Empoli snatch win at AC Milan in Serie A


Milan : AC Milan lost 0-1 at home to Empoli to remain 10 points adrift of leading city rivals Inter Milan in the Italian Serie A football league.

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The return after knee surgery of 39-year-old captain Paolo Maldini, playing his 601st game, brought no luck to Milan, who were still seeking their first win on home turf Sunday.

Luca Saudati scored the winner for Empoli on 55 minutes, nodding home a cross past Brazilian goalkeeper Dida shortly after missing an even easier chance.

All the efforts from Filippo Inzaghi and Alberto Gilardino, meanwhile, went begging for a Milan side missing Brazil star Kaka.

In-form Dutch midfielder Clarence Seedorf came close to levelling but had his shot blocked by goalkeeper Daniele Balli.

“I’ll talk tomorrow with the team. Today I talked with the staff to see what can be done,” said Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti. “There is still a long way to go in the league, and we must improve at home. Three points in four games are absolutely negative.”

Juventus remained second within three points of Inter as captain Alessandro Del Piero scored in a 1-0 victory late Sunday over guests Genoa.

Fiorentina are faring better, lying third on 16 points after beating Siena 3-0, but could be leapfrogged by Juventus on 14 points ahead of a late game against promoted Genoa.

In the Tuscany derby in Florence, Giampaolo Pazzini opened the scoring for Fiorentina on 15 minutes, controlling with his chest and volleying under the bar.

After 15 minutes, the young striker produced a classy heel touch to set up Romania’s Adrian Mutu for a precise shot, while just-fielded veteran Christian Vieri scored the third goal on 71 minutes.

In Sunday action, Udinese and Palermo drew 1-1 and lie next to Genoa on 12 points, while Sampdoria won 3-0 against Parma with a brace from Claudio Bellucci to draw even on 11 points with Napoli and Atalanta, who were held to a 2-2 home draw against 10-man Torino.

The Turin side had Cesare Natali dismissed on 66 minutes for protesting the awarding of a spot kick, but managed to rally from two goals down.

Lazio took home a 1-0 win from bottom side Livorno despite playing the last 22 minutes without the dismissed Fabio Firmani, while Cagliari and Catania drew 1-1.