Kompany won't change style

Kompany won't change style

Published Jan. 14, 2013 6:15 a.m. ET

Lazio and Napoli made up valuable ground in the race for the Serie A title on Sunday as Juventus could only draw 1-1 at Parma.

Andrea Pirlo threatened to hand Parma a first home defeat since March with his fortuitous free-kick just after the break, but Nicola Sansone danced behind the Juve backline to level the match and rescue a deserved point from a 1-1 draw.

Meanwhile, Lazio continued their steady pursuit of Antonio Conte's men by claiming a hard-earned 2-0 victory over 10-man Atalanta.

A controversial finish from Sergio Floccari and Davide Brivio's own-goal saw Lazio seal victory.


Floccari's opener had a suspicion of handball in the build-up and so Atalanta defender Carlos Carmona let his frustration boil over to pick up two quick yellow cards as time ticked away in Rome.

Lazio can draw level with Juve next weekend if they claim all three points at Palermo, should the Bianconeri lose at home to Udinese.

Meanwhile, Edinson Cavani may not have scored his 100th Serie A goal but Napoli remain in the hunt for the Scudetto courtesy of a 3-0 win over struggling Palermo.

The Uruguayan could have brought up a century of goals in the Italian top flight against his former club but Christian Maggio opened the scoring instead.

Goals from Gokhan Inler and Lorenzo Insigne then ensured a third straight defeat for 19th-placed Palermo as Napoli closed to within five points of Juve.

Elsewhere, Udinese kept their outside chances of playing in Europe again next season alive thanks to an impressive 3-1 win over Fiorentina.

An unfortunate own goal from Zeljko Brkic gave Fiorentina the lead but Antonio Di Natale levelled matters from the penalty spot. Di Natale then gave Udinese the lead before Muriel grabbed a third to finish La Viola off.

Roma's European ambitions suffered another blow after they crashed to a third defeat in four matches by going down 1-0 to mid-table Catania.

Alejandro Gomez's goal was the difference as Catania followed in the footsteps of Chievo and Napoli by sending sixth-placed Roma to defeat on the road.

AC Milan later missed the chance to leapfrog Roma after neither side managed to make the breakthrough in a hectic goalless draw at Sampdoria.

Lorenzo De Silvestri, Andrea Poli and Mauro Icardi whipped the Marassi faithful into a frenzy with a host of exciting plays, with Bojan Krkic and Kevin-Prince Boateng coming close for the visitors, but ultimately the points were shared.

Torino survived a late scare to take all three points in a dramatic 3-2 victory over Siena.

The Granata led 3-1 at half-time thanks to goals from Matteo Brighi, Rolando Bianchi and Alessio Cerci, with Reginaldo replying for Siena.

But Michele Paolucci pulled a goal back for the Bianconeri only for ex-Torino midfielder Alessandro Rosina to miss a penalty in the 89th minute.

Daniele Conti's late header completed a Cagliari comeback that lifted them out of the relegation zone with a 2-1 win over 10-man Genoa.

Marco Sau had cancelled out Eros Pisano's headed opener, with Genoa midfielder Felipe Seymour picking up a red card after Conti grabbed the winner.

Messi on target; Atletico keep on winning; Depor and Sociedad draw; Betis on the rise

Lionel Messi celebrated his fourth successive Ballon d'Or award by once again inspiring Barcelona to victory at Malaga.

Messi won his record-breaking FIFA honour on Monday, taking the honour ahead of Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo, and continued his magnificent scoring run by breaking the deadlock in the 27th minute.

The Argentinian then teed up Cesc Fabregas to put Barcelona two goals to the good after the interval before substitute Thiago made the game safe late on - despite Diego Buonanotte grabbing a consolation in the final minute.

It was ultimately a comfortable evening for the Primera Division leaders, who are 11 points clear of closest challengers Atletico Madrid.

Earlier in the evening a comprehensive 2-0 victory over Real Zaragoza at the Vicente Calderon saw Atletico Madrid move seven points ahead of their rivals Real Madrid.

After a dominant opening spell, Tiago eventually headed Atleti in front on the half-hour mark as he rose highest to nod home Gabi's corner.

Radamel Falcao then added the second from the penalty spot seven minutes before the break after Arda Turan was brought down by Cristian Sapunaru.

And despite failing to build on their advantage, the hosts comfortably saw out the second period without any major scares.

Relegation-battling Deportivo La Coruna held on for the final 26 minutes with 10 men to earn a 1-1 draw at Real Sociedad.

Depor took a 27th-minute through Luis Pizzi but then found themselves on the back foot after conceding an equaliser to Carlos Vela on the stroke of half-time and then losing defender Evaldo to a red card just after the hour-mark.

However, Sociedad could not make the most of their numerical advantage in the closing stages as Depor made it four points from two games under new coach Domingos Paciencia.

Real Betis boosted their European hopes as goals from Joel Campbell and Ruben Castro handed them a 2-0 win over Levante.

Campbell opened the scoring after just seven minutes as he swept home Castro's pass at the end of a flowing counter-attack for just his second Betis goal.

Roger had two decent chances to draw Levante level minutes before and after the break, but he failed to make a proper connection with either attempt and Castro gave the hosts the cushion they needed with a brilliant turn and finish 27 minutes from time.

The Belgian was sent off by Mike Dean for a challenge on Jack Wilshere, with the official interpreting Kompany's 75th-minute tackle to be a dangerous two-footed one.

Kompany disagreed, posting a picture on his Twitter account which appeared to show his left foot being in contact with the pitch as he went to make the tackle.

He said did not blame Dean, however, writing: "First. Massive congrats to our team and fans, great game! Also. No grudges against the referee, I understand the difficulty of the job."

His manager, Roberto Mancini, stated his intention to appeal the decision, a move which could see a three-match ban extended to a four-game one, and Kompany admitted that may not work, while also defending his style.

"About the tackle: If the ball is overrun by the opponent and a 50/50 challenge occurs, collision is inevitable," he said.

"Ultimately I'm a defender: Appeal may work or not. I will never pull out of a challenge, as much as I will never intend to injure a player."