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October 20, 2009

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Home » Sports » Soccer

Pato seals nervy Milan victory

STRIKER Alexandre Pato earned AC Milan a 2-1 comeback win over AS Roma on Sunday to slightly lift the air of gloom hanging over the San Siro.

Roma winger Jeremy Menez, deputizing up front for the injured Francesco Totti, ran on to Thiago Silva's mis-hit backpass to slot in the opener on three minutes.

Ronaldinho again offered little in open play but levelled from the penalty spot on 56 minutes after Nicolas Burdisso was adjudged to have fouled Alessandro Nesta despite Roma protests.

Brazilian Pato soon chested down a long ball and finished calmly to give Milan only its third Serie A win of the campaign before Wednesday's Champions League trip to Real Madrid, lifting it to eighth in the standings.

Earlier, surprise pacesetters Sampdoria failed to rejoin Inter Milan at the top after being denied a strong late penalty shout in a 1-1 draw at Lazio.

Luigi Del Neri's side took the lead in an open game thanks to Giampaolo Pazzini's powerful header on 40 minutes following a cute cross from Marco Padalino.

However, Lazio hit back quickly when Matuzalem burst into the box to score and the second half seemed to be fizzling out once Padalino and Lazio's Roberto Baronio were sent off.

Sampdoria's Antonio Cassano then sparked the game back into life by striking the bar before the referee was unmoved by Pazzini being poleaxed in the area by Lazio goalkeeper Fernando Muslera.

"The only person not to see the penalty for Pazzini was the referee. What's serious is that he didn't even give a corner, confirming that the ball touched Pazzini and not Muslera," an angry Del Neri told reporters.

Inter, which crushed Genoa 5-0 on Saturday, holds a two-point lead over Sampdoria with Juventus and Fiorentina four points behind the champion in joint-third after Saturday's 1-1 draw.

Christian Maggio's late goal gave Napoli a 2-1 win over Bologna on Sunday in Walter Mazzarri's first game in charge.

Maggio converted a cross from Argentina striker Ezequiel Lavezzi, who angered Mazzarri by returning from international duty only on Saturday.

Colombian center back Nelson Rivas hit his head after falling awkwardly in bottom side Livorno's 2-1 home defeat by Palermo. After being rushed to hospital, officials said he had recovered consciousness and was out of danger.

Udinese, which had to start with Serie A top scorer Antonio Di Natale on the bench because of a knock, lost 1-3 at home as Antonio Conte's Atalanta won its first game of the season.


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