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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Nov 25, 2007

Serie A: Juventus thump Palermo to go second

MILAN, Nov 25 (Reuters) - MILAN, Nov 25 (Reuters) - Juventus went second in Serie A on Sunday after a 5-0 demolition of Palermo helped them forget two consecutive draws.

Serie A's top scorer David Trezeguet bagged his 11th of the season when he hooked in Nicola Legrottaglie's knock back before Vincenzo Iaquinta scored at the second attempt on 41 minutes.

Substitute Alessandro Del Piero scored with a trademark second half freekick and a stoppage time penalty either side of Marco Marchionni's strike.

Andrea Pirlo's late freekick gave stuttering AC Milan a 2-1 Serie A win at Cagliari on Sunday in Ronaldo's first appearance of the season after injury.

Italy under-21 striker Robert Acquafresca gave the Sardinians an early lead with a header before Kaka had a penalty saved. Alberto Gilardino brought Milan level on 61 minutes and Pirlo sealed only their fourth league win of the campaign.

Fiorentina missed the chance to reclaim second place after a 0-0 draw at Reggina, allowing 10-man Udinese to leapfrog them into third with a 2-0 home win over Siena thanks to goals from lively Italy forwards Fabio Quagliarella and Antonio Di Natale.

Defender Felipe was sent off for two yellows on halftime but the increasingly impressive Udinese still won easily to thrill coach Pasquale Marino, who penned a new contract on Saturday.

Leaders Inter Milan are three points clear after beating Atalanta 2-1 on Saturday when AS Roma went second with a 1-0 win at Genoa. Juventus host Palermo later on Sunday.

The weekend's games were the first in Italy's top flight since Nov. 11 when Lazio fan Gabriele Sandri was killed by a police bullet.

Authorities banned the fans of six top-flight clubs from travelling to away matches in a bid to avoid a repetition of the widespread trouble that followed Sandri's death.

Lazio players and fans paid an array of tributes to Sandri at Rome's Stadio Olimpico where his side beat Parma 1-0 with a last-minute goal from Fabio Firmani.

Ronaldo turned out for Milan for the first time in six months after battling a leg injury and produced a competent display, going close on a couple of occasions.

The European champions fell behind on four minutes however, when Acquafresca powerfully headed in a corner in Nedo Sonetti's first game back in charge of Cagliari after Marco Giampaolo's sacking.

Ronaldo won a soft penalty for the visitors just before the break for shirt-pulling but Kaka, who Italian media say will be named European footballer of the year next weekend, had the penalty pushed away by home keeper Marco Fortin.

Milan looked like heading for a fourth league defeat before Cagliari made a hash of clearing Serginho's cross and Gilardino awkwardly turned the ball in.

Pirlo then fired in a freekick five minutes from time and although the ball swerved slightly, Fortin will be disappointed that the ball flew into the middle of the goal.

Torino playmaker and Italy hopeful Alessandro Rosina returned but couldn't inspire his side to victory against Empoli. The game finished 0-0.

Livorno's Croatian defender Dario Knezevic headed in Giovanni Pasquale's cross on eight minutes against Sampdoria before Francesco Tavano quickly doubled the home side's advantage when the striker cleverly turned in a free kick from the right.

Tavano was on fire and soon had a dipping free kick tipped over the bar among other efforts as Livorno made a mockery of their lowly league place.

Claudio Bellucci's acrobatic effort gave Sampdoria hope in the final 10 minutes but it was too late and Tavano grabbed a deserved second in the final stages.

Former Juventus striker Marcelo Zalayeta put Napoli ahead just before the break when he ambled through a gap in the Catania defence and kept his cool to finish expertly.

The Uruguayan repeated the trick midway through the second half to help promoted Napoli continue their strong return to the top flight.

Influential Napoli midfielder Ezequiel Lavazzi went close with a well-worked effort on half an hour and the home side could have scored more on several occasions.

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