Post by Eugen » Mon, 13 May 1996 04:00:00



   ROME -- Lazio striker Giuseppe Signori closed the Italian league
   season as joint Serie A top scorer on Sunday as his club beat
   relegated Torino 2-0 to secure a place in the UEFA Cup next season.

   Meanwhile, Milan, crowned Italian champions for the fourth time in
   five seasons earlier in the month, treated their home fans to a
   crushing 7-1 defeat of serie B bound Cremonese, their biggest win of a
   triumphant season.

   Signori's ninth minute goal was his 24th but he shared the honours
   with Bari's Igor Protti, an unknown player at the start of the season,
   who put two past Juventus in a 2-2 draw that salvaged some pride for
   the relegated club.

   Liberian George Weah scored twice for Milan, his first in the sixth
   minute taking a possible deflection off a defender and his second in
   the 59th putting the champions up 2-1 and opening the floodgates for
   the home team.

   Demetrio Albertini made it 3-1 in the 61st, Christian Panucci made it
   4-1 six minutes later and Milan then scored three goals in three
   minutes -- two from Paolo Di Canio in the 83rd and 85th sandwiching
   one from Zvonimir Boban in the 84th.

   Slovenian attacker Matjaz Florijancic had scored for Cremonese in the
   23rd minute.

   With the league and relegation issues already settled, the only
   suspense in Sunday's final day of the league season was the
   hotly-contested battle for UEFA Cup places and the equally fierce
   fight to be crowned top goalscorer.

   Lazio's victory, coupled with Parma's 2-0 defeat at Cagliari and
   Roma's 1-0 win over Inter, left Lazio sure of a UEFA Cup place as
   third-placed finishers on 59 points.

   Fiorentina, who beat lowly Piacenza 1-0, finished level on points with
   Lazio and are also in Europe.

   Milan's victory gave them a final tally of 73 points, eight ahead of
   Juventus on 65. At the other end of the table, Bari, Torino, Cremonese
   and Padova were all relegated earlier this month.

   Fiorentina could qualify for the Cup Winners' Cup again if they beat
   Atalanta in this year's two-legged final. They won the first leg 1-0
   and play the second leg in Bergamo on Saturday.

   The UEFA battle is complicated by second-placed Juventus, who could
   still qualify for the European Cup alongside Milan next season if they
   beat Dutch champions Ajax in this season's final in Rome's Olympic
   Stadium on May 22.

   Roma's clash with Inter was the match of the day, with just over
   67,000 spectators crowding into the Olympic stadium just a stroll from
   the Italian Open women's tennis final at the neighboring Fori Italico.

   On a day where every game produced at least one goal, the match
   between Roma and Inter also provided the only sendings-off in serie A
   when home midfielder Francesco Statuto and Inter's Roberto Carlos
   tussled in the 68th minute and were shown the red card.

   Luigi Di Biagio scored the only goal of the match from the penalty
   spot in the 44th minute.

   Fiorentina's goal that guaranteed them a place in Europe came from
   Giovanni Piacentini in the 21st minute.

   Juventus, with nothing to play for in the league, took the lead
   against Bari through an own goal by Marcello Montanari but the home
   side equalised through Protti in the 46th.

   Gianluca Vialli, possibly playing his last league match for the
   outgoing champions, restored the Turin team's lead in the 69th before
   Protti found the net again in the 85th.

   Parma's hopes of clinching their place in Europe without having to
   wait for Juventus and Fiorentina to decide their fate took a knock
   with their defeat in Cagliari.

   Argentine Nestor Sensini gave Cagliari an own goal in the 43rd minute
   and Brazilian striker Luis Oliveira made it 2-0 to the Sardinians with
   a 75th minute penalty.


   Copyright 1996 Starwave Corporation and ESPN Inc. All rights reserved.
   Do not duplicate or redistribute in any form.