Mon, Nov 13, 2006 - Page 19 News List

As Roma squeezes past AC Milan to close in on leaders

DPA , MILAN

Francesco Totti celebrates after scoring for AS Roma against AC Milan during their Serie A soccer match in Milan, Italy, on Saturday.

PHOTO: EPA

A Francesco Totti brace late on Saturday helped Roma beat home side AC Milan 2-1 to move within one point of Serie A joint leaders Inter Milan and Palermo.

The home defeat held the Devils rooted on seven points from 11 games as they struggle to overcome an eight-point penalty received after a summer match-fixing trial that also involved Fiorentina, Lazio, Reggina and Juventus.

Totti opened the scoring with an early goal and secured Roma's win with a header eight minutes from time.

The hosts' deserved equalizer came from the inspired Christian Brocchi, who on 56 minutes beat Doni from distance after Clarence Seedorf and Ricardo Oliveira had earlier hit the bar.

Milan keeper Dida had to thank the woodwork on 66 minutes when a searing drive from Totti bounced off the post.

Totti's winner owed much to a back-heel from Alberto Aquilani, who set Mancini free to curl in a perfect cross for his captain.

Meanwhile, struggling Fiorentina came from behind on Saturday to beat visitors Atalanta 3-1 thanks to a brace in the dying minutes by Giampaolo Pazzini.

The youngster completed the hosts' reversal after Adrian Mutu levelled Atalanta's lead on 24 minutes.

The Florence side are in second-last position with three points from 11 games, having received a 15-point penalty in the summer for their part in the match-fixing scandal.

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