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By ESPN Staff
Dec 3, 2006

AC Milan and Palermo fall further off pace

MILAN, Dec 3 (Reuters) - Third-placed Palermo were held to a goalless draw at Parma on Sunday, falling eight points behind leaders Inter Milan, while AC Milan's poor season continued when they were held 2-2 at Cagliari.

Inter, who beat Siena 2-0 on Saturday, lead on 36 points and have a four-point advantage over AS Roma. Palermo, who have not won in their last three games, are third on 28.

Milan, who had Andrea Pirlo sent off at Cagliari, are way down in 15th position.

Carlo Ancelotti's side went ahead three minutes after the break when their Italy international striker Alberto Gilardino headed in a cross from French midfielder Yoann Gourcuff.

The Sardinians drew level when their Honduran striker David Suazo was brought down inside the area by Kakha Kaladze and rose to convert the penalty.

Suazo had a big hand in Cagliari's second - his attempted lob was superbly saved by Milan's Australian keeper Zeljko Kalac but Antonio Capone was on hand to nod in the loose ball.

Marco Borriello's classy finish brought Milan back on level terms in the 70th minute and although five minutes later Pirlo was sent off for a foul on Suazo, the six-times European champions held on for a point.

'We didn't play badly and we could have even won the game,' said Milan coach Ancelotti, whose team have managed just five wins from 14 games.

'We have had an unexpected start to the season but our aim reamins the same - to get into the top four. That is all we are focused on and we have to start making up the points,' added Ancelotti, whose team began the season with an eight point penalty imposed by a sports tribunal which had investigated allegations of match-fixing.

Palermo went to Parma on the back of two straight defeats but were still short of the form that produced such an impressive start of the season.

Parma had the better of the game with Portuguese defender Fernando Couto having a second half effort disallowed for offside.

Italy international Luca Toni was on target for Fiorentina as they beat Lazio 1-0 while Torino celebrated their centenary with an 88th-minute winner from Gianluca Comotto earning a 1-0 victory over Empoli.

Udinese's 1-1 draw with Reggina featured the use of goal-line cameras as part of an experiment, endorsed by FIFA, to evaluate the use of technology to help refereeing decisions.

The match passed without any incident needing the help of the images from the four cameras.

In the later game on Sunday, Ascoli and Cantana drew 2-2. Striker Gionatha Spinesi was unmarked when he headed home a cross from the middle of the box in the 80th minute to salvage a point for Catania, who were two down at half-time.

Sasa Bjelanovic scored both goals for Ascoli. His first in the 12th minute was lucky to be awarded as the Croatian looked offside when he struck one metre from the line, while his second was a fine header from Mirko Cudini's cross in the 39th.

Lorenzo Stovini brought the visitors back into the game eight minutes into the second half when he tapped home in a goalmouth scramble following a corner.