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Football
Crucial late winner for Lazio
Lazio's victory over Cagliari moves Serie A club three points clear of chasing Napoli who could only draw with Catania.
Last Modified: 25 Mar 2012 17:28
The scorer is in there somewhere! Teammates gather round Diakite after he scores last-gasp winner [AFP]

Lazio strengthened their grip on third place in Serie A and a Champions League qualifying spot with a late win over Cagliari on Sunday while challengers Napoli squandered a two-goal lead in a 2-2 draw at home to Catania.

Mobido Diakite struck in the 88th minute, heading in from Cristian Ledesma's free kick, to give Lazio a 1-0 win over the Sardinians, leaving them with 51 points from 29 games and a three-point cushion over Napoli and Udinese.

Blerim Dzemaili and Edinson Cavani scored in a seven-minute spell to put Napoli in command against Catania only for Nicolas Spolli and Davide Lanzafame to reply following corners in the final 20 minutes.

Swiss midfielder Dzemaili opening the scoring just after the hour with a powerful right-foot strike and Uruguayan forward Cavani scored at the second attempt after his first shot hit the post.

Italian Results

Sunday March 25

 Atalanta 2-0 Bologna
 Cesena 2-2 Parma
 Chievo 1-1 Siena  
 Genoa 2-2 Fiorentina 
 Lazio 1-0 Cagliari
 Napoli 2-2 Catania
 Novara 0-0 Lecce
 Juventus v Inter Milan 

It was all in vain as Spolli headed in from a corner in the 74th minute and substitute Lanzafame scrambled the equaliser with five minutes to play to leave Napoli on 48 points, level with Udinese who drew 1-1 at Palermo on Saturday.

AC Milan, 2-1 winners over AS Roma on Saturday, lead with 63 points, seven more than Juventus who are at home to Inter Milan later on Sunday (1845 GMT).

There was little change at the bottom with a flurry of draws keeping Lecce, Novara and Cesena as firm favourites for the chop.

Lecce, 18th in the 20-team table, have 27 points, five adrift of safety, after a goalless draw against Novara, who are three points and one place behind them.

Cesena are a further six adrift at the bottom after a 2-2 draw with 17th-placed Parma (32 points).

Siena, who drew 1-1 at Chievo, and Fiorentina, held 2-2 at Genoa after Rodrigo Palacio scored an 89th-minute equaliser for the hosts, are both on 33 points.

Source:
Reuters
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