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    Default AC Milan edge past Cagliari, Roma wins

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    Newly signed Antonio Cassano made an immediate impact for Serie A leader AC Milan, setting up an 85th-minute goal from Rodney Strasser in a 1-0 win over Cagliari on Thursday.

    Cassano hadn't played since October, when he allegedly insulted Sampdoria president Riccardo Garrone with a profanity-laced tirade, prompting his transfer to Milan.

    Ten minutes after coming on, the Italy striker took a heel pass from Robinho and slipped the ball through two defenders toward Strasser, who appeared slightly offside but managed to score without much protest from Cagliari.

    It was the first Serie A goal for the 20-year-old Strasser, a midfielder from Sierra Leone.

    Earlier, Juventus lost to Parma 4-1. The Bianconeri lost one key player to injury and another to a red card.

    Also, Lazio was held to a 0-0 draw at Genoa, with Hernanes hitting the post for the Roman club; and AS Roma rallied from a 2-1 deficit to beat Catania 4-2 with two late strikes from Mirko Vucinic.

    Milan leads the league with 39 points, five more than Lazio. Napoli is third with 33 points, followed by Roma with 32 and Juventus with 31.

    Also, it was: Bologna 1, Fiorentina 1; Brescia 1, Cesena 2; Lecce 0, Bari 1; Palermo 3, Sampdoria 0; and Udinese 2, Chievo Verona 0.

    Later Thursday, Leonardo was making his debut as Inter Milan coach against Napoli.

    Milan was fortunate to come away with a win against coach Massimiliano Allegri's former club.

    Cagliari defender Michele Canini hit the post in the 32nd and forward Nene wasted a gift from Milan goalkeeper Christian Abbiati in the 53rd.

    Abbiati's failed clearance landed directly at Nene's feet with no defenders near but the Brazilian forward's weak shot deflected wide off Abbiati.

    With Zlatan Ibrahimovic suspended, Milan threatened with chances from Robinho in the 11th and Alexandre Pato on both sides of halftime, but Cagliari goalkeeper Michael Agazzi was flawless.

    Against Juventus, diminutive forward Sebastian Giovinco scored twice against his former club and Hernan Crespo and Raffaele Palladino also found the net for Parma.

    It was a negative day for Juventus from the start, with forward Fabio Quagliarella exiting with an apparent knee injury after only three minutes. Then in the 17th, Felipe Melo kicked Parma defender Massimo Paci in the face and was sent off.

    The 1.64-meter (5-foot-5) Giovinco, who was used mostly as a reserve by Juve the past two seasons, pounded in a rebound from close range in the 41st and doubled the lead from the edge of the area in the 48th.
    ...being a human...



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