Mon, Nov 05, 2007 - Page 18 News List

LEGA CALCIO: Torino frustrate Milan at San Siro

AFP , ROME

Torino's Eugenio Corini, left, inadvertently kicks AC Milan's Marcos Cafu during their Serie A match at the San Siro in Milan, Italy, on Saturday.

PHOTO: EPA

AC Milan's dismal home league form continued on Saturday as Torino frustrated the San Siro faithful by holding out for a 0-0 draw.

Despite smashing five goals in each of their last two away league matches, and winning all their home ties in Europe this season, Milan simply cannot find a way to beat teams at home in the league.

In six matches at the San Siro they have earned four draws and two defeats, managing a paltry three goals.

Poor finishing and the heroics of Torino goalkeeper Matteo Sereni combined to thwart them this time, despite coach Carlo Ancelotti having claimed after their midweek 5-0 drubbing of Sampdoria in Genoa that he had found the answer to their hometown troubles.

Striker Alberto Gilardino and midfielder Andrea Pirlo were the main Milanese culprits in the first half, missing two great chances each, while Filippo Inzaghi squandered the best chance after the break.

The result leaves Milan seventh in the table and 10 points off top.

"This is a different performance to those we've had at the San Siro before. We had a decent game, we played well but without getting a result," Ancelotti said.

Meanwhile a goal from Giampaolo Pazzini on 19 minutes proved enough to send Fiorentina up to second, for a day at least, as the Viola won 1-0 at struggling Lazio.

The three points maintained Fiorentina's unbeaten start to the season and moved them to within a point of table-toppers Inter, who faced a trip to fourth-placed Juventus yesterday.

With 23 points from 11 matches, Fiorentina have made light of selling their top marksman Luca Toni to Bayern Munich.

It has been an impressive start for the team who, but for last season's 15-point penalty for match-fixing, would be playing in the Champions League instead of the UEFA Cup this season.

However, this victory owed everything to an horrendous howler from veteran Lazio goalkeeper Marco Ballotta.

The 43-year-old slipped when trying to prevent a back-header from Emilson Cribari going out for a corner, fumbling the ball into the path of Pazzini, who had the simplest of tasks in tapping the ball home.

Fiorentina coach Cesare Prandelli said his young team deserve all the credit being heaped on them after their fine start.

"We have been growing as a team and as individuals. I think of people like Dario Dainelli, Alessandro Gamberini, Manuel Pasqual, Alessandro Potenza and Tomas Ujfalusi," he said.

"They understood that to play well you don't just have to do it alone, you need to work as part of a team. Now they are receiving the praise they deserve," he said.

It was Lazio's third defeat in a row and sees them down in 14th place.

It has been a disastrous fall from grace for a team that finished third last season and are playing in this season's Champions League.

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