Soccer

Napoli draws Fiorentina, fails to close gap on Juventus

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Associated Press
1/20/2013 12:06:45 PM
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MILAN, Italy -- Napoli missed the chance to close the gap on Serie A leader Juventus as it drew 1-1 at Fiorentina on Sunday.

Fiorentina took the lead following a terrible blunder from Morgan De Sanctis. The Napoli goalkeeper rushed out of his area to intercept a long pass from Facundo Roncaglia by the halfway line, but completely misjudged the ball which bounced over him and into the goal.

Napoli was level three minutes from halftime as Edinson Cavani headed in Marek Hamsik's free kick for his 100th Serie A goal.

Alberto Aquilani could have won it for Fiorentina in stoppage time but blasted a good chance over the bar.

Napoli, which had a two-point penalty for match-fixing rescinded on Thursday, is level on points with second-placed Lazio, five points behind defending champion Juventus.

Fiorentina remains fifth but it is only two points above AC Milan, which beat Bologna 2-1 thanks to a brace from Giampaolo Pazzini. Roma slipped to seventh after it drew 1-1 at home to an understrength Inter Milan.

Milan dominated and Bologna didn't even have a single touch in the opposition penalty area in the first half.

Pazzini, who had missed several earlier chances, broke the deadlock in the 65th when he brought down Ignazio Abate's cross, rounded Mikael Antonsson and fired home, with the ball taking a massive deflection off the Bologna defender.

Pazzini doubled his side's lead with a stunning goal eight minutes from time, controlling the ball brilliantly before flicking it over Daniele Portanova and volleying home.

It was Pazzini's fifth goal against Bologna this season, after he scored a hat trick in the reverse fixture.

Philippe Mexes scored a comical own goal moments later to give Bologna hope, but it couldn't find the equalizer.

In Rome, Inter was without Antonio Cassano, Diego Milito, Walter Samuel, Philippe Coutinho, Ricky Alvarez, Dejan Stankovic and Luca Castellazzi. Marko Livaja was given his first Serie A start and he almost marked it with a goal, but hit the post.

Roma took the lead when it was awarded a penalty in the 20th minute when Andrea Ranocchia was judged to have fouled Michael Bradley, although it looked as if the American had jumped over a sliding tackle from the Inter defender.

Francesco Totti stepped up to smash home a powerful spot kick. It was Totti's 222nd Serie A goal, putting him just three behind second-place Gunnar Nordahl in the all-time scoring charts.

Rodrigo Palacio tapped in the equalizer in first-half stoppage time following good work from Fredy Guarin. Pablo Osvaldo had two goals ruled out for offside for Roma.

Parma remains two points behind Inter after drawing 1-1 at Chievo Verona.

Parma took the lead five minutes from halftime when Ishak Belfodil smashed an effort into the bottom left corner. However, Alberto Paloschi scored against his old team 11 minutes after the break to give Chievo a share of the points.

At the other end of the table, rock-bottom Siena won its first game since November as it beat Sampdoria 1-0.

Substitute Erjon Bogdani was left unmarked to head home Alessio Sestu's cross for the only goal of the game in the 71st.

The victory will be all the sweeter for Siena coach Giuseppe Iachini, who led Sampdoria to promotion last season but was then fired as the club wanted a bigger name.

Siena is six points off safety after 17th-place Cagliari drew 1-1 at 10-man Atalanta.

The match was delayed for half an hour to clear snow and ice.

It took Cagliari just two minutes to take the lead when former player Michele Canini accidentally bundled the ball into his own net.

A glancing header from Guglielmo Stendardo saw Atalanta draw level in the 57th before Luigi Giorgi was sent off after picking up two yellow cards.

Cagliari is level on points with Pescara which lost 2-0 at home to Torino.

Mario Alberto Santana and Alessio Cerci scored in the first half and matters worsened for Pescara when Vladimir Weiss picked up a second yellow for diving and was sent off.

Genoa remains in the relegation zone after it lost 2-0 at home to Catania, which hadn't won a top flight match at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris since 1963.

Gonzalo Bergessio opened the scoring in the fourth minute and Pablo Barrientos sealed the match four minutes from time.

Marek Hamsik Gonzalo Rodriguez (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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