Draw delights Capello as Juve extend lead

Capello is not normally pleased when his team drop points, but the Juventus coach was delighted after the Serie A leaders' 1-1 draw at home to struggling Parma.

india Updated: Feb 09, 2006 14:09 IST

Fabio Capello is not normally pleased when his team drop points, but the Juventus coach was delighted after the Serie A leaders' 1-1 draw at home to struggling Parma on Wednesday.

The result would have been regarded as a major disappointment for Capello had it not been for a 2-1 defeat for Juve's closest rivals Inter Milan at fourth-placed Fiorentina.

Differing fortunes for Italy's top two enabled Juventus to stretch their lead over second-placed Inter to nine points with 14 games remaining.

Daniele Dessena put Parma ahead in Turin before Zlatan Ibrahimovic's first league goal since November 19 restored parity.

Juventus almost grabbed a late winner when they were awarded a highly dubious penalty, but Alessandro Del Piero's spot-kick hit the bar.

Juventus, who have 63 points from their 24 matches played, face Inter next weekend.

Inter's 21-match unbeaten run in all competitions came to an abrupt end in Florence where goals from Christian Brocchi and Luis Antonio Jimenez put Fiorentina in the driving seat before Alvaro Recoba pulled one back.

AC Milan are three points behind Inter in third spot after thrashing relegation-threatened Treviso 5-0 at the San Siro where Andriy Shevchenko scored twice.

Captain Francesco Totti converted two late penalties as fifth-placed Roma fought back from 2-0 down to beat Cagliari 4-3 for their eighth victory in a row.

In other matches, Reggina won 2-1 at Udinese, Chievo held Sampdoria to a 1-1 draw and Ascoli against Livorno ended goalless.

Parma stunned Juventus in the 39th minute at the Delle Alpi stadium.

Mark Bresciano's superb dummy fooled the home defence and Dessena swept a right-footed shot past Gianluigi Buffon.

But Juve were back on level terms in the final minute of the first-half when Ibrahimovic chased after Adrian Mutu's long ball before crashing a right-footed half-volley in.

Inter goalkeeper Julio Cesar gifted Fiorentina a 10th-minute lead at the Artemio Franchi stadium.

Manuel Pasqual's left-wing corner was headed away by Dejan Stankovic only as far as Brocchi who was prowling on the edge of the 18-yard box.

The former AC Milan mid-fielder sent a right-footed shot back towards goal which Cesar appeared to have covered, but he allowed the ball to bounce up and over his despairing hands.

Chilean midfielder Jimenez extended Fiorentina's lead on the hour with a right-footed shot, before Recoba grabbed a late consolation goal for Inter with a dipping free-kick.

First Published: Feb 09, 2006 14:09 IST