Serie A Roundup, Feb. 21
AS Roma closed to within five points of Serie A leader Inter Milan on Sunday after Mirko Vucinic scored the only goal in a comfortable 1-0 win over Catania.
A day after Inter had two players sent off in a 0-0 draw with Sampdoria, the Montenegro international struck early in the first half for his fifth league goal this season to put Roma in control of the match.
Inter leads with 55 points, Roma is second on 50 and AC Milan is third with 48 after beating Bari 2-0 away with goals from Marco Borriello and Alexandre Pato.
Juventus is back up to fourth on 41 following a 2-1 win away over Bologna.
Roma took the lead in the 18th minute when Vucinic found space at the far post to score from Jeremy Menez’s corner.
Daniele De Rossi nearly doubled the lead in the 40th, but Catania keeper Mariano Andujar stopped his shot on the line.
Roma continued to pressure the Catania goal in the second half, but Menez shot wide, Andujar stopped another De Rossi effort and Rodrigo Taddei blasted a shot over the bar in the closing minutes.
At Bari, Milan took the lead late in the second half when Borriello volleyed in a cross from Ronaldinho.
The Brazilian was also involved in the second goal. Bari goalkeeper Jean Gillet pushed his shot onto the bar, but when Bari’s defense was unable to clear Pato fired the ball into the unguarded net.
Bari had a chance to pull a goal back from the penalty spot with two minutes remaining, but Milan keeper Christian Abbiati dived low to stop Paulo Barreto’s shot.
"We’ve got to think about Fiorentina now," Ronaldinho said, looking ahead to the game in Florence on Wednesday. "It will be a tough game as Fiorentina is a strong team. After that we can think about how close we are to Inter."
Diego opened the scoring for Juventus early on, Antonio Busce equalized shortly after halftime, but Antonio Candreva hit the winner midway through the second half.
"I think we should be delighted to be up to fourth place," Juventus coach Alberto Zaccheroni said. "But we are better than fourth place. We are there because of things that have gone before.
"I am very pleased with how we played," he said. "We had to fight for the win."
Diego gave Juventus the lead in the fourth minute. Bologna goalkeeper Emiliano Viviano saved his initial shot from the edge of the area, but the Brazilian reacted quickest to reach the rebound first.
Viviano had better luck with a double save in the 23rd minute, first blocking Claudio Marchisio’s shot from the edge of the area and then recovering quickly enough to stop Diego’s effort from the rebound.
Bologna went close to equalizing in the 35th when Adailton hit the bar from a freekick, but made a breakthrough in the 50th when Busce tapped in from a rebound.
Candreva scored the winner by shooting low under Viviano after Alessandro Del Piero set him free in the area. Bologna responded by pushing forward and came close to drawing level again when Daniele Portanova headed straight at Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon.
Also Sunday, it was; Atalanta 0, Chievo Verona 1; Cagliari 2, Parma 0; Fiorentina 2, Livorno 1; Palermo 3, Lazio 1; Siena 0, Napoli 0.