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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Sep, 23, 2006

Milan's winning run ends in 0-0 draw with Livorno

ROME, Sept 23 (Reuters) - AC Milan lost their 100 percent winning start to the Serie A season when they drew 0-0 at Livorno on Saturday.

Milan had earned a maximum nine points against Lazio, Parma and Ascoli to overturn the eight-point penalty handed to them for their part in a match-fixing scandal but could not continue their run at Livorno's Picchi Stadium.

The draw left Milan with two points from four games, seven behind leaders Palermo, who travel to Empoli on Sunday.

'We've got to accept it philosophically,' Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti told Italian broadcaster SKY. 'We played a great match in the first half but in the second we didn't play as a team, and we were nearly punished for it.'

In Saturday's other Serie A match, Sicilian rivals Catania and Messina played out a lively 2-2 draw.

Milan several times went close to taking a first-half lead. Playmaker Kaka grazed the post with a shot from just outside the area and Filippo Inzaghi put a close-range volley over the bar.

Cristiano Lucarelli wasted the home side's only chance before the break when he ran into the area only to lash a wild shot high into the stands.

Having ridden their luck in the first half, however, Livorno looked more composed when they reemerged after the interval.

Midfielder Stefano Morrone nearly put them ahead on the hour when a poor clearance by Alessandro Nesta gave him a chance which he blasted against the bar from 10 metres.

Milan's last opportunity to claim all three points was snatched away five minutes from time when Livorno keeper Marco Amelia plucked the ball from the feet of on-rushing striker Ricardo Oliveira.

Messina led at halftime against Catania thanks to a goal by striker Sergio Floccari after 32 minutes but Giuseppe Mascara equalised just before the hour mark.

Their celebrations were cut short, however, when the celbrating Mascara removed his shirt and promptly earned a second yellow card.

Despite being down to 10 men, Catania grabbed another goal through Gionatha Spinesi three minutes later.

Midfielder Nicolas Cordova levelled the scores in the 64th but Messina's one-man advantage then ended when defender Mark Iuliano picked up a second booking.

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