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November 24, 2009

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Ronaldinho inspires Milan past Cagliari

AC Milan was imperious in attack but woeful defensively in an enthralling 4-3 home win over Cagliari on Sunday which summed up its topsy-turvy season.

Leonardo's side, which was 1-2 down before racing into a 4-2 lead, remained third in Serie A with leader Inter Milan and second-placed Juventus also winning over the weekend.

Clarence Seedorf gave Milan an early lead after some neat passing but the Sardinians were ahead on the half-hour after Alessandro Matri and Andrea Lazzari exposed a static defence badly missing the suspended Alessandro Nesta.

More good attacking play pulled Milan back into the match with Marco Borriello heading in and Ronaldinho then setting up Alexandre Pato to fire home late in a frantic first half.

Ronaldinho, who looked refreshed following the international break, hammered in a penalty in the second half to crown another improved display but Milan's nerves were fraught in the closing stages after Nene made it 4-3.

"I've returned to work and felt good. Let's hope I can get a few more goals and we can continue like this," the Brazilian told Sky television.

Juventus overcame Udinese 1-0 in cold Turin after Fabio Grosso popped up in the area to guide in fellow fullback Martin Caceres' cross early in the second period.

The hosts continued their habit of failing to find a killer second goal and were lucky that Udinese were blunted by Antonio Di Natale's suspension.

Francesco Totti had earlier marked his return from almost two months out with a recurring knee problem by scoring a powerful hat-trick in AS Roma's 3-1 home win over Bari.

Walter Zenga's Palermo drew 1-1 at home with his former club Catania in the Sicilian derby and fourth-placed Sampdoria beat Chievo 2-1 in Genoa for its first win in four games. Zenga was fired.

Napoli drew 0-0 at home with Lazio while at the bottom Siena is three adrift after a 0-2 home defeat by Atalanta. Lowly Livorno grabbed a very late winner to beat Genoa 2-1.


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