sport

Roma cut gap, Milan win again

Roma made the most of Lazio's unexpected helping hand against Juventus as they beat Hellas Verona 3-1 to close the gap on the Serie A pacesetters to six points.

Giving their bitter rivals a title boost certainly would not have been top of Lazio's agenda against Juve but their 1-1 draw at the Stadio Olimpico on Saturday night nevertheless allowed second-placed Roma the chance to reel in the pacesetters a bit on Sunday, and they did not waste the opportunity.

Adem Ljajic gave Roma the lead on the stroke of half-time and, although Verona levelled through Emil Hallfredsson after the break, the visitors went on to record a comfortable win thanks to strikes from Gervinho and Francesco Totti.

The victory was Roma's fifth on the trot - having also beaten Juve 1-0 in the Coppa Italia in midweek - and also means they are now six points clear of third-placed Napoli, who were also held 1-1 on Saturday night, at home by Chievo.

Elsewhere on Sunday, AC Milan recorded a second successive league win under new manager Clarence Seedorf, although they had to do it the hard way before recording a 2-1 triumph at Cagliari.

Marco Sau's 28th-minute strike looked set to earn Cagliari all three points but Milan turned the game round in dramatic fashion late on, Mario Balotelli levelling in the 87th minute before substitute Giampaolo Pazzini won it two minutes later with his first Serie A goal of the season.

It was not such a good day for Milan's neighbours Inter, whose goalless draw at home to rock-bottom Catania was their fourth league game without a win.

Inter are still in fifth place, but are now just a point clear of Torino, Parma and Verona, the former clubs both recording 1-0 home wins on Sunday.

Alessio Cerci's 60th-minute penalty earned Torino the points against Atalanta, who had Davide Brivio sent off late on in conceding a penalty which Ciro Immobile subsequently missed.

Parma's win over Udinese was secured by Amauri's 35th-minute header as the in-form Crociati recorded their fourth straight league win.

At the foot of the table, second-bottom Livorno ended a five-game losing streak with a 3-1 success over third-bottom Sassuolo to give Domenico Di Carlo a perfect start as coach of the Tuscan outfit.

Goals from Leandro Greco, Paulinho and Marco Benassi handed the Amaranto a 3-0 lead after just 26 minutes in Di Carlo's first game since replacing Attilio Perotti earlier this week.

Sassuolo's Domenico Berardi reduced the deficit before the half-hour mark from the penalty spot but the hosts held on to claim their fourth win of the campaign.

In Sunday's other afternoon kick-off, Sampdoria drew 1-1 at home with Bologna, Alessandro Diamanti's last-gasp equaliser earning the relegation-threatened visitors a point after Samp had taken the lead through Manolo Gabbiadini.