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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Feb, 24, 2007

Serie A: Stuttering Palermo held by Atalanta

ROME, Feb 24 (Reuters) - Third-placed Palermo's indifferent Serie A form continued as they drew 1-1 at Atalanta on Saturday.

The Sicilian side have earned just six points in their last six matches but have 44 points and a comfortable nine-point cushion over fourth-placed Empoli.

Leaders Inter Milan (63 points) will extend their record winning sequence among Europe's big four leagues with a 17th successive victory if they beat Catania on Sunday.

Palermo spent most of the first half pushed back into their area as the home side went on the attack.

Their keeper, Alberto Fontana, made two good saves to keep out early shots by Cristiano Doni and Antonio Bernardini, but Atalanta went ahead in the 13th minute when Riccardo Zampagna turned Luca Ariatti's low cross into the roof of the net.

Palermo came out with more determination after the break, drawing level just before the hour when defender Marco Pisano burst into the area, held off his marker and slid the ball across the box for Aimo Diana to sidefoot home at the far post.

At the other end of the table, Torino slumped to their sixth defeat in a row after losing 3-0 at Chievo Verona.

Both teams are battling to stay out of the relegation zone but Chievo ran out easy winners with Albanian striker Erjon Bogdani's first-half double and a goal just after the break by Matteo Brighi.

In Serie B, Napoli leapfrogged Juventus into top spot by beating Triestina 3-1. Juve can regain the lead if they beat Modena on Monday (kickoff 1945 GMT).

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