Frustrated AC Milan missed the chance to seize top spot in Serie A when they were held to a 1-1 draw by Napoli at the San Siro on Sunday.
Leaders Inter drew 1-1 at Palermo on Saturday to give second-placed Milan a glimpse of the summit for the first time this term but instead they lie one point behind.
Napoli produced waves of attacks in the first half and went ahead thanks to a defensive calamity from Milan’s Massimo Oddo.
The right-back collided with his own goalkeeper Christian Abbiati and left Napoli defender Hugo Campagnaro to slot Ezequiel Lavezzi’s pass into an open goal on 13 minutes.
Napoli could easily have doubled their advantage before Ronaldinho revived Milan by floating over a cross which Filippo Inzaghi headed in for a 26th-minute equalizer.
“We knew that playing against Napoli is never easy,” Ronaldinho told Sky TV. “We are happy to continue like this, at least we are nearer top spot. We created some chances.”
Nine games remain and tomorrow Milan visit Parma, who drew 1-1 at Bari on Sunday to slow their recent renaissance.
Sampdoria climbed level on points with fourth-placed Palermo in the race for the final Champions League qualifying spot after the returning Antonio Cassano embarrassed Juventus reserve goalkeeper Antonio Chimenti from 40m in a 1-0 home win.
The forward, whose great start to the season was halted by injury and loss of form, burst back into the limelight on 77 minutes and could have scored two more against a Juventus side enduring a dreadful campaign.
Sixth-placed Juventus had lots of possession but continue to lack width since Czech star Pavel Nedved’s retirement as interim coach Alberto Zaccheroni employed yet another formation following their midweek humiliation at Fulham in the Europa League.
Fourth-bottom Lazio opened up a four-point cushion above the drop zone after forwards Tommaso Rocchi and Sergio Floccari scored in a 2-0 win at Cagliari, whose fans will now be given refunds for the defeat under a club initiative.
Atalanta moved up to third bottom and the final relegation spot with a 3-0 victory at home to Livorno, who now prop up the league.
Second-bottom Siena are level on points with Atalanta after a 1-0 win over Bologna. Mid-table Chievo drew 1-1 with Catania.
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