| Juventus defender Alessio Tacchinardi tackles AC Milan’s Dutch midfielder Clarence Seedorf during their Serie A match at Delle Alpi Stadium in Turin Sunday. Juventus won 2-1. (Reuters)
Milan: Italian champions Juventus moved within a point of Serie A leaders Inter Milan after an impressive 2-1 win over title challengers AC Milan on Sunday.
Early goals from Marco Di Vaio and Lilian Thuram put Juventus 2-0 up and although Milan fought back with an Andrea Pirlo penalty in the 32nd minute, Marcello Lippi’s side shut up shop in the second half to secure a vital win.
Interlead with 22 points and Juventus are now second on 21.Milan slip down to third while Chievo, who crushed bottom club Atalanta 4-1, are fourth and Lazio slip to fifth after they were held to a goalless draw by Parma on Sunday — Sinisa Mihajlovic missing a penalty for Lazio.
Juventus went ahead in just the eighth minute after Alessandro Del Piero raced on to a pass from Pavel Nedved and slipped the ball across the face of the Milan goal and into the path of Di Vaio who made no mistake from close-range.
Their lead was doubled in the 21st minute through Del Piero again playing a key role as he fed overlapping Thuram who beat Milan goalkeeper Christian Abbiati with a well-placed right-foot shot.
Milan got themselves back into the game in the 32nd minute through Pirlo’s penalty after Juventus defender Alessandro Birindelli had handled inside the area.
Lazio were left to regret two incidents which denied them a chance to really enter the title race.
They were awarded a penalty in the 25th after Parma’s Brazilian striker Adriano handled the ball inside the area and Mihajlovic strode up to take the spot kick.
The Yugoslav international has one of the strongest shots in the game but his left-foot effort flew out off the post.
The Rome side were down to 10 men for the second half after midfielder Fabio Liverani was sent off in the 36th minute for petulantly throwing the ball in the face of Parma defender Matteo Ferrari. Despite the absence of Liverani, Lazio continued to press in the second half but were unable to break through a much improved Parma defence.
Chievo continued their impressive run of form as they swept aside bottom club Atalanta — Federico Cossato scoring twice. After going behind to a 40th minute Luigi Sala header, Chievo were on level terms within four minutes, thanks to a diving header from Cossato.
Second-half goals from Daniele Franceschini, Simone Perrotta and Cossato’s second ensured victory while Atalanta’s misery was compounded with midfielder Cristiano Doni sent off for a second bookable offence in the fourth minute of injury time.
A 74th minute Giuseppe Signori penalty gave Bologna a 1-0 win over Como, while substitute Rubens Pasino gave Modena a 1-0 victory at Reggina. Roberto Baggio missed a penalty as his Brescia lost 2-0 at home to Empoli.