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Roma beats Sampdoria 2-0 in Serie A

BRAZILIAN forward Julio Baptista scored twice yesterday to help AS Roma beat Sampdoria 2-0 in the resumption of a Serie A match that was suspended in October due to torrential rain.

Baptista curved in a free kick over Sampdoria's wall in the 21st minute, then dribbled past two defenders and found the target with a precise angled shot in the 53rd. The former Sevilla, Real Madrid and Arsenal player has now scored six goals this season -- four in Serie A and two in the Champions League.

Roma moved into eighth place with 27 points, 16 behind leader Inter Milan. Sampdoria is in the bottom half of the standings with 20 points.

Also, Alessandro Del Piero scored once, set up another goal and hit the woodwork twice as Juventus beat Catania 3-0 to fill the final spot in the Italian Cup quarterfinals.

Marco Marchionni scored for Juve in the fourth minute, knocking in a rebound of a header from Del Piero. Del Piero hit the post in the 40th, set up Juve's second goal from Sebastian Giovinco in the 69th, hit the crossbar in the 70th, then scored himself in the 71st with an acrobatic shot with his left -- or off -- foot.

Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon played his first official match since injuring a leg muscle in October.

Juventus will face Napoli in the quarterfinals.

The Roma-Sampdoria game started at the 5 minute, 51 second mark -- the point where the original match on Oct. 29 was suspended. There was more rain at the Stadio Olimpico on Wednesday, but it was light enough to play under.

Roma midfielder Simone Perrotta picked up a yellow card in the 30th that will force him to sit out against Torino on Sunday.

Roma fans briefly displayed a pro-Palestinian banner that read, "Gaza: Resist," the ANSA news agency reported.


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