended when Brazilian Fabio Simplicio slipped through the offside trap and turned in a freekick three minutes before halftime.

Giampaolo Pazzini's header had earlier helped Sampdoria draw 1-1 at home with Parma to move joint-top with champion Inter Milan, which beat Udinese 2-1 on Saturday.

Inter's city rival AC Milan continued to struggle after seven games with halftime substitute Ronaldinho striking six minutes from time to snatch a 1-1 draw at 10-man Atalanta.

The Brazilian chested down defender Alessandro Nesta's ball and poked in to score Milan's first goal in four games.

Joint-bottom Atalanta took the lead when Simone Tiribocchi swept the ball home and it was then unfortunate to have Ivan Radovanovic harshly sent off on 39 minutes for two bookings.

"I wouldn't say it's a renaissance," Nesta, a rare bright spot for Milan this term after returning from a year out injured, said. "We are still struggling, we've got to be humble and understand that. The problems will only be resolved when we win."

Coach Leonardo was given a vote of confidence after the 0-1 home defeat by FC Zurich in the Champions League in midweek and now has a two-week break to find a solution to the slump.

Napoli boss Roberto Donadoni is also clinging to his job after a 2-1 defeat at injury-hit AS Roma, where Francesco Totti netted twice to go joint-eighth with Gabriel Batistuta on the Serie A all-time goalscorers list with 184.


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